Friday, February 04, 2011

Storm Scotland ( bbc)

Stormy weather heads for Scotland

Stormy weather heads for Scotland

An explosive area of low pressure is rapidly developing on the jet stream to the northwest of the British Isles, bringing stormy conditions to northern areas of the United Kingdom.

The Western Isles will experience hurricane force winds overnight, while parts of mainland Scotland and the Northern Isles can expect winds of 80mph to 90mph. In the Central Belt of Scotland, the winds reach around 60mph.

All 39 schools in the Western Isles are to close at lunchtime because of the severe weather. A spokesman for the Western Isles council said it was "precautionary measure".

Ferry crossings and airports could also be affected by the high winds. Compounding the misery will be a bout of snow down to lower levels.

The storm will quickly push toward the North Sea, where it also likely to cause disruption to ferry crossings.

The jet stream is a ribbon of air high in the atmosphere running along the boundary between mild air to the south and cold air to the north. Its wind speed is currently near 200mph, helping to intensify the low.

The storm is in marked contrast to the winter so far, which has seen largely calm but cold weather.