Storm Babet: Multiple warnings for extreme rain and flooding across Scotland

Met Office alert upgraded to amber as 'heavy and prolonged' rainfall and strong winds expected to hit parts of Scotland.

The second named storm of the season is to hit Scotland with a “danger to life” amber alert coming into force.

The country will see a return of heavy downpours with multiple severe weather warnings in place for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Met Office upgraded its alert to amber in the north east as Storm Babet batters the country.

The storm is set to bring a month’s worth of rain within 48 hours across parts of the country. Locally, areas of Angus will see two month’s of rain in the same time.

A yellow warning for rain comes into force from 6am on Thursday, covering all of lowland Scotland, all of the north east, and much on the inland Highlands. It ends at 6am on Saturday.

A yellow warning for wind is in force from 6am on Thursday, covering most of Fife and all of the mainland north of St Andrews, as well as Shetland and Orkney. It ends at midday on Friday.

An amber warning for rain comes into force at 6am on Thursday over Perthshire, Angus and Aberdeenshire. It ends at 6pm on Friday.

It comes after much of Scotland suffered widespread flooding earlier this month.

“Exceptionally wet” conditions are expected for eastern Scotland with a “threat to life” amber warning for rain in force between 6am on Thursday and 6pm on Friday.

People have been urged to prepare if they are in an affected area.

There is concern that surface water flooding may be exacerbated by debris blocking drainage and culverts as a result of the high winds.

Gusts in excess of 60mph are possible in eastern and northern Scotland from Thursday.

The warnings follow some of the heaviest rain Scotland has witnessed since the 1890s.

Earlier this month, parts of Scotland saw up to three weeks worth of rain fall over a short period of time, leading to businesses and homes being flooded and areas cut off due to landslips.

It comes after the body of a man swept away in the River Tay was discovered.

Power and phone lines could be impacted while drivers have been urged to take care due to dangerous conditions.

The country’s 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.

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.”

Philip Petrie
Insight Philip Petrie STV weather presenter

“As of Monday morning Storm Babet has been named – a system that will affect parts of Scotland from Wednesday to Friday, and multiple warnings have already been issued,” said STV weather presenter Philip Petrie.

“On Sunday the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for rain, starting Thursday and lasting until Saturday – and for the Met Office to issue a warning that far in advance, it normally means something significant is on the way.

“This is our second named storm of the season, and it will approach us from the south west late Tuesday, moving through across the second half of the week.

“The cause of concern is that at times the rain will linger for prolonged spells because the frontal systems that bring the rain stall across Scotland. High pressure across Scandinavia will block the rain from going anywhere which will lead to some high totals of rain, affecting areas where the ground is already saturated. We could see up to a month’s worth of rain in two to three days across parts of Angus, south east Grampian and Stirling.

“Along with this we see strong south easterly winds bringing gales along eastern coasts and on the tops of the hills.

“This will be a developing story, so we will be keeping an eye on things over the next couple of days, with further warnings likely to be issued by the Met Office.”

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