Scotland braces for disruption as Storm Malik weather alert upgraded to amber

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Storm Malik expected to bring 'disruption' as weather alert is upgraded to amber
Storm Malik expected to bring 'disruption' as weather alert is upgraded to amber

THE Met Office has upgraded a weather warning from "yellow" to "amber" with gusts of up to 80mph forecast to hit Scotland.

Storm Malik will bring very strong winds and disruption across eastern Scotland on Saturday, according to the Met Office.

An amber weather alert for Tayside & Fife, Grampian and southwest Scotland has been put in place now from 7am and 3pm on Saturday.

From 4am on Saturday, January 29, the majority of Scotland will remain covered by the yellow weather warning for wind until at least 3pm.

Forecasters have warned that an area of strong winds will cross Scotland on Saturday morning before easing during the afternoon.

The Met Office said: "An area of very strong west or northwest winds will cross Scotland on Saturday morning in association with Storm Malik before easing during the afternoon.

"The strongest winds are expected in the east of Scotland later in the morning.

"Gusts of widely 50-60 mph are likely with a short period of gusts in excess of 75 mph, particularly for Moray and North Aberdeenshire as well as the Lothians."

An amber weather warning means there is an increased likelihood of impacts from severe weather.

People travelling have been warned that road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible and some roads and bridges may close.

Network Rail has warned that there will be speed restrictions on some Scottish lines due to the high winds.

Speed restrictions will be introduced on parts of the Dundee-Aberdeen, Aberdeen-Inverness, Far North, West Highland and Kyle lines on Saturday morning into the early afternoon.

The East Coast Mainline, North Berwick branch line, and Borders Railway will also be affected.

The speed restrictions are being introduced for safety reasons as the wind speed predicted can blow trees and other debris onto the tracks and cause damage to overhead power lines.

Due to the adverse weather conditions passengers within Scotland, and those travelling south from Edinburgh, should allow extra time for their journeys and check with their train operator about any changes to services.

Scotland’s Railway staff will be working over the course of the storm to keep lines open and safe for passengers and freight customers.

Liam Sumpter, Network Rail route director for Scotland, said: “The safety of our customers and colleagues is our first consideration during severe weather. We are monitoring the conditions very closely and have teams in place across the country ready to react quickly to any damage caused by the weather.”

There has also been warning that power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage.

Some damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs, could happen and injuries and danger to life could occur from flying debris as well as from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.

On the Shetland Islands, the yellow weather warning will be in place slightly from 12pm until 8pm on Saturday.

Two further yellow weather warnings are also in place on Sunday night and Monday night across the whole country from 6pm until midnight.

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