Scotland weather: High winds cause disruption

BBC reporter James Cook is buffeted by the winds in Ayrshire

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Winds gusting up to 80 mph have hit parts of Scotland causing disruption to Christmas travel.

The Northern and Western Isles were the worst affected areas, with many ferries and flights cancelled.

Power supplier SSE said about 800 were without power in the north of Scotland but this was down from 3,500 earlier.

These were mainly around the Deeside area, Buchan, Fort William and Wick. Scottish Power said it had no significant problems in its area.

What about Christmas?

There'll still be severe gale force winds and frequent showers across the north, but central and southern Scotland will see things quietening down with winds gradually easing.

Christmas Day will start very windy in the north with further showers, the snow level by this stage lifting to around 400 metres.

Central and southern Scotland will see just a few showers and some sunshine.

Boxing Day will prove the most settled day of the week, with a lot of dry weather to come, before another winter storm sweeps in on Friday.

SSE said it would continue working to get its customers connected as soon as possible.

There have also been multiple warnings of flooding from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

However, it said the situation across Scotland was improving and river levels were falling.

At the start of the day there were 26 flood warnings in place.

There are still warnings are in place for Argyll and Bute, Ayrshire and Arran, Tayside and West Central Scotland.

The gales lashing the Hebrides led to the cancellation of all Caledonian MacBrayne's ferry sailings between Ullapool and Stornoway and Uig and Tarbert.

In an unprecedented move, CalMac said it would attempt to put on special sailings from Skye to North Uist and Harris on Christmas Day.

Hugh Harrop's footage shows the FlyBe plane turning sideways as it takes off

P&O Ferries had suspended sailings between the Northern Ireland port of Larne and Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway but they have since resumed.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said the main disruption had been to ferries.

He said: "Scotland is currently experiencing a significant winter storm, however, these are not unusual conditions for this time of year and I urge people to follow advice and take sensible precautions."

The strongest wind gusts were recorded at Peterhead (82 mph) and Inverbervie (77 mph) in Aberdeenshire.

There were also strong gusts in Edinburgh (75 mph), South Uist (75 mph), Tiree (74 mph), Stornoway (73 mph) and Wick (71 mph).

The Ayrshire town of Largs was battered by high winds The Ayrshire town of Largs was battered by high winds
glencoe Glencoe experienced blizzard conditions
Travel disruption

Strong winds also affected all the main bridges, with the Skye, Forth, Friarton, Kessock and Dornoch Bridges closed to high-sided vehicles.

Part of the roof of Thurso High School was blown off, causing damage to cars parked nearby.

High winds damaged a building in Elgin and two large carnival rides in Edinburgh have been closed for safety reasons.

BBC Weather's Matt Taylor says conditions will be calmer over the weekend but there is "more wild weather to come"

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