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Published on : Thursday, January 28, 2016
A year after the most powerful storm affected the British Isles for more than 20 years, Scotland has started making plans to weather storm Gertrude which is expected to batter the country on Friday. The Met Office has forecasted that the storm will bring heavy rain, high winds, snow and ice to Scotland paralysing normal life and disrupting traffic.
The Met Office has issued amber “be prepared” and yellow “be aware” warnings for Scotland and large parts of the rest of the UK. Two amber warnings for high winds are in place.
The first amber warning issued covers western, central and parts of eastern Scotland and includes a forecast of winds gusting to 60mph or 70mph across wide areas and to 80mph on exposed coasts.
An amber warning for winds gusting to 90mph has been issued for the Northern Isles.
The Met Office has also issued a yellow warning of rain falling to 40mm-60mm over western Scotland and north of central Scotland on Friday. A separate yellow warning of snow and freezing temperatures covers from 21:00 on Friday to 15:00 on Saturday.
Gale or severe gale force winds have also been forecast by the Met Office for Monday.
Showers, frequent and heavy at times, will turn increasingly to snow through Friday evening, the Met Office said.
“The heaviest snow showers are most likely to the north of the central belt of Scotland. Here, away from the immediate coast, around five to 10cm of snow could accumulate through Friday night and Saturday morning.
“Elsewhere, snow accumulations will be more localised, around 1cm to 3 cm is possible and primarily above 200m,” according to the Met Office.
ScotRail has announced a raft of train cancellations and reduced services for Friday.
West coast ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne has also warned of disruption to its services.
Schools on the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland will remain closed on Friday.
Flood alerts and flood warnings has also been issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
Jim Fraser, the Scottish Borders Council’s emergency planning officer, said: “Given the number and content of the weather warnings issued, and the current ground conditions, we are preparing for a significant and extended weather event across the region.