Ferry operator CalMac has warned of delays over the weekend as Storm Ciara is set to batter the West coast of Scotland.

The Met Office warned of up to 80mph could be felt in some coastal areas, while “very strong winds” are set to blow through most of the country.

READ MORE: Met Office warns of gusts of up to 80mph this weekend

A yellow ‘be aware’ warning has been issued and CalMac has urged those planning to travel by ferry this weekend to keep up to date with the latest travel information before setting off on their journey.

Director of Operations, Robert Morrison said: “Weather for the weekend is looking extremely problematic as far as delivering a scheduled timetable.”

“There is a very high possibility of weather related disruption to services across all 28 of our routes so people should be aware of this before setting off on their journey. We will of course be looking keep sailings running when conditions allow.”

He added: “I would urge passengers to allow extra time for their journey, keep track of the status of their sailing on the website or on social media and be prepared for delays and cancellations.’ 

“The easiest way to get the very latest news about a sailing is to sign up for our text service to get the very latest service updates via their phone."

Many inland areas of the UK could experience gusts of up to 60mph, the Met Office said, while gales of between 70-80mph could hit exposed coasts and hills, especially in the north and west.

Heavy rain is also expected, forecasters said.

Met Office chief meteorologist Neil Armstrong said: “After a dry start to the week for many, with some sunny spells, early frosts and fog patches, the weather will become more unsettled as we head towards the weekend.

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“This warning is expected to be updated as we get nearer to the weekend and confidence grows in the exact track and intensity of the weather system that is causing the wind and also bringing the potential for some heavy rain.

“Although still a long way off in forecast terms, there are signals the unsettled weather arriving this weekend could also continue into next week.”