Scotland weather: Storm Barra 'weather bomb' set to bring 70mph and heavy snow

Swathes of Scotland robbed of power by Storm Arwen just 10 days ago have been told to brace for another ‘explosive’ event from the Atlantic on Tuesday.

Warnings for severe weather have been issued by the Met Office, ranging from heavy snow in the central belt to 70mph winds across Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth and Kinross.

Thousands of homes found themselves without supply for up to a week after 90mph winds devastated the east coast on the night of November 26.

Repair crews from power companies have had little time to catch breath after meteorologists warned electricity lines could once more be felled by what is officially described as a weather ‘bomb’.

A system qualifies as a weather ‘bomb’ if its centre deepens by 24 millibars in 24 hours. It is expected the one building out in the Atlantic Ocean will deepen even further than that.

The Irish weather service, Met Eireann, named it “Storm Barra” yesterday as the island’s west coast is expected to take the full force of the tempest from Monday night onwards. The Met Office here followed suit in naming the weather event.

“It is not good news,” said forecaster Dan Stroud. “There is a deep area of low pressure out in the Atlantic. As it approaches, it deepens explosively.

“As it comes in, it is going to bring in a wide band of rain, bumping into cold air over Scotland and turning readily to snow.

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“The west will escape the worst of the winds, which will be confined to the east coast, from north to south.

“Here, we are looking at gusts quite widely of 45-50mph, but in exposed locations on the coasts, this could range between 60 and 70mph.

“It’s not going to be particularly pleasant, especially where high winds result in drifting snow.”

The first met Office yellow warning kicks in at 9am on Tuesday, when strong winds work their way across Scotland, peaking as they reach the east coast in the afternoon. Sea fronts are expected to be hit by high waves and the power supply could be interrupted once more.

Delays can be expected on the transport network, including the closure of some bridges to high-sided vehicles. Bus and train services could also take longer, though winds are expected to ease inland as we go into the later part of the night, with the official wind warning ending at midnight.

As well as the east coast, the severe gales will also hit Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders.

At 11am on Tuesday another severe warning, this time for snow, comes into force for large areas of west-central Scotland, including Central, Tayside and Fife, south west Scotland, Lothian and Borders, Strathclyde and even as far north as Highland and Grampian.

The warning states: “A band of rain will turn to snow across Northern England and Scotland through Tuesday.

“Two to five centimetres is expected to accumulate quite widely across the area, but locally this could reach 10 cm, particularly in parts of the Southern Uplands and Highlands.

“Strong south easterly winds will also lead to snow drifting in places, particularly over the highest routes, adding to poor visibilities.”

In addition to the hazards expected due to high winds in the east, weathermen say there is a chance some communities could be cut off in the blizzards. This warning also expires at midnight.

Storm Barra is the second-named storm of the season, after Arwen in late November.

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