High winds will cause disruption to ferry passengers today before Storm Doris makes its presence felt by bringing snow tomorrow.
Gusts of up to 70mph are predicted in the Orkney Islands and along the north coast of Caithness as the Met Office issued a yellow “be aware” warning for wind. As the winds strengthened yesterday, motorists were warned to travel with care as they crossed the Kessock, Dornoch and Skye bridges.
Thursday’s storm Doris is forecast to result in heavy snow in parts of southern Scotland – and southern and eastern parts of the Highlands will also be affected.
Last night Met Office forecaster Greg Wolverson said there would be “quite a complex weather story developing over the coming days.”
Mr Wolverson said that most of the region will experience wind blustery rain showers today, but stressed that another weather system will bring snow overnight on higher ground south of Inverness, and in eastern parts of Caithness.
He added: “The snow will affect higher routes and these will be quite hard to pass, so drivers should be aware of some difficulties on Thursday morning.”
He added that heavy rain is expected going into the weekend in combination with expected snowmelt.
Due to forecast high winds in the Pentland Firth today, the 6.30am M.V. Hamnavoe sailing from Stromness and 8.45am sailing from Scrabster have both been cancelled.
The 4.45pm and 7pm sailings from Stromness and Scrabster will sail but will be subject to minor, weather-related delays.
The M.V. Hrossey’s next departure from Kirkwall to Aberdeen will be at 11.45pm tonight.
M.V. Hjaltland’s sailing to and from Lerwick remains on schedule.
In the Western Isles, Cal Mac’s sailings between Barra and Eriskay will be cancelled.
Sailings between Mallaig, Lochboisdale and Oban will also be affected. The 7.15am sailing from Lochboisdale to Mallaig will now operate to Oban, and the 2pm Mallaig to Lochboisdale sailing is cancelled, however an alternative sailing from Oban to Lochboisdale will depart Oban at 12.45pm.
Sailings between Mallaig and the Small Isles will also be subject to disruption today.
The 8am Catlebay to Oban sailing may also be disrupted due to high winds gusting up to 45mph.
The 7am sailing from Stornoway to Ullapool and the 10.30am sailing from Ullapool may also be disrupted due to 50 mph winds forecast.
Sailings today between Oban and Craignure, and between Fionnphort and Iona, may also be subject to disruption, delay or cancellation.