Christmas travel disruption expected as Storm Pia brings gusty winds

Storm will likely lead to ferry cancellations and delays around the country on Thursday.

Christmas travel disruption expected as Storm Pia brings gusty winds ANDY BUCHANAN / Contributor via Getty Images

Festive travel could be disrupted with strong winds setting in until Christmas Day.

Storm Pia, named by the Danish Met Service, is set to move into the North Sea on Thursday.

This storm will likely lead to a lot of ferry disruption around the country on Thursday with cancellations and delays.

You might ask why the Met Office have not named it even though Scotland will be hit by strong and gusty winds, but it didn’t meet the criteria on the naming matrix which takes into account impacts and likelihood.

But for those trying to get ferries in and around Argyll and Bute and Ayrshire, you can check CalMac services affected here.

Elsewhere, at least after Thursday, most ferries will be able to run Friday and Saturday – but the Inner Hebrides and Arran should be watched.

Even though it didn’t meet our naming criteria the winds will still be very strong for Scotland with gusts widely around 50-60mph by Thursday morning across the whole country, including more built up areas of the mainland.

The worst of the winds from Storm Pia will be in the north and north east where 70-80mph can be expected for a time through the first half of the day.

The Northern Isles will take the brunt of the storm with gusts possibly reaching 90mph across Orkney for a while before slowly easing down in the afternoon.

Given the time of year, I know a lot of people will be planning journeys home for Christmas, if that involves a ferry, Friday should be better with lighter winds.

Although with winds staying strong in the south west, I’d expect disruption to continue on Argyll and Bute and Ayrshire ferries – and unfortunately the strong winds here continue through the weekend.

Strong winds extend to all parts again on Christmas Eve.

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