A severe weather warning from the Met Office was updated this morning (Thursday December 6th) and now predicts a ‘high likelihood of lower impacts’ in the Western Isles area tomorrow, Friday.

The updated yellow ‘be aware’ warning predicts strongest winds from about 5am until midnight tomorrow, with possible impacts including transport disruption, short-term power interruptions and spray or waves affecting coastal routes.

The chief forecaster said: “A deep depression will move eastwards across northern Scotland on Friday bringing widespread gales. Inland gusts of 50-60 mph are likely quite widely, with gusts of 70-80 mph in exposed locations across northwest Scotland. Heavy rainfall may be an additional hazard across parts of northern and western Scotland.”

Stornoway Coastguard said the outlook for the Minch tomorrow predicts gusty, cyclonic winds, west or south-west gale force 8 to storm force 10, occasionally violent storm force 11 for a time, then veering north-westerly force 5 to 7 later.

The local weather page Western Isles Weather said: “The agreement of track now will bring the very strongest winds across the Uists and Barra on Friday, bringing winds gusting 70/80 mph possibly stronger. Winds gusting 50/60 mph across Lewis and Harris. The strongest winds are expected during the morning and early afternoon with peak of the winds occurring during this time. This will be accompanied by heavy rain.”

Warnings of disruption to ferry services are spreading across the network, with the Sound of Barra, Uig-Lochmaddy-Tarbert triangle and Stornoway Ullapool routes all showing possible disruption. The Oban to Castlebay service is cancelled for tomorrow, with sailings brought forward to today.

Update: The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has this morning (Thursday December 6th) put in place an amber flood alert for the whole of the Western Isles, which is now effective. They said: “A flood alert has been issued for Western Isles. This alert is for coastal flooding. High tides and strong winds give a risk of coastal flooding during Friday. At greatest risk are areas of the coast exposed to the west. Overtopping of defences by waves and spray is possible. Impacts could include disruption to travel, including flooding of coastal roads and causeways. The times of greatest risk are a few hours either side of high water, which will occur around 0600 and 1800 on Friday.