HEAVY rain and strong winds which could cause flooding will hits parts of Scotland tomorrow, the Met Office said today as it issued the first severe weather warning for Scotland for a month.
The yellow - “be aware” alert - covers the Central Belt, southern Scotland, the extreme north west including Skye and the Western Isles, and Orkney and Shetland, from 3pm tomorrow to 9am on Saturday.
Those northern areas are also expected to be battered by severe gales tonight, with gusts of up to 70mph.
CalMac cancelled ferry sailings on six routes to Skye and the Western Isles today, and it warned that several others across the west coast could be disrupted.
The Met Office said the weather change would bring an end to prolonged fine conditions which led to Scotland enjoying its driest September on record.
A spokesman said: “It will be a marked switch, with spells of heavy rain and stronger winds.
“The public should be aware of the potential for some localised impacts to travel due to surface water flooding.
“A slow-moving active cold front will be reinforced as a shallow wave runs northeastwards overnight Friday into Saturday.
“This will lead to some heavy and persistent rainfall, with 20-40mm (0.8-1.6in) possibly quite widely across the warning area, while a few locations may see in excess of 60mm (2.4in), much of this falling within a few hours.
“Despite the recent dry conditions, this may lead to flooding.”
The Automobile Association warned drivers of the risk of flash flooding.
Darron Burness, head of the AA’s flood rescue team, said: “It’s a case of change of month, change of weather. After precious little rain in September, autumn will fall sharply into focus tomorrow as it turns wet and windy across many areas.
“Be wary of places where water may accumulate, for instance, dips in the road and under bridges.
“In dark, wet conditions it can be extremely difficult to distinguish between a road that’s flooded and one that is simply very wet until it’s too late.”