20 February 2015
Vincent Fitzsimons, Duty Hydrology Manager for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said:
Some unusually high spring tides will occur over the next few days. This is part of a natural cycle which occurs every 19 years due to the astronomical alignment of the Earth, moon and sun. This will have the effect of raising normal spring tide levels by only a few inches, but if low atmospheric pressure and strong winds are added to the mix then the combined effect results in a heightened risk to vulnerable coastal areas. SEPA is keeping a very close eye on the wind and waves over the next few days to assess if this combined effect will occur.
“For Friday and Saturday, there is a low risk of localised flooding at high tide times around coastal areas in Fife, the Firth of Forth area, the Lothians, and the Scottish Borders. The Moray coast may also be affected by high tides during Friday and Saturday.
“On Sunday afternoon and throughout Monday the forecast winds are higher and there is a change in wind direction. Therefore the risk of flooding is higher and the areas at risk change. The focus switches to coasts in the south west and north east. In these areas we are expecting the forecast wind and waves to be an issue at high tide times, at least in terms of localised wave overtopping.
"Over the weekend we will continually monitor levels and reassess the implications of the latest weather forecast updates for these areas. We will update the public on our latest predictions and will also update emergency responders if required. We would encourage members of the public to remain vigilant and be mindful of the conditions in their locality and when travelling. The latest updates are available on our website and you can also sign up on our website to receive flood alerts and warnings updates direct to your phone, for free. Do remember that not every area in Scotland is covered by a local flood warning scheme, if there is a regional flood alert out for your area you should prepare for flooding.”