Scotland

Warnings of heavy rain and high winds for Scotland

Met Office weather warnings Image copyright Met Office
Image caption The Met Office is warning of heavy rain and high winds

Warnings of heavy rain, flooding and high winds are in place for parts of Scotland until Thursday afternoon.

Met Office yellow "be aware" warnings for rain covers from 18:00 Wednesday to 08:00 Thursday and winds of up to 80mph from 21:00 Wednesday to 15:00 Thursday.

The heaviest rain has been forecast for Scotland's southern uplands and southern and central Highlands.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has issued four flood alert and nine flooding warnings.

They cover parts of Tayside, Dumfries, the Borders and Ayrshire and Arran.

Flooding has already affected parts of Perthshire and also the south of Scotland.

Winds gusting to 80mph have been forecast for the Western Isles between Wednesday and Thursday. High winds have also been forecast for the Northern Isles.

Image copyright Calmac
Image caption Calmac says it has altered its timetable in an effort to help people to get home for Christmas

Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne said 25 of its 26 services have been disrupted. Wednesday's Barra to South Uist and Colonsay services have been cancelled.

The company said it had altered its timetable to capitalise on periods of calmer weather to help people get home and for supplies to be delivered to island communities.

Director of operations Drew Collier said: "We have pulled out all the stops to ensure people travelling to these destinations can get home to their friends and family in time for the celebrations."

Meanwhile, the Scottish government has warned that climate change is likely to increase the frequency and severity of flooding.

Its new report, Mapping Flood Disadvantage in Scotland 2015, suggests that urgent action is needed to address the risks to highly vulnerable communities exposed to flooding.

The report recommends that local authorities work closely with third sector organisations to help communities cope with floods.

WWF Scotland said the report highlighted the need to reduce harmful emissions that exacerbate climate change.

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