SEVERE gales are beginning to strengthen across parts of the UK as Storm Caroline arrives – with forecasters warning of a danger to life amid “devastating” gusts in some areas.

The Met Office has issued an amber “be prepared” weather warning for northern Scotland on Thursday.

High winds were already picking up in the early hours, with gusts of up to 90mph expected to batter the region through the morning.

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Train services in the north and west of the country have been cancelled, while Traffic Scotland is warning of potential disruptions on the road.

Met Office meteorologist John West said: “Storm Caroline is well on its way across northern parts of the UK.

“There will be devastating winds in some parts. More broadly across Scotland there will be 60-70mph gusts, but in exposed areas we could see 90mph.”

The strong wind warning is valid from 6am until 11.55pm on Thursday, with an amber warning for northern Scotland.

Meanwhile, Storm Caroline also brings a frontal system, which will mean a wet and windy start for the southern half of the UK, before cold temperatures set in.

During Thursday afternoon a mixture of sleet and snow showers will work their way across the whole of Britain, with the potential for blizzard conditions in Scotland.

The wintry showers will become more widespread over the next 24 hours, with forecasters also issuing a yellow severe weather warning for snow and ice on Friday.

It covers much of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and parts of northern and western England.

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