The first Autumn storm swept across Scotland yesterday, and residents experienced all four seasons in one day, bringing chaos to the winding roads.
Torrential rain, along with gale-force winds, turned into sunny periods, before the wet weather came back. The Cairngorms were hit by 100 mph gusts, with snow anticipated last night, and the Forth Road Bridge was closed to some vehicles after wind speeds of 69 mph were recorded.
The weather for windsurfers and kitesurfers competing at the Scottish Windfest at Barassie Beach in Troon, however, was perfect. Last night, a blanket “yellow warning” was issued that forecast blustery winds continuing on into today.
They said that high-altitude jetstream winds from the Atlantic pushing 200 mph – almost twice the usual – triggered the storm. It brought torrential rain yesterday morning, which flooded Nitshill Road and Thornliebank Road, in the south of Glasgow, with motorists in Dumfries suffering the worst driving conditions in the country with heavy spray on main roads.
The weather also caused severe disruption to Caledonian MacBrayne’s ferry timetable on the west coast, where dozens of sailings were either delayed or cancelled. Worst affected were the routes between Oban, Coll and Tiree, the new link between Ardrossan and Campbeltown, and the Tarbert to Portavadie crossing.
A spokesman for Cal Mac said: “Ferry services across the network have been badly affected by high winds.”
The weather is expected to continue to worsen into Monday and ferry travelers are advised to check their website for the latest information. Motorists were also warned by Traffic Scotland to be careful of high winds on the Skye, Friarton, Tay and Erskine bridges. There was also rail disruption on the roads: A tree fell on the overhead lines between Lockerbie and Carstairs, causing the west coast northbound routes to be disrupted, and flood warnings have been issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) in Ayrshire and Arran, Dumfries and Galloway and west central Scotland.
The CairnGorm railway was closed all morning yesterday with 100mph winds blasting the area, but it was opened by midday.
Their customer manager, said: “We’ve just been keeping a close eye on the weather today, making sure that visitors can come back down. “We’re expecting some snow tonight, but it’s unlikely to lie and will be restricted to the very top of the mountain.
“This sort of weather usually does mark the start of winter for us really. In the past there has been skiing in October, and people are anticipating a very good season.”
Tom Morgan, of the Met Office, said: “Scotland is only half-way there with the severe wind problems.”
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