Scotland Braced For Storm Barbara Battering
22 December 2016, 16:14
Weather warnings covering Storm Barbara have been slightly reduced but winds up to 90mph are still expected to batter parts of the country.
Met Office amber ''be prepared'' notices for the Highlands, Orkney and Shetland had initially been in place from Friday afternoon until the early hours of Christmas Eve, but they now only cover up to midnight on Friday.
Yellow ''be aware'' notices have been issued for the same regions on Christmas Eve when winds could reach speeds of 65mph.
Flood alerts are also in place for the Highlands and Western Isles, as well as Skye and the Scottish Borders - some areas badly affected by storms at the same time last year.
The Scottish Government said it is being regularly updated on the expected impact on travel across the country.
The rest of Scotland, pockets of Northern Ireland, north Wales and the north of England are also due to feel the force of Storm Barbara on Friday.
Scotland's Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: ''Ministers are getting regular updates on the status of Storm Barbara and the likely impacts, with gusts of 90mph expected across the far north of the country tomorrow where the Met Office has an amber warning in place.
''Our multi-agency response team, involving partner organisations such as Police Scotland, is active at the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre to monitor conditions and make sure that the public has the latest information, and I will be back at the control centre myself tomorrow morning.''
He added: ''The safety of the travelling public is our main concern and services will run where possible, but planning in advance is essential and people should leave plenty of time for journeys and consider the conditions and when they travel.
''We are working with all involved to get people to where they want to be safely so they can enjoy the festive season with their friends and family.''
Brent Walker, Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, said: ''Storm Barbara is crossing the Atlantic and will pass close to the north-west of the UK during Friday, bringing the potential for some disruption to power supplies and travel, and possibly structural damage.
''Whatever your plans over the next few days, it's worthwhile staying up to date with the latest Met Office forecasts.''
Storms are only named when they are deemed to have the potential to cause a substantial impact in the UK or Ireland.
Storm Barbara is only the second name designated this season, which began on October 1, after Storm Angus.
Last season, 11 storms were named up to Katie in March.