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Storm Jocelyn expected to hit Scotland with 80mph winds

Storm Jocelyn is expected to batter Scotland with winds of 80mph, leading to all trains being cancelled – while some islands have been without food deliveries for a week.

ScotRail cancelled trains for the second time this week, after Storm Isha on Sunday night, and services stopped before 7pm – with no rush-hour services on Wednesday morning.

It was warned that Storm Jocelyn could be worse than Storm Isha, which claimed two lives.

The Met Office issued an amber wind warning covering the west coast of Scotland, parts of the north and north east and Orkney between 6pm on Tuesday until 8am on Wednesday.

There are also yellow warnings for rain covering parts of western and southern Scotland and a yellow warning for ice has been issued across northern and eastern parts of Scotland.

A yellow weather warning for wind also covers much of the UK, and the last trains to England departed at 5pm.

Ferry operator CalMac warned of disruption, and it has been a week since Barra and Vatersay, Outer Hebrides, last received food deliveries on January 17.

Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution said that as of noon, supplies have been successfully restored to more than 37,000 customers in northern Scotland.

Storm Isha claimed two lives including an 84-year-old man who died after the car he was a passenger in crashed into tree in Grangemouth, Falkirk, around 11.45pm on Sunday, Police Scotland said.

A man in his 60s was killed in a crash involving two vans and a fallen tree in Limavady, Co Londonderry, on Sunday night, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said.

Winter weather Jan 23rd 2024
A departure board showing a cancelled train to Edinburgh at King’s Cross station in London (Lucy North/PA)

Workers removed a massive tree that fell on an electricity substation on the Kinnaird estate in Larbert, Falkirk on Sunday night, when winds blew the roof off a block of flats in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire.

Finlay MacRae, head of operations at CalMac, said: “It’s a challenging and difficult time for communities, with travel and supply chain interrupted throughout prolonged periods of adverse weather.

“The safety of our crews, port staff and the customers we serve is our priority. We are always grateful to the communities who use the network for their patience and understanding during storms.”

Winter weather Jan 23rd 2024
Vehicles make their way through heavy rain on the M80 near Banknock as Storm Jocelyn will thrash the UK with more wind and rain (Andrew Milligan/PA)

First Minister Humza Yousaf previously warned Storm Jocelyn could be worse than Storm Isha.

Mr Yousaf said: “Storm Jocelyn is likely to cause more disruption, with another period of strong winds further buffeting our infrastructure and rain falling on already saturated ground.

“Travel is likely to again be difficult, particularly heading into Wednesday’s rush hour, so I urge everyone to follow guidance from Police Scotland and check updates from transport providers, Transport Scotland and the Met Office.”

ScotRail said infrastructure had already been “significantly impacted” by Storm Isha, which passed only yesterday, and it predicted Storm Jocelyn will create more challenges across the network.

Heavy winds of up to 80mph are expected during Storm Jocelyn, prompting fears more trees and other debris could fall onto tracks – making it unsafe for trains to complete their journeys.

Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s customer operations director, said: “This is the second withdrawal of train services this week, and we know the impact this has on customers, but the safety of staff and passengers will always be our priority.

“Our colleagues at Network Rail Scotland will again be working flat out to carry out safety checks, and assess what repairs are required to reopen the railway.

“However, customers will be unable to travel early on Wednesday morning, as trains will not be able to operate until the infrastructure has been made safe.”

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said: “Outbreaks of heavy rain on Tuesday could bring rainfall accumulations of 15-20mm quite widely – with 40-50mm over higher ground in south-west Scotland, the Scottish Highlands and parts of north-west England.

“Wind gusts are expected to reach 55-65mph across north-western Scotland while there is potential for winds to reach 75-80mph in a few places, in particular exposed parts of the Western Isles and coastal north-west Scotland early on Wednesday morning.”