Scotland's weather: More high winds as Storm Eleanor hits

Scots are being warned to brace themselves as Storm Eleanor sweeps in, battering parts of the country with strong winds and heavy rain.
Scotland is set for high winds. Picture: PAScotland is set for high winds. Picture: PA
Scotland is set for high winds. Picture: PA

Amber and yellow severe weather warnings have been put in place across the southernmost parts of Scotland, with gusts predicted to reach up to 90mph in the most exposed areas.

Some coastal communities are facing an extra threat as the stormy conditions combine with high tides to bring a risk of flooding from the sea.

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Forecasters say road, rail and air travel could face disruption, while some ferry services may be cancelled and bridges closed for safety reasons.

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They are warning that flying debris could pose a risk to life and some damage to buildings is likely. Power cuts and loss of mobile phone coverage are also predicted.

They are urging extra care on west-facing coasts, where massive waves and spray could see beach material thrown onto roads, seafronts and properties.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has issued 10 flood warnings and four flood alerts, with areas in Dumfries and Galloway and around the Firth of Forth earmarked as most at risk.

Central and southern regions are expected to experience the worst of the stormy weather, with as much as 40mm of rain falling in certain parts.

Showers are likely to fall as snow on higher ground.

The Met Office said gusts of 70mph are likely over much of the affected areas, but could reach up to 90mph along exposed coasts.

Forecasters are advising commuters returning to work after the New Year holiday to plan their journeys to take account of the weather.

Meteorologist Emma Sharples, from the Met Office, said: “Even though the worst of the winds will have died down by the morning, there could well be standing water on roads that may cause problems for travellers.

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“People are perhaps a bit rusty after the holiday so it’s worth reminding everyone to leave plenty of time for their journey.

“Across the bottom half of the country we’re expecting a spell of very windy and wet weather to come through from Tuesday night, when it hits the western side of the country and tracks eastwards.

“Winds will slowly die down as Wednesday wears on.

“But there are further showers to come after Storm Eleanor clears away, which could be quite heavy. There could be a rumble of thunder in there too and a bit of hail, so not particularly pleasant.”

Storm Eleanor is the first named storm of 2018, but the fifth since the season began.

The first was Aileen in mid-September, followed by Brian in October and Caroline in Early December. The year blew out with Storm Dylan on Hogmanay. After Eleanor, the next storm will be Fionn.