Scotland weather: Storms and hurricane-force winds to batter nation this weekend

Scotland has been told to brace for a succession of storms, beginning on Saturday morning and not letting up until midnight on Monday.

Only Sunday will provide any respite from rain and hurricane-force winds, expected to touch 80mph.

Only Sunday will provide any respite from rain and hurricane-force winds, expected to touch 80mph.

The warnings come as last month was confirmed as providing the warmest December temperature ever seen in the UK.

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The mercury soared to 18.7C (65F) at Achfary in the Highlands on December 28, smashing the existing record which had stood since 1948.

Met Office weather warnings

Since the New Year, however, a 230mph Jetstream has been firing a series of low pressure systems across the Atlantic.

The latest arrived on our shores last night, promising a “horrible” day across much of the country for the first day of the weekend.

A yellow Met Office ‘be aware’ warning has been issued for a wide area of west central Scotland, an area to the north of Glasgow stretching almost as far as Inverness.

The atrocious conditions are expected to last until 9pm tonight.

Rainfall totals of 40-60mm (up to two inches) have been forecast quite widely, with more than 100mm (four inches) over high ground in Argyll.

According to the Met Office, this could cause “fast-flowing or deep floodwater” in the danger areas, leading to some homes being inundated.

Spray and standing water will lead to difficult driving conditions and may cause some roads to be closed.

Similar warnings for heavy rain have also been imposed on south west Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway and Lothian and Borders, including the route of the M74.

On the east coast and overlapping into The Borders, the warning in place is for wind, in almost the exact same area hammered by severe gales on Tuesday, which saw two lorries blown over on the A1.

Bonnie Diamond of the Met Office said:”We are looking at gusts of up to 70mph, similar to what this part of the country experienced earlier in the week.

“These winds will affect high-sided vehicles and could cause delays on the roads and bridges.

“The warning is in place from early Saturday until 6pm. It will be a horrible day cross Scotland.”

Police have not yet said whether the A1 will be subject to similar restrictions imposed for much of Tuesday, when it was closed to all traffic between Haddington Junction and Thistly Cross. In addition, drivers of high sided vehicles were told to stay off the entire road from Edinburgh to the English border.

Sunday will be the best day of the weekend before things deteriorate once more on Monday.

Yet another low pressure system crashes into the country, resulting in warnings of gusts of up to 80mph on the west coast.

Ferry services are likely to be decimated, during the warning period which extends from noon until midnight.

Ms Diamond of the Met Office added:”I’m afraid it’s a downward spiral as we go into the new working week. The whole of the west of the UK lies within the warning area but Scotland is in the firing line for the strongest winds.

“Heavy rain will accompany it but this zips through quite quickly. After a fairly quiet December, we are now entering a more active period of weather.

“It’s just one low pressure system after another and I would not be surprised if there are more warnings for Tuesday night into Wednesday.

“In any case, there’s wind, rain and more snow to come for Scotland.”

Three day forecast:

Saturday: Heavy rain for western and central parts, strong winds in east and south. Max 12C (54F) Min 2C (35F)

Sunday: Winds easing, leaving bright spells with snow on high ground. Max 6C (42F) Min Minus 1C (30F)

Monday: Severe gales for far west, bringing band of rain. Max 8C (46F) Min 4C (39F)