The islands are already being hit by gale force winds this morning (Tuesday) as the region braces itself for increasingly stormy weather in the run up to Christmas Day.
Strong winds across the Western Isles mean the majority of ferries are cancelled today (Christmas Eve).
A weather warning remains in place for gale force winds and the lowest pressure for over 120 years is expected to be recorded this morning.
The multi-agency Emergency Planning Group for the Western Isles,WIEPCG, met yesterday to discuss the severe weather forecast.
The following Amber Warning for Wind was received from the Met Office, valid from 4pm till midnight on Tuesday 24th December – ‘A deepdepression tracking north, to the west of Scotland, will bring a period of storm force winds with gusts 80 to 90 mph later on Tuesday, to affect western Scotland and then into the Northern Isles. The public should be prepared for disruption, particularly to travel, as
well as interruption to power supplies.’
A yellow warning has also been issued for the duration of the day with gust of 60-70mph forecast reaching up to 80mph.
All evening bus services will be cancelled tomorrow with the last bus departing from Stornoway at 4pm.
SEPA has issued a flood alert for the Western Isles – ‘A large surge is forecast to coincide with high tides on Tuesday, this has the potential to cause flooding in coastal reaches within the region.
Strong south west to westerly winds at this time also increase the risk of wave overtopping to exposed communities or roads. High water levels are expected in Stornoway at around 11:15 on Tuesday morning.’
CNES offices will be closing at 3pm, as will the Stornoway Library.
CnES Roads will be monitoring Seilebost Causeway and Uist causeways. The Bràighe will also be monitored.
The severe weather may cause further disruption to services. Updates
will be provided via the Public Information section of the Comhairle’s
website at: http://blogserver.cne-siar.gov.uk/wp-notices/
MV Hebrides is due to make several crossings on the Uig-Lochmaddy-Tarbert route on Christmas Day. See facebook.com/StornowayGazette for updates.
For a very interesting link to see the storm approach, visit