Extreme rainfall in Scotland has led to multiple landslides, resulting in ten people being airlifted to safety. Aerial footage from search and rescue helicopters showed the A83 between Tarbet and Lochgilphead covered in soil, with the A815 also affected. As a result of the landslides, several vehicles became stuck, but fortunately, no injuries have been reported.
Amber and yellow weather alerts have been issued across large parts of Scotland, with heavy downpours expected until Sunday morning. It is estimated that a month’s worth of rain will fall in just one day. Police Scotland has urged drivers in Argyll and Bute not to travel at all, as flooding has been reported on roads nationwide. Rail services have also been canceled, and passengers in England are being advised against traveling to Scotland. Where services are still running, reduced speeds are being implemented.
Network Rail Scotland has stated that its pumps in Clydebank were overwhelmed by the extreme rainfall, causing water to rise to window level on a train. The mainline between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street was temporarily closed, but engineers have now deemed it safe for services to resume. Sporting events have also been impacted, with the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Links golf championship at St Andrews postponed until Sunday. The Scottish Premiership game between Dundee and Ross County was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, along with several other football matches.
Scottish authorities have described the current weather situation as a “major rainfall event,” with up to 180mm (8in) of rain forecasted for parts of the Highlands. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued 17 flood alerts and 53 flood warnings, emphasizing the potential danger to life, property flooding, and disruption to infrastructure. SEPA also expressed concern about families traveling during the school holidays, particularly those camping in affected areas.
Interestingly, there is a noticeable weather divide between the North and South of the country this weekend. While Scotland experiences heavy rainfall and landslides, the South East of England enjoys unseasonably warm temperatures reaching up to 24C (75F) on Saturday and 25C (77F) on Sunday. The Midlands and Wales also bask in sunny conditions, creating an unusual October climate. The Met Office predicts that these fine and settled conditions will continue throughout the weekend, with slightly more cloud cover and hazy sunshine on Sunday.
The extreme rainfall in Scotland has caused significant turmoil, including landslides, floods, and disrupted transportation. The rescue efforts to airlift ten people to safety highlight the seriousness of the situation. Scottish authorities are taking precautions and issuing weather alerts and warnings to ensure public safety. As the South of England experiences pleasantly warm temperatures and sunshine, the contrasting weather conditions between the North and South become evident. The significance of this weather event should not be underestimated, and it is crucial for individuals to heed the warnings and take appropriate measures to stay safe.