Heavy rain, extremely high winds, blizzards and floods are forecast to batter the north-east today and over the rest of the weekend as Storm Gertrude, the latest weather system this winter to be given a name by the Met Office, rolls across the country.
The organisation yesterday issued an amber weather warning for wind across much of Scotland, with speeds of up to 90mph predicted for some regions.
In the north-east, it is estimated that Aberdeen and parts of southern Aberdeenshire will be afflicted by the worst of the gale-force winds, with the additional danger of high rainfall throughout the first half of today.
And, as the evening continues, snow has been forecast for much of the region, and will continue throughout the night in places such as Ellon, Elgin, Aberdeen, Fraserburgh and Peterhead, with minimum temperatures of 3C.
Saturday’s forecast is less severe, but heavy sleet and snow showers are still expected to affect many communities.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency has declared flood alerts in Moray, with communities in Elgin, Nairn, and various towns close to the banks of the River Spey highlighted as areas which are at particular risk.
Transport Scotland have implemented a number of measures to deal with potential disruption as a result of the severe weather in a bid to ensure the nation’s roads and railways are affected as little as possible.
The Scottish Government’s transport minister, Derek Mackay, said last night that some infrastructure closures could be necessary.
He added: “We are expecting some very difficult weather conditions tomorrow morning.
“Winds of this severity bring a high risk of disruption, leading to cancelled ferries, train services and restrictions or closures on bridges.
“We are in regular contact with the transport operators, regarding the situation. They do not take the decision to cancel services lightly, but safety is paramount.”
Environment minister Aileen McLeod said: “Further rain and snow is forecast over the weekend, so I would urge everyone to take the necessary steps to stay safe and keep up to date with the latest flood and weather information.”