Scotland’s grim weather: snow, gales, then floods

Gusts of up to 80mph are expected. Picture: SWNS
Gusts of up to 80mph are expected. Picture: SWNS
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SNOW and ice followed by gales gusting to 80mph then heavy rain threatening floods is forecast for Scotland over the next two days.

The Met Office has issued a series of yellow - “be aware” - severe weather warnings.

Heavy rain or wet snow is expected to fall across much of southern Scotland tonight and tomorrow, which will be joined by gales across the country which may be strong enough to uproot trees tomorrow, then possible flooding in southern Scotland on Saturday.

The agency warned of icy roads overnight and difficult driving conditions.

A spokesman said 2cm of snow may accumulate on some roads down to 100m tomorrow, with the risk of more than 10cm on roads above 300m.

These include stretches of the M74, and A68 in the Borders.

A second warning, for strong winds, has been extended to the whole country, and will now be in force from noon tomorrow to 7am on Saturday.

The most wind-prone traffic, such as high-sided vehicles, is expected to be banned from crossing the Forth Road Bridge from around noon, with cars-only during the afternoon rush hour.

The crossing may be closed around midnight when winds are expected to reach around 80mph.

A Met Office spokeswoman said: “South-westerly gales or severe gales are expected to affect much of Scotland and Northern Ireland during the second half of Friday.

“The strongest winds will affect north-west Scotland at first, then reach the Central lowlands, southern Scotland and Northern Ireland during the late afternoon and evening.

“They will gust 45-55mph quite widely across Scotland and Northern Ireland, and locally to more than 60mph.

“In the Western Isles and far north-west mainland Scotland, gusts will reach around 70-80mph.

“Please be aware of difficult driving conditions, with the risk of travel disruption on roads and to ferries.

“Winds may be strong enough to bring down branches or even uproot some trees due to saturated ground.

“A period of heavy rain will also affect much of Scotland, especially western areas.”

The agency today issued a further yellow warning, for heavy rain from the whole of Saturday and until 6am on Sunday.

More than 80mm could fall in places, and 100mm or more south of the Border in Cumbria.

The spokeswoman said: “Outbreaks of rain will become persistent and heavy at times on Friday night and will last through Saturday, before clearing to the south of the warning area early on Sunday morning.

“Please be aware of the likelihood of flooding, and that some moderate level disruption is possible.

“Rainfall totals of 30-50mm are expected quite widely within the warning area, with 80mm or more possible over higher ground in the west.

“There is a risk that parts of Cumbria could see in excess of 100mm.

“Given saturated conditions, some flooding is likely.”