SCOTLAND'S environmental protection body has warned of a "risk of coastal flooding to communities, roads and rail routes in almost all of Scotland's coastal areas" as Helensburgh, and the rest of the country, braces itself for the arrival of Storm Ciara at the weekend.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) warns that the strong winds expected over Saturday, Sunday and Monday could create tidal surges and high waves in many areas.

SEPA's new advice adds to the Met Office 'be aware' warnings previously issued, for strong winds from Saturday afternoon onwards and through all of Sunday, and wind and snow for the whole of Monday and Tuesday.

READ MORE: Weekend weather warning as Storm Ciara gets set to strike

As this article was published, shortly after 5pm on Friday, the latest Met Office forecast for the Helensburgh area is predicting:

* Strong southerly and south-westerly winds gusting to 40-50mph from Saturday lunchtime onwards, with some gusts of more than 60mph possible in the early evening, easing into the night

* Heavy rain from approximately 4-8pm on Saturday, and again from 11pm on Saturday until 9am on Sunday, easing off slightly through the day on Sunday

* More strong winds on Sunday, gusting to 35-50mph in the late morning and afternoon

* Temperatures of between 5 and 7 degrees Centigrade throughout the weekend and into the early part of next week, though the 'wind chill' factor will make it feel around or below freezing from Monday onwards

* Frequent heavy showers from Monday morning right through to Tuesday and beyond, with the low temperatures and 'wind chill' factor creating a possibility of snow.

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SEPA said in a flood alert message issued on Friday: "The combination of high tides and sustained winds will create an unusual and dangerous combination of tide, storm surge and inshore waves, similar to the impacts felt during Storm Brendan last month.

"There is a risk of coastal flooding to communities, roads, and rail routes in almost all of Scotland’s coastal areas over the course of Saturday through to Monday.

"The period of greatest risk is around high tides. SEPA will be issuing Flood Alerts for affected areas, which will include high tide timings. Once issued, these will be published at

"Heavy rain is also forecast for Saturday, especially in the south.

"This could bring a risk of river and surface water flooding, so it is quite a wild and wet weekend in many places."

Click here to find out the latest Met Office weather forecast for Helensburgh.

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