Amber rain warning
An amber warning for heavy rain in the south of Scotland has been issued by the Met Office, as Storm Ciara is set to bring significant disruption to Scotland.
The amber warning covers an area of central southern Scotland and will be in place from 2am until 10am on Sunday. A yellow warning for strong winds is in place for the whole of Scotland throughout Sunday. Police Scotland is warning of a high risk of disruption to the transport network, and there is also potential for problems with flooding and power supplies.
The rain and wind will bring difficult driving conditions, such as reduced visibility and surface water . Gusts could potentially reach over 70mph in some parts with bridge restrictions likely as a result of the conditions, especially for high sided vehicles.
A separate yellow warning for snow and wind is in place from early Monday morning through to noon on Tuesday, and will likely bring disruption to the transport network. Air, ferry and rail travellers could also face delays and cancellations during this period of adverse weather, so passengers should check with their operators ahead of time.
The Multi-Agency Response Team, based at the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre in South Queensferry, is operational for the duration of the warning to monitor conditions and help deploy response teams where necessary. Traffic Scotland is also be providing updates on social media, website and radio broadcasts.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:
“The Met Office is telling us that we are facing a prolonged period of adverse weather, with Storm Ciara bringing strong winds and rain to most of Scotland this weekend.
“We’re also being told to expect snow and high winds throughout Monday and on Tuesday morning, so there is the potential for significant disruption on the trunk road network, as well as other modes of transport.
“It’s important that people check the latest information before they set off, drive to the conditions and follow Police Scotland travel advice. The Traffic Scotland service gives details of ‘wind based’ closures for the bridges on trunk road network, allowing people to plan ahead accordingly.
“Motorists should check Traffic Scotland before they set off to make sure that their route is available. The Traffic Scotland mobile website - my.trafficscotland.org - lets people get the latest information on the move and Traffic Scotland twitter page is updated regularly.
“The conditions are also likely to lead to disruption on other modes of transport, so we are urging people to take the weather into account if they are planning to travel on trains, ferries and flights.”
Inspector Davy Hynd of Police Scotland's Road Policing Unit said:
"There is a high risk of disruption in the affected area and, if you do travel, you are likely to experience significant delays. If you must travel please plan your route, as well as alternative routes, in advance.
"Ensure that you and your vehicle are adequately prepared for the conditions, making sure you have sufficient fuel and supplies in the event you are delayed for extended periods of time.
"Adhere to all signage and restrictions, as they are in place to ensure your safety. High-sided vehicles, in particular, should drive with extreme caution and may be subject to additional restrictions."
Nigel Goody, SEPA Duty Flood Manager, said:
“15 Regional Flood Alerts & 18 Local Flood Warnings are now in force from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
“Storm Ciara has arrived with a dangerous combination of high tides, high storm surge & high inshore waves across coastal areas. Avoid crashing waves and follow the advice of emergency services and local councils.
“As well as coastal impacts, increased confidence in heavy rainfall cross Borders and Dumfries & Galloway means minor river flooding impacts are likely with significant impacts possible. Avoid driving or walking through flood waters.
“For the latest information on regional flood alerts and local flood warnings, or to sign up to Floodline call 0345 988 1188 or visit www.floodlinescotland.org.uk”.