Storm Caroline: Danger to life alert as ‘devastating winds’ to hit parts of Scotland

High wind warning signs on the Tay Road Bridge (Kris Miller / DC Thomson)

SEVERE gales are beginning to strengthen across parts of the UK as Storm Caroline arrives – with forecasters warning of a danger to life amid “devastating” gusts in some areas.

The Met Office has issued an amber “be prepared” weather warning for northern Scotland on Thursday.

High winds were already picking up in the early hours, with gusts of up to 90mph expected to batter the region through the morning.

Train services in the north and west of the country have been cancelled, while Traffic Scotland is warning of potential disruptions on the road.

Met Office meteorologist John West said: “Storm Caroline is well on its way across northern parts of the UK.

“There will be devastating winds in some parts. More broadly across Scotland there will be 60-70mph gusts, but in exposed areas we could see 90mph.”

The strong wind warning is valid from 6am until 11.55pm on Thursday, with an amber warning for northern Scotland.

A yellow “be aware” warning is in force for the southern half of Scotland and parts of the north of Northern Ireland between 6am and 6pm as well.

The Met Office has warned of flying debris that could lead to injuries or danger to life, while damage to property is also possible.

Train services have been suspended between Aberdeen and Inverness, Inverness and Wick, Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh as well some Glasgow Queen Street routes to the west coast.

Scotland’s Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “With stormy weather expected across the north of Scotland we would urge people to check with their operators before they travel, especially if they are planning a ferry journey.

“There may also be bridge restrictions, particularly for high-sided vehicles, and we would urge road users to check the latest information on wind thresholds on the Traffic Scotland website to see where this is likely.”

Trampoline on the line disrupts rail services between Neilston and Glasgow

A North Sea platform shut down production due to safety fears over weather conditions caused by Storm Caroline.

CNR International said it would remove all of the 159 staff on Ninian South, about 240 miles from Aberdeen, from the structure as a precaution.

Meanwhile, Storm Caroline also brings a frontal system, which will mean a wet and windy start for the southern half of the UK, before cold temperatures set in.

During Thursday afternoon a mixture of sleet and snow showers will work their way across the whole of Britain, with the potential for blizzard conditions in Scotland.

The wintry showers will become more widespread over the next 24 hours, with forecasters also issuing a yellow severe weather warning for snow and ice on Friday.

It covers much of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and parts of northern and western England.

All schools and nurseries in Lewis, Harris and Uist in the Western Isles will be closed to pupils on Thursday as a precaution.

Caledonian MacBrayne ferry services between Tarbert and Lochranza, Oban and Tiree via Coll and Ullapool and Stornoway have been cancelled for the rest of the day, while many other routes are facing disruption.

In a statement on its website the company said: “Services across the CalMac network may be subject to delays or cancellation at short notice throughout the duration of the storm.

“We urge all customers planning to travel during this time to check their route Service Status ahead of their journey.”

The Forth Road Bridge and Tay Road Bridge are closed to double decker buses while the Skye and Kessock bridges are closed to high sided vehicles.

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