'This kind of pattern is not normal for this time of year'

The gales which yesterday lashed Scotland are today due to die down - but the unseasonal weather is not likely to abate until early next week, meterologists predict.

Stephen Keates, forecaster at the Met Office, said the high winds of up to 150mph - measured yesterday in the Cairngorms - were likely to die down today, but could flare up again tomorrow.

"I think there will be a risk of gales again on Wednesday - but probably not as high as the ones we have already seen," he said.

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"I think the worst of the weather is behind us, although it will remain predominently unsettled well into next weekend." Mr Keates said the uncharacteristically stormy weather was caused by areas of low pressure in the Atlantic Ocean.

"These have unfortunately developed in the wrong place, which is causing the unusually windy weather," he said. "This kind of pattern is more akin to January, February or October; it is not normal for this time of the year."

He added that the top wind speeds of 84mph and 69mph recorded in areas of Glasgow and Edinburgh respectively, were unusual in built-up areas.