Edinburgh Hogmanay revellers face stormy weather

If the weather on Portobello beach is anything to go by, party-goers will need warm, waterproof clothing. Picture: Toby Williams

If the weather on Portobello beach is anything to go by, party-goers will need warm, waterproof clothing. Picture: Toby Williams

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Revellers gearing up to attend the Capital’s Hogmanay celebrations have been reminded to dress up warm, as forecasters warned the event could be hit by stormy weather.

Thousands of people are expected to descend on Princes Street for the world-renowned event, and organisers vowed that any decision on whether or not to cancel the event due to extreme weather would be kept “open until the last minute.”

It came as the met office said the recent stormy weather was likely to continue into the New Year and revellers could expect it to be “wet and windy”.

And while the forecast will change over the next few days, with the Met office set to provide hourly updates on the day itself, those attending were reminded to ensure they wore appropriate attire, with Councillor Gavin Barrie warning: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”

Pete Irvine, of Unique Events, the company who has been at the helm of the celebrations every year since its inception 21 years ago, stressed that at this stage they were not “overly concerned” about the weather.

He said: “Our Hogmanay celebrations are a three-day event, meaning we need two days of ideally “still” weather. The weather is always something we have to take seriously, we will be keeping any decision open until the last minute, and we have lots of people monitoring and discussing the situation.

“We’re pleased to note that things don’t seem to be particularly bad here at the moment – Edinburgh has been spared a lot of the bad weather we have seen across the rest of the country – so at the moment we are not overly concerned.”

On Hogmanay 2006 high winds meant that the city centre party counting down to the New Year, attended by roughly 80,000 party-goers from across the globe, had to be cancelled at the last minute for health and safety reasons, though earlier events such as The Torchlight Procession and some of the fireworks displays were able to go ahead. This was only the second cancellation in the history of the street party.

Discussing this year’s upcoming celebrations, Graeme Forrester of the Met Office said: “We have been experiencing stormy weather across Edinburgh over the last couple of weeks and there will be no great change on Hogmanay, I’m afraid, with depressions coming in from the Atlantic bringing periods of wet and windy weather.

“Unfortunately it is difficult at this point to nail down the stormier weather to any particular time. We will be keeping an eye on the situation and we would advise all those attending the street party to do the same, and to ensure that they are suitably clad.”

Eric Alexander, Managing Director of G4S, who will be supplying roughly 500 stewards on the night, said: “Regardless of the forecast, this is Scotland in the middle of December and late at night, so people should please wrap up warm in waterproof clothes.”