FORECASTERS have issued a severe weather warning for unseasonably heavy rain, thunder and winds of up to 50mph across central and western Scotland today and tomorrow.
The Met Office yellow – “be aware” – alert also warned of potential flooding from up to 80mm (3in) of rain because recent rainfall has left ground saturated.
A rather vigorous area of low pressure for the time of yearMet Office
In a signal that what passes for summer in Scotland is being put on hold, the agency said the bad weather was being caused by a “rather vigorous area of low pressure for the time of year”.
The warning will be in force from 1am today until 9pm tomorrow,
Forecasters said the worst periods would see six to nine hours of heavy, thundery rain in the early hours, followed by persistent rain later today that is expected to last well into Saturday.
An L-shaped warning area covers the west coast and islands as far south as Arran, along with a swathe of the country from Glasgow as far east as southern Aberdeenshire, including
Stirling, Fife, Perthshire and Dundee.
Events which could be affected include the HebCelt music festival on Lewis.
A Met Office spokesman said: “Rain, some heavy and thundery, will move north east across Scotland during the early hours of Friday.
“An interlude of drier weather is then expected, before further persistent and occasionally heavy rain develops late Friday and lasts through much of Saturday in places.
“The heaviest rain seems likely to be focused on northern Argyll and Lochaber.
“The rain will be accompanied by strong winds, these turning from south-easterly to southwesterly.
“Gales are possible for a time later Friday, particularly in the west, with gusts to around 50mph.
“Total rainfall will typically be 25-50mm (1-2in) but with some areas, particularly over high ground, receiving more than 80mm over the two days.
“Given that the ground is saturated, the public should be aware of the risk of localised flooding.”
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency had five flood alerts in force yesterday, for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire; Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire; Dundee and Angus; Fife; and Perth and Kinross. The agency said: “Heavy rain is expected to cross during the early of hours of Friday and Friday morning.
“Flooding to low-lying areas from rivers and small watercourses is possible.
“The intensity of the rain may also cause some surface water flooding, particularly in built up areas or on low-lying roads.”