Warnings have been issued over stormy weather due to blow in across the Western Isles in the early hours of Monday, January 7th.

A Met Office warning of strong winds was updated earlier today (Sunday January 6th) bringing the start time of the gales forward to 9am, although the effects of the incoming wind are likely to be felt before that.

The 24-hour forecast from Stornoway Coastguard warns of winds building towards early evening on Monday, with north-westerly gale force 7 to severe gale force 9, occasionally storm force 10 for a time.

CalMac has cancelled ferry services between Castlebay and Oban, and the passenger service between Stornoway and Ullapool is ‘highly likely’ to be cancelled from the 7am service out of Stornoway onwards.

Other services including between Tarbert and Uig are on yellow alert for disruption.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued a flood warning for the Western Isles, with a risk of flooding and disruption from waves and spray to low-lying areas and roads exposed to the west and south west during Monday. 

The greatest risk may be at times of high tide – approximately 7 am and 7 pm at Leverburgh, varying across the area.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has also issued a weather alert due to strong winds building during Monday morning in the Western Isles, North West Highlands, Argyll and Skye, peaking around midday where gusts of up to 75mph are forecast.

They ask customers to be prepared for the possibility of disruption to supply and to save the emergency power cut number, 105, to phones, as well as reporting any power cuts or damage to the network.

The oil drilling platform Ocean GreatWhite was moved this afternoon (Sunday) into shallower waters in Gruinard Bay from its position in the Minch, with another change of crew expected.

The Coastguard emergency towing vessel Ievoli Black is currently patrolling nearby.

Police Scotland is advising all drivers in the north and the north-east of the country to take EXTRA CAUTION, following a Yellow Weather Warning issued by the Met Office for between now and 0600hrs tomorrow (Tuesday, January 8th, 2019).

Chief Inspector Stewart Mackie, from Police Scotland's Road Policing Division, said: Very strong winds are expected to affect northern and eastern Scotland with gusts of 65 to 75 mph likely, particularly in the far north and northeast, before winds gradually ease from the west during Tuesday morning. The areas most affected are Angus, Dundee, Fife, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Na h-Eileanan Siar, Highland, Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands.

"Police Scotland is advising all drivers to travel with extra caution and ensure you and your vehicle are adequately prepared for the conditions making sure you have sufficient fuel and supplies such as warm clothing, food and water in the event you are delayed for several hours. Charge your mobile phone and plan your route as well as alternative routes.

"If you are driving a vehicle which may be vulnerable to being blown over in such conditions along exposed routes including bridges, please exercise additional caution and plan your route to avoid exposed areas or consider cancelling your journey until conditions improve.

"Winter driving is a question of common sense and all drivers should ask themselves if they really need to travel when conditions are poor. No-one should ever place themselves at risk on the road and it may be worth making alternative arrangements such as delaying travel until conditions improve or using public transport.

"Finally, I urge everyone who does intend to travel to listen to media broadcasts especially local radio and Traffic Scotland Radio or visit www.trafficscotland.org. For public transport information visit www.travelinescotland.com   Follow @policescotland and @trafficscotland on Twitter for regular and up to date travel information."