Early thunderstorms in the north wreaked havoc for commuters yesterday as lightning disrupted train travel.
Trains between Inverness and Beauly were halted as a result of a lightning strike, with commuters further north between Inverness and Wick also experiencing knock-on disruption.
Those travelling south between Pitlochry and Perth were also held up due further signalling issues which left ScotRail services unable to operate.
Passengers affected were able to continue their journeys across the north through Stagecoach bus services using their rail tickets and smartcards.
To resolve the issues, engineers from Network Rail were deployed to the affected areas, with services starting up again around 10am.
A ScotRail spokesman said: “We’re sorry to our customers who had their journey disrupted this morning due to signalling faults. Engineers worked as quickly as possible to fix the signal faults and get services back to normal.”
ScotRail have assured affected passengers that they are entitled to claim their money back should they have been delayed by more than 30 minutes by lobbying a complaint through their website or mobile app.
Despite the murky start to much of yesterday morning, the weather cleared up with high temperatures experienced across much of the north and north east.
In Aberdeen, temperatures reached highs of 24C with similar temperatures experienced right across Moray and the Highlands and Islands.
The early morning downpour, which kicked off around 6am across much of the north, began with flashes of lightning in scenes alien to the favourable weather experienced over the past few days.
The illuminations in the sky were met with loud claps of thunder, with some residents reporting that the disruption caused them to wake early in the Inverness area.
The weather did clear up by late morning, with sunny and dry spells experienced for much of the day across the whole of the north.
The Met Office recorded the area experiencing the highest rainfall as Reseallach in Sutherland, where over 20 millilitres of rain fell during the early morning flutter.
One resident who captured some incredible photographs of the lightning show was Fiona Birnie of Culloden in Inverness, who was left mesmerised by the nature show in front of her home looking onto the Moray Firth.
She said: “It was pretty awe-inspiring. My first thought was to go and grab my camera as I have never seen the lightning like that here before, only abroad.
“It felt really tropical.
“It was quite amazing to sit and watch.”
Met Office Forecaster Craig Snell said: “Thursday will continue with the warmer weather we have experienced with plenty of sunshine right across the north and north east.
“The Western Isles will be close to some rain as it will be a bit cloudier with showers on an off during the day, however, they will not be too heavy.
“Temperatures will again begin to rise and will reach the mid-twenties during the afternoon, with Inverness even experiencing temperatures close to 30 degrees. Aberdeen is likely to be cooler as a breeze will peg it back a bit, but temperatures are still expected to reach the mid-twenties.
“Oban on the west coast will not be too bad, with temperatures around 27 and 28, and under the cloud in Stornoway, a high of 24 is expected, so still not quite as warm as the central zone but still relatively high.
“Going into Friday there is the threat of further thunderstorms as experienced yesterday with a yellow warning coming into force from 3pm.
“These will be very hit and miss with most areas remaining dry with sunshine.
“Thunderstorms will again produce frequent lightning and rain in places and these will move through steadily with some rainfall.
“By Friday morning, thunderstorms should have cleared.
“On Friday, for those who do not like the heat we are going to be in for a cooler day, with temperatures in the west falling back to the low twenties and temperatures in the east sticking around the mid to high twenties, with maximum temperatures reaching approximately 26 or 27.
“It is still going to be very warm by our standards, but not as hot as Thursday.
“Friday evening could bring with it some showers, but not as pushy as Thursday’s and moving on to the weekend we might see a spell of heavy rain develop.
“Fresh air from the Atlantic and hot air from the continent mixing runs the risk that we could see some heavy rain which has the potential to provide further thunderstorms and rain.
“By Sunday most places will fall into the low twenties, with temperatures reaching the high teens in the Western Isles and northern isles.”
More from the Press and Journal
- Met Office issues yellow warning for rain and strong winds in north and north-east
- Yellow rain warning extended in the north-east with ‘heavy rain’ making flooding ‘likely’
- Why is the north-east so warm today? We explain the Foehn Effect
- North and north-east warned of thunderstorm ‘disruption’ today