More heavy rain and strong winds expected this week

Storm Babet sweeps into Scotland

Planning is underway ahead of another challenging few days of severe weather across much of Scotland.

Heavy downpours and severe winds are forecast for much of central and northern Scotland from Thursday morning through to Saturday night.

The Met Office has warned Storm Babet will likely mean delays and disruption for road, rail and ferries over the next few days, with high-sided vehicles on exposed routes at risk. They have confirmed a high impact Amber warning for rain covering parts of Stirling, Perthshire, Aviemore, Moray, Angus, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City from Thursday morning (6am) until Friday evening (6pm), however, this is subject to continued review. Details are available on the Met Office website.

The warnings follow some of the heaviest rain Scotland has witnessed since the 1890s and could hit some already saturated and flooded areas.

The Multi Agency Response Team will be fully operational at the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre alongside the Transport Scotland Resilience Room to monitor conditions, respond to any major conditions, and to help co-ordinate messaging and communications.

The weekend of 7 and 8 October saw 100 to 150mm of rain falling widely across a swathe of the Southern and Central Highlands. The current forecast rainfall amounts indicate that some areas in northeast Scotland could see 150 to 200mm of rain over a two to three day period. The rain will be accompanied by strong east to south-easterly winds.

Stein Connelly, from Transport Scotland, said:

“We recently witnessed some of the most severe weather in Scotland since the 1890s, and another wave of challenging conditions is expected this week.

“I would again ask the public to plan ahead and be prepared. Check before your travel as your journey is likely to be affected by these latest severe weather warnings – whether by foot, bike, car, rail or ferry.

“The Multi Agency Response team will be in operation to monitor conditions and co-ordinate our response, however, the public can play a key role by delaying their journey, where appropriate.

“Latest Police Scotland advice is to expect a high risk of disruption, however, this could change over the next 24 hours, so please check the Traffic Scotland and Police Scotland social media updates and local radio bulletins for the very latest updates.”

Chief Superintendent Hilary Sloan, Head of Road Policing, said:

“Our advice is to plan ahead and consider if your journey is really necessary or if it can be delayed until conditions improve.

“Stopping distances can be at least double on wet roads compared to dry conditions, and spray can reduce driver visibility.

“If you need to travel, please drive to the conditions, be prepared for delays and allow extra time for your journey.”

Phil Campbell, ScotRail Customer Operations Director, said:

“The Met Office has issued weather warnings from Thursday through to Saturday, with an amber warning for heavy rain across eastern Scotland, and yellow warnings for heavy rain and high winds in central and northern Scotland.  

“We’ll continue to monitor the forecast, and teams will be working around the clock to deal with any weather-related incidents that Storm Babet brings. Our first priority is always to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.

“We ask customers who are planning to travel to keep an eye on our website, app or social media feeds for live updates.” 

Further information

UK weather warnings can be viewed on the Met Office website.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) issues flood alerts and warnings for Scotland. View the latest updates on the SEPA website.

BEAR Scotland manages and maintains the trunk roads in Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland. For updates on the A83 Rest and Be Thankful, visit the BEAR Scotland website.

Updates on ScotRail services and road conditions are available online, both on the ScotRail website and Traffic Scotland website.

Advice on preparing for severe weather can be found on the Ready Scotland website.

Published 17 Oct 2023