Met Office issues Amber alert for heavy rain.
A new Amber weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for heavy rain for large parts of Central and the North East of Scotland for the next few days.
Steady and persistent rainfall is forecast to begin tonight and last for three days, with Tayside, Angus and Aberdeenshire – where ground is already saturated - potentially at risk of flooding.
The Met Office has also warned of gale or severe gale force south-easterly winds which are likely to result in stormy seas and coastal overtopping along the east coast and in the Northern Isles.
Although the impact is not expected to be of the same magnitude as Storm Frank, there is a risk of significant disruption to travel and utilities in areas already affected by flooding in these regions.
Environment Minister Aileen McLeod said:
"December was the wettest on record and January looks set to start in a similar manner – although, thankfully, not on the same scale as Storm Frank.
"Many communities across the country are only just beginning to recover from that flooding event, as I saw first-hand in Newton Stewart yesterday, and my heart goes out to all those affected.
"Local councils, emergency services and other responders have been working tirelessly over this festive period to minimise the impact on communities, ensure the safety of people and help local areas recover. I offer them my deepest thanks for their efforts as we now prepare to deal with the impact of this new Amber weather warning from the Met Office.
"The situation is being closely monitored 24/7 by the Scottish Government, and along with my Ministerial colleagues - including the First Minister and Deputy First Minister – I have been participating in regular resilience meetings to discuss the situation and the co-ordination of the response.
"We will continue to work closely with SEPA, the Met Office, local authorities and the emergency services to coordinate a multi-agency response and ensure that people and businesses are as prepared as possible for the impact of the weather and any potential flooding. I would encourage everyone to monitor SEPA's Floodline website for the latest flood information and to sign up to receive Floodline warnings direct to their phone."
Transport Minister Derek Mackay said:
"With amber alerts in place for parts of the central belt, Tayside, Fife and Grampian from Saturday through to Monday we can expect some challenging conditions on the transport network.
"The usual rules apply - please check before travelling and if you do have to travel, do so with extra care, allow extra time, and drive to the conditions.
"The Traffic Scotland website, twitter feed and radio bulletins will have all of the latest information on conditions and closures.
"We have had teams out on the network to clear drainage systems in advance of the heavy rain but some localised flooding is inevitable given we have just experienced the wettest December on record."
The Scottish Government's resilience arrangements have been running 24/7 and will continue to provide Ministers with regular updates.
For SEPA live flood updates see www.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates or call Floodline 0345 988 1188.
To sign up for free local Flood Warnings and regional Alerts, or for more information and advice on preparing for flooding, use SEPA's Floodline site www.floodlinescotland.org.uk or call Floodline 0345 988 1188.
Members of the public can also use the recently launched Report-a-Flood site http://www.floodlinescotland.org.uk/report-a-flood
The full alerts, including the Chief Forecaster's Assessment and a map showing the areas included in the alerts, are available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/
For real time journey information visit www.trafficscotland.org, follow @trafficscotland on Twitter or call 0800 028 14 14
The Scottish Government's Ready Scotland website provides the public with a range of advice and information on preparing for winter weather. Further information is available at www.readyscotland.org
Members of the public can also contact the Scottish Flood Forum, a charitable organisation funded by the Scottish Government that provides support for and represents those who are affected by or are at risk of flooding http://www.scottishfloodforum.org or call 01698 839021.