Hurricane-force winds of 113mph batters Scotland, UK
Up to 85,000 homes in Scotland are left without power as heavy winds from an Atlantic jet stream batter parts of Britain.
Hurricane-force winds have brought gusts of around 110mph to Scotland as extreme weather from across the Atlantic reached Britain.
A gust of 113mph was recorded at Stornoway, the strongest there since records began in 1970.
The ferocious gales have been stirred up by an extra-powerful jet stream triggered by plunging temperatures in the US hitting warmer air in the south.
The winds brought down power lines and caused travel disruption.
Sky News’ North of England Correspondent Becky Johnson reported: “A group of salmon farmers in Oban Bay abandoned plans to go out fishing, saying safety had to come before business.
“Many ferries on routes out of Oban were cancelled, with local skipper Brendan McGuckin telling Sky News: ‘Not many passengers would want to travel anyway when the water’s like this.'”
She added: “Businesses round the bay had sandbags lining their doors as waves lapped over the harbour wall at high tide.”
Hundreds of engineers throughout Scotland battled the strong winds to repair power lines as up to 85,000 properties were left without power.
ScotRail suspended some of its rail services “for safety reasons” as Network Rail staff went out to inspect the tracks.
The Forth Road Bridge was closed for some hours when a van blew over and Aberdeen Police said a number of trees had been blown down on Aberdeenshire and Moray roads.
Police in Inverness said several roads and bridges, including the Skye Bridge and Dornoch Bridge, had been closed in northern Scotland and travel conditions in the Highlands and Islands were “hazardous”.
The winds followed Met Office amber warnings for northern and central Scotland, where flood warns were also in place.
England, Wales and Northern Ireland were included in Met Office yellow “be prepared” warnings.
The bad weather led to delays to CrossCountry trains running between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Newcastle, while in Kent a broken-down train at Westgate-On-Sea caused hold-ups to services between Margate and Chatham.
Lashing rain is expected to continue along the west coast and over the weekend as a second storm is predicted to bring more gale-force winds on Saturday.
Forecasters say conditions could rival the weather that battered parts of southern England at the end of 2013.
The current storm brought travel disruption to the Irish Republic with Dublin airport suspending arrivals and departures on Thursday night, and one flight being forced to abort its landing.
Courtesy of Sky News