THE Met Office has updated its weather warning for the UK as Storm Gareth moves in towards Helensburgh.

The yellow 'be aware' winter weather warning was issued on Monday and has since been updated on Tuesday morning to include much of south-west Scotland.

Strong west to north-westerly winds are expected to develop across the Hebrides on Tuesday afternoon, before moving south-west during Tuesday night and Wednesday, hitting Argyll and Bute and Helensburgh, with possible transport disruption as a result.

Gusts of up to 50-55 mph are likely inland and 65 mph along western coasts. Winds will gradually ease during Wednesday afternoon.

A flood alert has also been issued for Argyll and Bute with low-lying land, roads and esplanades susceptible to flooding.

High tides are expected at around 4pm in Helensburgh on Tuesday and just after 4am on Wednesday morning. SEPA say the alert will remain in place until further notice.

The weather alert covers the whole of England and Wales, along with several local authority areas on Scotland's west coast, and lasts from 12pm on Tuesday until 3pm on Wednesday, March 13.

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The forecaster says it is likely that some bus and train services will be affected while the storm is at its height, and that drivers of high-sided vehicles should expect delays on exposed routes and bridges.

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Some short term loss of power and other services is possible, and it's likely that some coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities will be affected by spray and/or large waves.

Paul Gundersen, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “The strong north-westerly winds will also affect southwest Scotland late on Tuesday, spreading across much of England and Wales through Wednesday.

"Gusts of 50-55 mph are likely inland and up to 65 mph along western coasts. Winds will gradually ease during the afternoon.”

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Stein Connelly from Transport Scotland said: “The high winds forecast for the west Scotland could lead to some travel disruption, with potential for bridge restrictions in the affected areas and spray on coastal routes.

“Travellers should check the latest information before they set off, drive to the conditions and follow police travel advice.

"The Traffic Scotland mobile website allows you to get information on the move and the Traffic Scotland twitter page is updated regularly.

“The windy conditions are also likely to lead to disruption on other modes of transport, so we urge those planning to travel on trains, ferries and flights to check with their operators to see if their services are affected.”