Scotland weather: Warnings of 70mph gusts as Storm Ellen sweeps across country

Gusts of up to 70mph could hit coastal areas as Storm Ellen moves on and leaves more wet and windy weather in its wake.

A train passes in Saltcoats on the west coast of North Ayrshire as gusts of up to 70mph could hit coastal areas as Storm Ellen moves on and leaves more wet and windy weather in its wake.
A train passes in Saltcoats on the west coast of North Ayrshire as gusts of up to 70mph could hit coastal areas as Storm Ellen moves on and leaves more wet and windy weather in its wake.

A Met Office yellow warning is in place until 6pm today, with predictions that strong winds will hit this morning’s rush hour and won’t let up until commuters head home tonight.

The extreme west of the country suffered the effects of Storm Ellen yesterday, with dozens of ferries cancelled or suspended. A wind speed of 62mph was recorded on South Uist.

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The warnings come a week after flash flooding across the country as thunderstorms caused torrential downpours.

Cal Mac used its Twitter feed to plead: ”We are experiencing a high number of calls. Please visit calmac.co.uk to book if possible.”

The 08.15 sailing from Claonaig was unable to berth at Lochranza due to the high winds and the vessel was forced to return to Claonaig.

The Gourock to Dunoon service was suspended and all sailings were cancelled for the day on the routes between Oban and Colonsay and Mallaig to Lochboisdale. The ferry operator said services today would be liable to “delay or cancellation”.

In Port Glasgow and in Perth, rail services were disrupted by road vehicles striking overhead bridges.

Last night road operator Bear Scotland was forced to close the Old Military Road in Argyll for the third night in a row.

The route is a relief road for the A83, blocked by a 6,000 tonne landslide at the Rest and Be Thankful at the start of this month.

It was feared rock and mud destabilised by the fall on 4 August could once more come crashing down onto the carriageway.

Bear spokesman Eddie Ross said:”We understand the frustration in closing the Old Military Road however, we need to put the safety of road users first.”

The A68 remains closed at Fala after half of the carriageway was washed away by last week’s storms.

Police Scotland used social media yesterday to warn that they had detected drivers speeding on the alternative route, the A7.

Bonnie Diamond of the Met Office said:”We are expecting possible flooding and continued ferry disruption on Friday morning.

“Another major issue will be a heavy pulse of rain, moving through Glasgow and the Central Belt during the morning rush hour.

“The same thing happened around this time last year, so for the second year in a row, we are experiencing a stormy end to summer.

“Rain clears away to the north during the day, to be replaced by blustery showers.” 
The Met Office yellow warning covers much of the south of Scotland, including Edinburgh. It predicts delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport. Power cuts are possible and coastal communities could see sea fronts affected by large waves.

Wind gusts of 45-50mph are expected quite widely inland, with 55-60mph possible over hills and coasts.

Met Éireann, the Irish meteorological service, named the storm Ellen. It is the first time a storm has been named during August.

Almost 194,000 homes and businesses in Ireland were hit by power cuts after the storm swept across the country.

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