A danger-to-life weather warning is in force as heavy rain and high winds sweep the country.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning of rain in central and southern Scotland which is valid from midday on Tuesday until 6am on Wednesday.

It warns that persistent heavy rain on saturated ground will bring further flooding and that fast flowing or deep floodwater is likely, causing danger to life, while homes and businesses are likely to be flooded.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has issued 13 flood warnings, mainly in the Tayside area, and 10 flood alerts elsewhere in the country.

HeraldScotland:

The amber warnings cover Central, Tayside, Fife, Dumfries and Galloway, the Borders and South Lanarkshire while a yellow warning of rain, valid until 11am on Wednesday, covers most of the rest of the country.

READ MORE: Yellow and amber warnings issued

The Met Office has also issued a yellow warning of wind for much of Scotland. warning of gusts of 50-60mph and of up to 70mph for the Western Isles and the Moray coast, which is in force until 6pm on Tuesday.

Many Caledonian MacBrayne ferry services were cancelled on Tuesday due to adverse weather while the Tay Road Bridge was closed to double decker buses due to high winds.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The Met Office is telling us to expect another period of difficult weather, with heavy rain and strong winds forecast for much of Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

“The current Covid restrictions mean you should only be leaving your home for an essential purpose, so please consider if your journey is absolutely necessary before setting off.

“If you do need to make an essential journey, be aware the conditions could potentially bring disruption to the trunk road network as well as other modes of transport.”

Police urged people to plan ahead if they have to travel.

Superintendent Simon Bradshaw said: “Government restrictions on only travelling if your journey is essential remain in place and, with an amber warning for rain, please consider whether your journey is essential and if it can be delayed until conditions improve.”

HeraldScotland:

SEPA flood warnings

Chief Meteorologist Andy Page, said: “An area of low pressure to the north west of the UK will bring very wet and windy conditions to parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and north west England through the start of the week.

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"Up to 120mm of rain could fall in a relatively short time, bringing the risk of flooding. An Amber weather warning is in force for parts of Scotland as well as further Yellow warnings for rain and wind.

“With continued southerly winds mild temperatures are forecast for much of the UK, with highs of 14-16°C in the south and east through the week. As the system moves through by the middle of the week high pressure moves in and this will bring more settled conditions into the weekend, with good spells of sunshine it could feel like the first hints of Spring.”