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Weather: Scots braced for Bertha’s effects

Pedestrians get caught up in high winds and torrential rain on the Millennium Bridge in Southwark, London yesterday as the remnants of Hurricane Bertha swept the south of England. Picture: PA

Pedestrians get caught up in high winds and torrential rain on the Millennium Bridge in Southwark, London yesterday as the remnants of Hurricane Bertha swept the south of England. Picture: PA

  • by LYNDSAY BUCKLAND
 

SCOTLAND was today braced for winds and heavy rain after the remnants of Hurricane Bertha battered the south of Britain yesterday.

Many parts of England were struck by 50mph gusts and heavy rainfall, affecting several sporting and music events.

Scotland was also hit by unseasonable weather, with almost 60mm of rain falling in localised areas in just six hours.

More is expected today, with amber “be prepared” warnings for rain in the Highland and Grampian areas, and yellow “be aware” rain warnings across the rest of the country.

The Met Office also issued yellow warnings for wind in the Central, Tayside, Fife, Lothian, Borders and south-west regions.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) last night issued 12 flood alerts across the country, meaning flooding was possible and people should be prepared.

The warnings come after the former hurricane tore through the Caribbean early last week, travelling across the Atlantic to the UK and bringing floods in its wake.

Yesterday saw downpours over Wales, where 31mm of rain fell on the port of Milford Haven in the 12 hours until 7am. The average rainfall for the whole of August is 40mm.

The Met Office has increased the number of flood alerts to 34, spanning all of Britain apart from the north-west. The Red Cross was forced to mobilise hundreds of volunteers who were on standby to help anyone affected by the storm.

The conditions also caused cancellations and disruption for a string of festivals and sport events. Organisers had to 
postpone the prestigious Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, which was due to kick off in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

The RideLondon Surrey Classic, which sees more than 20,000 cyclists pedal through rural Surrey before ending on the Mall, was shortened from 100 miles to 86, missing out the Box Hill climb due to fears about the effects of heavy rain.

The last day of the Boardmasters music and surfing festival in Cornwall was axed “in light of the extreme weather conditions caused by Hurricane Bertha”, organisers said.

Brittany Ferries also cancelled its four fast-craft catamaran services between Portsmouth and Le Havre and Cherbourg in France and a mass ascent of hot air balloons at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta was called off because of poor weather conditions. Graeme Whipps, a Met Office forecaster based in Aberdeen, said rain had been the main issue affecting Scotland as a result of the after-effects of Hurricane Bertha.

He said some localised areas yesterday saw very heavy rainfall, with Logan Botanic Gardens in Dumfries and Galloway recording 58.2mm of rain in just six hours. The heaviest rain yesterday evening and overnight was expected in eastern parts of Scotland, moving gradually northwards.

“The area of low pressure that has brought the nasty conditions from the south is gradually moving north, and eventually we will see some stronger westerly winds moving into the Borders, Lothians and into Fife,” Mr Whipps said.

The weather is set to improve with a better outlook and less disruptive weather for the rest of the week.

 

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