Met Office issues amber alert over Ophelia impact

GOB | News | UK    Last update: 16/10/2017 09:24:17

Strong winds and heavy rain are expected to hit parts of Scotland as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia reach the UK and Ireland on Monday. The Met Office has extended an amber "be prepared" warning to cover the south-west of the country. It is valid from 12:00 to 23:00. A yellow "be aware" warning remains in place across much of southern and central Scotland.

A further alert of strong winds is in place for many places on Tuesday.

Hurricane Ophelia - latest updates

Ophelia, which is on its way from the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean, is forecast to gradually weaken but maintain hurricane force winds until it reaches Ireland. On Sunday, the Met Office issued Northern Ireland with an amber "potential danger to life" warning. That was subsequently extended to cover south-west Scotland. M

Met Office warning latestImage copyrightMET OFFICE Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said disruption should be expected during rush hour on Monday evening and on Tuesday morning. "The impacts will be felt at evening peak today across the west and then in central and southern Scotland the morning peak will probably feel some impact as well," he told BBC Scotland.

"The main message to commuters is when that yellow warning kicks in from 12:00 today, right the way through to effectively 15:00 tomorrow in different parts of Scotland, do check the Traffic Scotland website. "Expect disruption whether you're on the trunk road network, ferries, whether you're taking a flight and even of course on the trains as well. Do expect some level of disruption so check ahead." The Met Office warned on Sunday that areas covered by the weather warnings could see longer journey times with possible cancellations to rail, air and ferry services. The forecaster added: "Some damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs could happen, perhaps leading to injuries and danger to life from flying debris. "Coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities may be affected by spray and/or large waves."

'Dangerous and unpredictable'

The charity RNLI said the weather conditions could make seas around coastal areas "particularly dangerous and unpredictable". Lifesaving manager Matt Crofts said: "Stormy conditions may be tempting to watch but big waves can easily knock you off your feet. "The sea is far more powerful than you think and your chances of survival are slim if you are dragged into the swell."

Meanwhile, Scottish airline Loganair has offered free flight changes to customers who face weather disruption on some of its west coast routes. Managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: "Weather forecasts indicate that high winds and rain will impact the west of Scotland from Monday afternoon through to Tuesday lunchtime. "The possibility of weather disruption to our flights is increased, and we're therefore offering customers booked to travel on certain routes on Monday and Tuesday the opportunity to voluntarily re-arrange their travel without charge."