Flood alerts have been issued for large swathes of Scotland, with some parts bracing themselves for five days’ worth of rain in the space of 24 hours.
The Met Office has issued a weather warning for the west coast, stretching as far north as Ullapool and as far east as Ballater in Aberdeenshire.
And the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has told communities across the region to prepare for flooding.
Rain is expected to start falling this morning and continue well into tomorrow, with a warning in place from 9am today until 3pm tomorrow.
While Scotland typically experiences 12mm of rain on a wet day, the Met Office is forecasting that most areas will have between 20-30mm falling over the course of today.
Combined with melting snow, higher parts of the country could have the equivalent of 60mm of rainfall by tomorrow.
Met Office meteorologist Craig Snell said: “For the Highlands, Moray and parts of Aberdeenshire, it is going to be raining for most of the day.
“Towards the east this will probably ease off in the afternoon and there should be breaks in the rain, meaning it will be a smidgen drier.”
#StormErik has been named by @MetEireann for the area of low pressure arriving on Friday. Impacts will be greatest across Ireland though warnings are in force across parts of the UK – Stay #weatheraware pic.twitter.com/ca1VqXoQ6G
— Met Office (@metoffice) February 7, 2019
Strong winds from southern Scotland are expected to batter the region at the same time.
While not strong enough to warrant a weather warning, the Met Office says gusts of up to 50mph could be experienced near Fort William.
These are also likely to cause some localised flooding in Orkney and Shetland, with high waves forecast to spill over coastal walls.
On Friday high winds, waves and surge are expected around the west coast, Orkney and Shetland. Spray and wave overtopping could be seen around the times of high tide. This could cause localised flooding. Further info and flood alerts: https://t.co/jshA60LoKJ #floodaware pic.twitter.com/bzwM6hh0MP
— SEPA (@ScottishEPA) February 7, 2019
Flood alerts are in place across all of western Scotland, including Wester Ross, stretching as far as Elgin.
A Sepa spokesman said: “Localised flooding of low-lying land, roads and properties could occur due to high river levels.
“Some localised surface water flooding issues are also possible, particularly if the rain coincides with any built up areas or the road network.”
Motorists are being urged to take care on the roads if they are travelling today.
Mr Snell added: “People should allow some extra time for their journeys and, by the end of today, should be aware there could be some fairly large puddles on the roads.”