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Calmer weather expected ahead of New Year after Storm Conor battering

Forecasters say weather conditions will quieten down in the run up to New Year after Storm Conor made its presence known.

Parts of Scotland experienced heavy snow showers and winds of more than 90mph as the storm battered the north of the country.

Orkney and Shetland and the northern tip of the mainland were hit the hardest by the southern fringe of the Boxing Day storm.

An amber "be prepared" weather warning was put in place for the Highlands and Northern Isles on Monday, with lesser yellow warnings issued for much of the rest of Scotland where winds are reaching 50-60mph.

The warning has since been lifted and forecasters say the weather is "quietening down" in the run up to New Year.

Conor followed a similar track to Storm Barbara, which left around 25,000 homes in the north of Scotland without power on Friday.

The Met Office said wind speeds of 94mph were recorded at Sella Ness, Shetland, on Monday.

The Fair Isle had speeds of 84mph, while Kirkwall in Orkney saw gusts of 82mph.

Met Office duty forecaster Matt Roe said gusts of 60mph had been recorded on the west coast, but predicted a change in conditions.

He said: "From Tuesday the weather is quietening down and it will turn quite mild.

"It'll be about 8-10C (46-50F) and in the North East of Scotland it'll be 12C (54F). It's certainly a change from what it's been and things are looking fairly settled for this week."

Travellers are still advised to check for any disruption before setting off and transport operators are being urged to contact passengers to warn them in advance of any likely problems.

On Monday, Traffic Scotland reported sporadic wintry showers on roads such as the M8, M90 and the A720 Edinburgh City Bypass.

High wind warnings were in place on bridges such as the Clackmannanshire Bridge, Forth Road Bridge, Dornoch Bridge and Erskine Bridge.

Ferry operator CalMac warned services across its network were subject to delays or cancellation at short notice due to weather conditions.

The Scottish Government said there has been some disruption to power supplies which were were restored quickly.

The Scottish Environment Agency (Sepa) kept its four flood alerts in place for Caithness and Sutherland, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.

Alerts and warnings which were in place for more southern parts of Scotland are no longer in force.

The warnings come after parts of Scotland were badly disrupted by weather in the days before Christmas.

Tuesday is expected to mark a return to more moderate conditions.

Unseasonably warm temperatures were recorded on Christmas Day, with the mercury rising to 15.1C (59F) in Dyce, Aberdeenshire and forecasters say this will continue.

Scotland's Transport Minister Humza Yousaf chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government's resilience team on Monday with representatives of the Met Office, Transport Scotland, Police Scotland and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

"At this time of year many people will be travelling to spend time with friends and family so we would remind the public to check before they travel and delay their journey if necessary.

"Safety must be paramount and should always take priority, this is particularly the case in the north of Scotland and the islands today."


From Belfast Telegraph