Storm Barbara set to batter parts of UK and disrupt Christmas travel
Forecasters warn gale-force winds in the north of the country could hit power supplies, delay ferries and close bridges
Gusts of up to 90mph are set to batter parts of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland over Christmas as Storm Barbara wreaks havoc over the festive period.
Forecasters have warned that power supplies may be hit, ferries delayed and bridges closed due to strong winds on Friday and Christmas Eve.
Western and northern Scotland are expected to be worst-affected by the gale-force winds – overnight on Friday.
An amber weather warning – meaning be prepared – is in place for the Scottish highlands and Shetlands, where gusts of 80-90mph are forecast into Christmas Eve.
Parts of Northern Ireland and northern England will also be hit, the Met Office has warned, with gales of between 60mph and 80mph expected on Friday and the early hours of Christmas Eve.
Forecasters said Storm Barbara had the potential to disrupt travel over the Christmas period and urged people to make alternative plans.
Nicky Maxey, from the Met Office, said: “It has the potential to be quite disruptive so we would urge people to think about their travel arrangements if they’re trying to get away for Christmas.
“There is a risk that it could disrupt power supplies, bring disruption to ferries and flights, bring restrictions on bridges – it’s quite important people think about their travel arrangements as much as they can.”
The gusts could cause chaos on the roads for the 3.5 million drivers predicted by the RAC to be planning a Christmas getaway on Friday, with 3.8 million expected to take to the roads on Christmas Eve.
Snowfall of up to 10cm has been forecast in upland areas of western and central Highlands.
Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne has said 21 of its 26 routes had already been disrupted by the weather, with several services cancelled.