The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued a flood alert for the whole of the Western Isles for today (Thursday 24 November).
The alert is for coastal flooding from a combination of high tides, surge and strong winds, with a localised risk of coastal flooding from wave and spray overtopping on coastal routes, especially around the time of high water at 7pm today.
South-east winds gusting up to 50mph are forecast by the Met Office for Stornoway later today and into the evening, with winds in the southern isles building earlier, and likely to be stronger – Barra airport has forecast gusts up to 56mph by 6pm tonight.
Ferry disruption is the inevitable outcome, with cancellations on the Sound of Barra from this morning, and disrupted service on all other routes.
The sailing of MV Loch Seaforth from Ullapool has set out, but the afternoon leg from Stornoway is likely to be delayed and tonight’s freight service is liable to disruption or cancellation.
On the Uig triangle route, CalMac says the adverse weather forecast, combined with ongoing council pier works at Lochmaddy, will make it unsafe to arrive and depart in the forecast wind speed and direction.
Service throughout the route will therefore be liable to disruption or cancellation at short notice and berthing in Lochmaddy is not guaranteed.
Full details of CalMac service disruptions are at https://www.calmac.co.uk/service-status.