Abigail blows in but Edinburgh misses out on the worst

A satellite picture of Abigail which hit Scotland yesterday (Thursday). Picture: University of Dundee
A satellite picture of Abigail which hit Scotland yesterday (Thursday). Picture: University of Dundee
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THE Lothians escaped the worst of Storm Abigail last night – but the Forth Road Bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles amid winds gusting to 45mph.

And the Royal Botanic Garden’s spectacular night-time light show was set to be cancelled as gales take hold.

The worst of the storm hit the Western Isles and Shetland where schools were closed due to 90mph winds.

But strong winds and torrential rain still disrupted the city, with many taking to Twitter telling how they were staying in to avoid the gales. The 
@forthroadbridge Twitter feed notified motorists of the structure’s partial closure last night due to a yellow weather warning put in place by the Met Office.

“High winds – Bridge closed to high sided vehicles, cars with trailers, caravans, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians,” the twitter account warned.

Officials at the Botanics were forced to call a halt to Sunday’s Botanics Light show due to high winds and wild weather.

Organisers decided to cancel the event for safety reasons. The box office was yesterday in the process of contacting all ticket holders by e-mail and telephone to offer reallocation to another evening.

They said they were “confident that everyone can be accommodated”. If not, a refund will be offered.

A decision is taken by 3pm each day as to whether the event can go ahead, and in case of cancellation as a result of extreme weather, the box office attempts to contact all visitors within 48 hours.

A spokesman for the visitor attraction said: “The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh takes seriously the safety of its visitors and staff.

“As part of this it adheres to strict policies regarding what action to take in severe weather. One key consideration relates to high winds.

“Throughout the year, if wind strength readings exceed 38mph, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh closes for health and safety reasons. It’s Glasshouses close when wind strength exceeds 25mph.”

Blustery showers, heavy at times, will be followed by gale force winds today.

And a yellow wind warning will remain in place with gusts of between 60-70mph likely with the possibility of gusts to 80-90mph.

Lightning associated with frequent showers will be an additional hazard over northern and western areas.

There is a possibility of disruption to transport. Commuters have been advised to watch weather reports and public transport websites and plan their travel accordingly.

The yellow wind warning will remain in place across the weekend with winds expected to reach up to 90mph.

People took to Twitter yesterday to share video footage of Abigail as the storm hit the Capital.

Graeme Whitehead tweeted: “Storm brewing in Edinburgh, windy now.”

@realedinburgh tweeted: “So Storm Abigail is here, some torrential rain in Edinburgh already and blowing a gale at times.”