Ferry disruption warning as severe gales and rain batter Scotland
Winds as strong as 70mph are expected to hit the Western Isles on Thursday evening.
Severe gales are expected to cause major disruption to ferry services across Scotland.
Winds as strong as 70mph will hit the north and west of the country on Thursday evening.
Ferry operator CalMac has warned several services may be affected, including the Ullapool to Stornoway and Berneray to Leverburgh routes.
A CalMac spokesman said: “Due to adverse weather, sailings may be disrupted at short notice. CalMac Ferries apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”
NorthLink said that passengers travelling on the Stromness to Scrabster route face delays. The Lerwick to Aberdeen freight vessel MV Helliar is expected to leave two hours early.
STV weatherman Sean Batty said gales and wet weather would develop across the north and west of Scotland on Thursday.
He said: “Winds will strengthen through the day, with gales developing by the evening.
“The strongest winds will be over the Western Isles, where severe gales will develop. Winds may gust up to 70mph through the Minches. The Shetland and Orkney islands could expect gusts of up to 60mph.
“Although low-level disruption may not be great, this is the first very windy spell in some time. After the second driest September on record for Scotland, we’ll also see the first spell of very wet weather for some time.
“Overnight into Friday a band of heavy rain will move south across the country, before coming north again during Friday evening. This shouldn’t lead to any major issues, although there is the risk of some surface flooding.
“It does look as if we’re moving into a more unsettled phase of weather, which will last for at least the next week, with further spells of wet and windy weather. It will also feel much cooler at times, too.”