FRESH flood alerts have been issued for Edinburgh and the Lothians, with downpours and gale-force winds set to pummel the region.
The Met Office has issued a 24-hour severe weather warning for flooding in eastern Scotland, including the Capital, from midnight.
Forecasters said up to 50mm of rain was forecast, with conditions set to be particularly bad tomorrow as snow falling on higher ground feeds into low-lying areas.
Gales nudging 60mph have also been forecast for the east, meaning waves could hammer coasts less than a week after parts of North Berwick harbour wall were washed away in high winds.
Met Office forecaster Peter Sloss said: “We are looking at a low pressure system pushing in from the Atlantic this afternoon and evening which has bands of rain associated with it.
“Normally, these push through and drier weather comes in behind, but in this case the first bands of rain are grinding to a halt and then reinforced by another area of low pressure pushing in behind.”
He said the worst of the winds would be felt in the north-east of the country but warned conditions in the Lothians would still be “very unpleasant”.
Forecasters said households in and around the Capital could expect further misery and possible flooding on Saturday and into Boxing Day as more deluges hit.
Mr Sloss said: “The ground won’t have much time to dry so there could be an increased risk of it saturating more quickly and then flooding.”
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said no official flood alerts had been issued but said predictions of heavy rain tomorrow were being monitored closely. SEPA spokeswoman Lee Madigan said: “There’s a band of rain coming in overnight tonight and into tomorrow.
“There could well be issues with it peaking tomorrow morning and afternoon, and I would not be surprised if flood alerts were issued for Edinburgh and the Lothians.”
She added: “We would ask residents to keep a close eye on our website’s floodline service.”
Council bosses stressed free sandbags would be made available to flood-threatened residents at fire stations across the Capital through a joint partnership with Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue.
A council spokeswoman said: “As with any forecasts of bad weather, we would advise residents and businesses to heed the weather warnings and take any appropriate action as required to safeguard their homes and properties.”