The Met Office yellow 'be aware' warning of very strong winds on Friday was updated at 9.55am today (Wednesday) and now predicts gales affecting the whole of the Western Isles.
The Chief Forecaster said: "A weather system will move eastwards across the north of the UK on Friday bringing widespread gales. Inland gusts of 60-70 mph are possible across north Wales, northern England, northern Ireland and all of Scotland, with gusts of 80 mph in exposed locations in northern Scotland. There remains some uncertainty in the track of this system and where the strongest winds will occur. Heavy rainfall may be an additional hazard across parts of northern and western Scotland."
CalMac has advised that Friday's (7th December) sailing from Castlebay to Oban and return has been brought forward to tomorrow (Thursday 6th December) due to the forecast wind conditions on Friday.
The new timetable for Thursday is:
Depart Castlebay 1100
Arrive Oban 1600
Depart Oban 1700
Arrive Castlebay 2200
Sailing times are approximate and foot passengers are asked to ensure they check in 30 minutes before sailing. (Updated Wednesday 5th December at 4pm.)
Loganair have also made plans for possible travel disruption on Friday, offering booked passengers on all flights that day the opportunity to adjust travel plans without charge. Passengers who wish to change their plans can re-book on an alternative flight between now and Friday 14th December with no change fee or difference in fare payable, as long as there is a seat available.
They're asking passengers who wish to change flight to check seat availability at www.loganair.co.uk, then to call 0344 800 2855 with your booking reference handy. Call waiting times may be longer than usual.
If you choose to remain with your original travel plans, Loganair promise to do everything that they safely can to fly you to your intended destination as close to the scheduled time as possible. In a statement today, a spokesman said: "We are continuing to plan to fly all our scheduled services, and we have standby aircraft and crews in place to help recover any disrupted services as soon as reasonably possible once weather conditions permit."
A Met Office yellow ‘be aware’ warning for strong winds has been issued for parts of the Western Isles on Friday (December 7th).
The warning, issued this morning (Tuesday December 4th) covers the period from 3am until midnight on Friday and an area including Barra and Vatersay, the Uists, Harris and parts of Lochs. Ferry cancellations, damage to buildings and power cuts are possible if the winds reach the strength currently expected.
The chief forecaster said this morning: “A weather system will move eastwards across the UK on Friday bringing widespread gales. Inland gusts of 60-70mph are possible with gusts of 80mph in exposed locations in Scotland … Heavy rainfall may be an additional hazard across parts of northern and western Scotland.”
The local weather page Western Isles Weather said there was still uncertainty about the forecast and that ‘a lot could change between now and then’.