Met Office issues yellow warning for strong winds in The Minch and Outer Moray Firth; parts of Wester Ross and Lochalsh covered by alert, which also affects Caithness elsewhere in the Highlands
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STRONG winds are expected to batter coastal communities in the Minch and Moray Firth tonight, the Met Office has warned after issuing a yellow weather warning.
Ross-shire and Lochalsh coastal villages and towns are among those covered by the warning, which comes into force at 9pm and will remain in place until 3am. Some CalMac ferry sailings from Ross-shire have been cancelled as a result of the warning.
"Strong winds are expected overnight which may lead to some disruption," said a Met Office forecaster.
"It’s likely that some coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities [will be] affected by spray and/or large waves."
They added that there may be "some short term loss of power", and said that there could be "delays for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges".
Traffic Scotland also warned motorists to take care tonight.
A spokesman said: "Winds are expected to strengthen for a time this evening and overnight. A swathe of stronger winds is expected to move southwards across parts of coastal Scotland and Northern Ireland and it is likely that some places may see gusts of 60 to 70mph for a time.
"This may coincide with high tides leading to a greater potential for coastal impacts."
Ferry operator CalMac has also cancelled its evening sailing from Ullapool to Stornoway at 5.30pm, as well as the 7am Stornoway-Ullapool sailing on Thursday. The company's night time freight-only sailings have also been called off.
For the latest ferry sailing information, visit www.calmac.co.uk.
The Met Office warning for high winds will come into force just hours after a 39-hour-long alert for heavy rains in the Highlands finally ends. The rain warning remains in force until 3pm on Wednesday.
Related news: Met Office warns of 'heavy and prolonged rain'