SCOTS are being told to take action as the Met Office have issued a rare red weather warning on the east coast. 

Parts of Scotland had already been issued with an Amber "danger to life" alert, with Storm Arwen set to batter parts of the country from 3pm.

Now, the more serious red "take action" warning has been issued - with the storm set to bring extreme winds of up 90mph.

The alert warns there is a very real risk of 'damage to buildings and homes, with roofs blowing off and power lines being brought down'.

A Met Office spokesman has said red warnings are not issued lightly, and urged people to avoid the coast as Storm Arwen sweeps into the UK.

READ MORE: Follow the latest from Storm Arwen in The Herald's LIVE blog

Grahame Madge, a Met Office spokesman, said: “They’re only issued when we’re advising people to take particular action in terms of weather.

“With this one, in addition to the sort of usual things, you know, structures would be at risk, people need to be aware of things like flying debris, falling trees, that sort of thing.

“In addition to this one, I would emphasise the risk for coastal communities. We are talking about wave heights that really are exceptional. I’ve heard sort of nine-10 metre waves out to sea, which is particularly noteworthy."

He added: “We’re looking at the vulnerability of people like coastal anglers, for example, shore fishermen, people visiting in order to get photos, all of these communities need to take particular care and assess the risk.

“And obviously, don’t go if they feel that there’s any risk to themselves or others by them being there.

“People need to recognise really, that, you know, we don’t issue red warnings lightly, so therefore, when we do we feel that there is a much higher threat of risk.

“We urge people obviously to take action as a result of that and that action in this case is probably don’t go to the coast."

There will likely be roads, bridges and railway lines closed, with delays and cancellations to bus, train, ferry services and flights.

The Met Office also suggested that peoples homes could be battered with huge waves on the east coast with water being thrown onto coastal roads and sea fronts. Power cuts affecting other services, such as mobile phone coverage is also likley. 

Stretching all the way from the north of Scotland into England, the red warning will last until the early hours of Saturday morning with Aberdeen the worst affected area.

It come as police and ministers issued 'be prepared' advice as the danger to life warning was issued for most of Scotland.

Transport Scotland has warned that conditions are likely to impact travel, particularly during peak times on Friday evening.

They said that there is also potential for restrictions on bridges, which could impact the large number of high-sided vehicles expected to be on the trunk road network for Black Friday.

READ MORE: Scotland's winter roads service expanded and will focus on key motorway routes

A Multi Agency Response Team is being formed for the duration of the warning periods to closely monitor conditions, it said.

Scotrail have also announced that the weather will affect routes in their northern lines which will limit services, and are advising people to plan journeys in advance. 

Superintendent Simon Bradshaw, at Police Scotland's roads policing section said: "We are asking motorists to be prepared for the potential for widespread strong winds and the risk of snow following the Red and Amber weather warnings from the Met Office.

"You should allow extra time for your journey, ensure your vehicle is sufficiently fuelled and drive to the road conditions. Consider taking some warm clothes, food and water within your vehicle, in case of delays and ensure your mobile phone is fully charged.

"I would urge motorists to check the Met Office and Traffic Scotland websites and social media before setting out on their journey, particularly in those areas most affected by the predicted adverse weather.”

Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said: “The first storm of the winter period, Storm Arwen, is set to impact Scotland today and Saturday. The whole country is going to see blustery conditions, but the Met Office is telling us that eastern parts of Scotland in particular are going to see some difficult weather.

“Motorists should check Traffic Scotland before they set off to make sure that their route is available."

“The conditions are also likely to lead to disruption on other modes of transport, so we are urging people to take the weather into account if they are planning to travel on trains, ferries and flights.”

Scottish Government-appointed maintenance firm Bear Scotland said restrictions may be required on bridges such as Skye Bridge, Kessock Bridge, Dornoch Bridge, Cromarty Bridge, Friarton Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge. The A1, in south east Scotland, is also expected to be impacted by the high winds.

Eddie Ross, Bear Scotland’s operating company representative for the North West, said: “We are fully prepped and are closely monitoring conditions and will act quickly when required."

Meanwhile, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has urged people to check on elderly relatives or neighbours as the country braces for Storm Arwen to sweep in.

The agency has issued a cold weather alert, and Agostinho Sousa, a consultant in Public Health Medicine at UKHSA, said: “Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly for older people and those with heart and lung problems, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.

“It’s really important to keep checking on older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or those who have serious illness.

“Make a call, or a socially distanced doorstep visit if they live close by, to remind them to heat their home to at least 18C (64.4F) and to keep up to date with the forecast. It’s also helpful to check they have enough food and drinks and any medicines they need.”

Regions and local authorities affected by the red warning:

Central, Tayside & Fife







SW Scotland, Lothian Borders

East Lothian

Scottish Border