WEATHER FORECASTERS ARE warning of severe or hazardous weather that has the potential to cause danger to life or widespread disruption.
Yellow and Amber alerts have been issued as Storm Gertrude approaches from the west, promising winds of up to 70mph throughout Scotland.
ScotRail has already suspended several west coast train services schedule for tomorrow morning (Friday) because of an Amber alert while most of Moray may get off lightly – but can still expect heavy rainfall and high winds.
A Met Office warning says: “West to south westerly gales are expected to develop widely across Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of northern England early on Friday. Winds are expected to widely gust 60-70 mph, possibly up to 80 mph along exposed coasts and over hills.
“Be prepared for the likelihood of difficult driving conditions and disruption to travel, such as cancellation to ferry services and bridge closures. Some structural damage is also possible, as well as disruption to power supplies. Heavy rain and surface water will be additional hazards in places.
“We warn the public and emergency responders of severe or hazardous weather which has the potential to cause danger to life or widespread disruption through our National Severe Weather Warning Service.”
Rail disruption will effect services between Perth and Inverness which have been suspended for Friday morning, as are services between Inverness and Thurso, Wick and Kyle. East Coast services and the Aberdeen to Inverness line is expected to run but anyone intending to travel is advised to check before they leave home.
Phil Verster, ScotRail Alliance managing director, said: “We will be withdrawing some services until the worst of the storm has passed.
“The safety of our passengers and workforce is our top priority and we cannot run services on these lines until our engineers have thoroughly inspected the network for any damage. In order to get the most up to date information about their journey, customers should check our website or app before setting out to travel. Leaving more time for travel is also advised.
“We will be monitoring the weather conditions closely throughout the day and have specialist teams ready to deploy quickly to deal with any issues caused by the storm.
“We are also working closely with our industry partners to limit disruption while maintaining a safe network for passengers.”