Weather Watch: Severe weather batters Scotland

Posted on December 8, 2011

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Police have advised people in central Scotland not to travel, as severe winds start to batter the country.

The Met Office has issued its highest warning, a red alert, and severe disruption across central and southern Scotland is expected during the day.

Hundreds of schools have been shut and bridge and road closures are causing disruption. 90mph winds are expected.

Parts of England and Northern Ireland are also being hit by extreme wind and rain.

You can see regular updates on the BBC News live page, and find out more about school closures on our special page on the disruption in each council area.

A gust of 89mph has been recorded in Tiree. The Ski area at Aonach Mor, just outside Fort William in the Highlands has reported a wind gust of 130 mph.

Central Scotland Police Assistant Chief Constable Allan Moffat, speaking on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, said: “The advice for motorists across the central belt of Scotland is to avoid travel, as the severe weather moves across the country from west to east, starting around noon on the west side of the country.

“It is expected that the impact of the weather will affect the east side of the country from 2pm onwards.

“This advice to avoid travel is not given lightly but is based on the clearest information yet from weather forecasters that there will be high winds with gusts of up to 90 miles per hour.”

The Forth Road Bridge was closed to all traffic, after a gust of 84mph was recorded, and is expected to stay shut until 18:00.

The Scottish government’s resilience committee has been meeting to assess the changing situation.

Police are warning of the potential for serious travel disruption, with gusts of more than 80mph expected in places.

Flooding in a number of areas has also caused problems, including road closures.

Train operator ScotRail said it had been forced to cut services, with a temporary timetable coming into force, as Network Rail imposed a 50mph speed restriction.

Commuters have also been advised to consider leaving work early because of the possibility of afternoon rush-hour disruption.

The Erskine Bridge was also closed.

The government said schools across west, central and southern Scotland should either not open or close early.

BBC (Video)

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