Strong wind expected on Christmas Day

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Borderers may not get a white Christmas, but it might just blow you away.

A second yellow (be aware) weather warning for wind in the region has been issued by the Met Office.

In addition to the warning now valid from 7am to 11.50pm on Friday, forecasters have implemented a further warning for 3am to 6pm on Sunday (Christmas Day) – with winds of up to 60mph possible.

And people are being asked to take great care if they need to travel to see their loved ones.

The forecast for Friday remains as before, with Storm Barbara bringing strong winds and heavy showers from the west, with gusts of up to 70mph expected widely.

These wind strengths have the potential to cause issues for travel, including on cross-border routes, and power supplies.

There is also the potential for storm surges along the coast, and SEPA has issued a flood alert for the Borders, warning of the risk of surface water and some river flooding following heavy rain on Friday, mainly in the west of the region.

Scottish Borders Council and partners are liaising closely with the Met Office, with multi-agency meetings planned throughout the rest of the week to discuss updated forecasts and any necessary action.

Kevin Sewell,SBC’s assistant emergency planning officer, said: “Unfortunately it does look like that in addition to very strong winds and heavy rain on Friday we will experience more strong winds on Christmas Day.

“While this is not that unusual for winter, we would encourage people to consider carefully any travel plans for the festive period.”

Chief Inspector Andy McLean, Police Scotland’s local area commander, added: “Winds of up to 70mph have the potential to make travel very difficult, and not just for high-sided vehicles.

“There is a risk of fallen trees and branches, and combined with heavy showers and strong gusts of wind, driving conditions could be very challenging. I’d ask anyone planning to travel on Friday to make sure they take care and drive to the conditions.

“At this time of year, many people will be travelling outwith the region to see friends and family, and I’d encourage anyone doing so to check the Met Office and Traffic Scotland websites to get more information on forecasts and road conditions, with some other areas of the country set for even worse weather than ourselves.”

Residents and businesses can sign up to the free messaging service SB Alert at www.sbalert.co.uk where they can select the type of alerts they want to receive, and whether they want them by email, text or phonecall.

More information on the current weather warning can be found on the Met Office website.