Weather forecaster Sean Batty has backed the call for people to take simple steps in readiness for tough weather conditions, indicating Scotland’s unsettled weather patterns could continue into the spring.
Reflecting on a winter that has seen Storms Abigail, Desmond, Frank, Gertrude and Henry impact on many communities across Scotland, he cautioned against complacency and encouraged Scots to continue to be prepared.
The Ready for Winter campaign runs from November to February with the aim of encouraging people to take simple steps whether at home or on the move, to stay informed and to think about others in the community who might be more vulnerable to severe weather.
Research prior to this winter highlighted nearly half of people (46 per cent) living in Scotland aren’t worried about the risks posed by severe weather, even though a third of people (33 per cent) said they had been hit financially through disrupted travel, time off work or home repairs. Only 31 per cent of people checked on vulnerable relatives or neighbours.
Sean Batty said: “So far this winter has brought us a number of storms that have tested emergency services, our infrastructure, communities and individuals. Some parts of the north east of Scotland had their wettest January on record, and experienced terrible flooding. Shetland had its strongest winds for 16 years in January as storm Gertrude passed through Scotland.
“These events are a reminder that we should always be prepared for extreme weather.”
“We’re in an El Nino winter, which can sometimes bring colder weather later in the season. So we must be prepared for more unsettled and potentially stormy conditions, but also bear in mind that cold weather and snow is possible well into the spring.
“In 2013, January and February were generally milder than average, but then it turned much colder in March with snow. So even though we always think of winter being our extreme months, sometimes spring can still bring challenging weather.”
For more information on how to prepare for winter visit www.readyscotland.org