The Met Office today issued a yellow - “be aware” - severe weather warning, which it said may be upgraded to amber - “be prepared” - for northern Scotland.
It warned of potential travel disruption, power cuts and structural damage, with large waves posing a danger on coasts.
The warnings cover all but the southern edge of Scotland from midnightuntil between noon and 3pm on Friday, and the whole of the country and northern England from midnight until 6-9pm on Saturday.
A Met Office spokesman said: “A vigorous depression is expected to run rapidly east, passing northern Scotland early on Friday.
“Winds will begin to increase late on Thursday to give a period of very strong westerly winds across the north of the Scottish mainland and the Western and Northern Isles during Friday.
“Gusts of 70mph are likely quite widely, with a risk of 80-90 mph gusts.”
It said gusts of 60-70mph were likely quite widely across southern Scotland.
Similar blasts are forecast across Scotland on Saturday, along with lightning.
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