Scotland weather: Scottish Government emergency committee called as 80mm of rain set to fall amid thunderstorm warnings
The Met Office forecasts heavy rain and storms through the centre of mainland Scotland with an amber warning, the second most serious alert, in place for thunder until 10pm on Tuesday.
A yellow warning is also in place for a wider swathe of the country, but most coastal areas in the east and west are again expected to miss the worst of the weather.
An amber warning for rain will also be in effect until 6am tomorrow in the north, while a yellow warning for downpours will also last until the same time, taking all but the far north east, far north and far west of the country.
The Scottish Government Resilience Room (Sgorr) has been convened to respond to the alert and ensure preparations are in place.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney warned Scots against flooding, saying: “The decision by the Met Office to issue the amber warning for thunderstorms signals a potentially damaging and dangerous risk of flooding in some areas.
“Flooding could happen quickly, even in areas not usually prone to flooding.
“Some communities might become cut off if roads flood, and power cuts might occur.
“Please take extra care if you are out and about, do not attempt to walk or drive through flood water, avoid camping near watercourses and ensure water conditions are safe if spending time in the water.
“The Scottish Government is in close contact with local authorities and the emergency services to ensure people in the affected areas receive the latest information, advice and support where needed.”
As much as 80mm of rain set to fall in some areas of the UK, with Scotland set to see “some of the heaviest rain”, according to Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington.
The extreme weather is already causing traffic disruption across the country.
Due to the heavy rainfall, speed restrictions on railway lines between Perth and Blair Atholl and between Dalwhinnie and Kingussie are in place.
Services between Glasgow Queen Street and Inverness and between Edinburgh and Inverness are subject to delays of up to 20 minutes.
The 4.37pm service from Edinburgh to Glasgow Queen Street had to be cancelled due to the heavy rainfall.
Douglas Cairns, Traffic Scotland’s operations support manager, warned drivers of what could be hazardous conditions due to heavy rain.
“It’s important people plan their journeys before they set off and make sure their routes are available,” he added.
“The Traffic Scotland Twitter page is regularly updated and the mobile website, my.trafficscotland.org, lets people get the latest information on the move.
“If you are planning to travel by train, ferry or plane, please check with operators to see if the conditions are having any impact on your services.”
While David Faichney, the duty flooding manager at the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), said: “It’s important that those out and about, holidaying, engaging in activities near rivers and streams or out hillwalking are aware of the hazards and stay safe.
“Some rivers and streams can rise to dangerous levels very quickly, so avoid camping near water and be very mindful of conditions if considering activities such as swimming or canoeing.
“Fifteen regional flood alerts have been issued, and people living and working in affected areas are advised to plan their journeys and consider the steps they need to take now to be prepared, including keeping flood protection products, such as sandbags, in place in high risk areas.”