An amber weather warning has been issued for Scotland’s central belt, with winds of up to 90mph set to batter parts of the country on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Met Office has officially named two low pressure systems that will bring spells of very strong winds and potentially snow later in the week.
A yellow weather warning is in place for the whole of Scotland from 3pm on Wednesday until 6pm on Thursday, while an amber warning applies for the central belt, the Inner Hebrides, the Borders and southern Scotland from 6pm on Wednesday until 9am on Thursday.
Storm Dudley will cross the northern half of the UK from Wednesday night into Thursday morning, while Storm Eunice will bring strong winds and potentially some snow on Friday.
STV weather presenter Philip Petrie said: “This morning the Met Office have officially named our next two storms, Dudley and Eunice.
“In recent weeks it seems Scotland has been bombarded by storms, and stormy conditions, after what had been a somewhat quiet start to winter.
“This week, things are starting off relatively quiet, with both Monday and Tuesday seeing a mixture of sunny spells and wintry showers.
“For Wednesday, it will be a somewhat settled start to the day, light winds, a bit of cloud and rain across the south with some dry and bright conditions in the north. However very quickly things will go downhill.
“Throughout the afternoon we have frontal systems moving in from the west bringing a band of rain and hill snow that will be pushed through quite quickly by the strong winds. But it is overnight that Storm Dudley moves through and we see the strongest winds, gusting 80-90mph around the coasts and on hills, but even away from those winds we will see 70-80mph winds widely across the whole of Scotland.
“This is obviously quite concerning as we are coming off the back of a couple of storms where the clean-up operation is still ongoing.”
Strong winds will cross western Scotland and Northern Ireland on Wednesday evening, pushing eastward to northern England overnight and through Thursday morning.
Wind gusts of 80mph-90mph are possible on exposed coasts and hills of Scotland, with 60mph-70mph possible further inland.
Philip said: “Our next area of concern will be the snow that moves in on the back edge of Dudley through Thursday morning. We’ll be in a northerly airflow dragging in bitterly cold air so we could see a lot of snow even down to lower levels.
“The winds will eventually ease throughout Thursday and things will start to dry up. By Friday, Storm Eunice begins to move in, with the strongest and most concerning winds across northern England, Wales and southern England.
“For us in Scotland the snow will be our main risk once again, as the leading edge of Eunice could bring some snow across areas south of the central belt, but we will be keeping an eye on this towards the end of the week.”
The warning comes just weeks after thousands of homes in Scotland were left without power for days after Storm Malik and Storm Corrie battered parts of the country, causing widespread damage.
Transport Scotland said road, rail, air and ferry services are all likely to be affected by the conditions, with longer journey times and cancellations possible, as well as potential restrictions on bridges.
The strong winds could also lead to fallen trees, damage to buildings and power cuts.
Transport minister Jenny Gilruth said: “The high winds will likely bring challenges for the trunk road network, with the potential for restrictions on bridges, so travellers should make sure they plan their journey in advance, drive to the conditions and follow Police Scotland travel advice.”
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