Damaged caravan on A9Image copyright Lauren East
Image caption A caravan was blown across the carriageway of the A9 in Sutherland

Police have warned of the potential for dangerous driving conditions across large parts of Scotland during gale force winds.

The Met Office issued a yellow “be aware” warning for high winds affecting north, west and north east Scotland until 06:00 on Tuesday.

The high winds have disrupted Caledonian MacBrayne ferry services on the west coast.

The Dounreay nuclear site in Caithness has been closed to most staff.

Image copyright Met Office
Image caption The Met Office yellow wind morning covers much of the north and east of Scotland

In Sutherland, a static caravan was blown across the carriageway of the A9 while being transported near the Dornoch Bridge. The bridge was closed for a time, but later reopened to non-high sided vehicles.

Four Highland Council primary schools – Farr, Melvich and Tongue in Sutherland and Pennyland in Thurso, Caithness – shut early because of the bad weather.

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Media captionHigh winds whip up Thurso beach “sand storm”

Firefighters were called to a shop in Thurso after the building’s roof was blown off.

Video was also posted on social media of a “sand storm” which whipped up on the Caithness town’s beach. Cars could been seen slowly driving through the storm as it swirled down roads and streets.

Electricity company Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said thousands of its customers in north east Scotland had been affected by power cuts, including supplies to more than 2,100 properties in Aberdeen and 1,200 in Pittmedden and Udny in Aberdeenshire.

Power cuts have also affected Fyvie, Collieston and Hatton and Fochabers and Garmouth.

Image copyright Alan McIvor
Image caption The roof was blown off a shop in Thurso
Image copyright Ann Miller

Two Aberdeen-bound flights – one BA service from Heathrow and an EasyJet service from Luton – were diverted to Edinburgh during the afternoon because of the high winds.

Advice to passengers travelling from the Dyce terminal was to check with their airlines.

Dornoch Bridge was closed on Monday evening, while the Forth Road Bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles and the Tay Road Bridge was closed to double-decker buses.

The B9077 was blocked both ways at the Banchory Devenick turn off due to a fallen tree.

ScotRail said train services between Inverness and Wick, and Montrose and Aberdeen had to be cancelled or run at a reduced speed because of the high winds.

The weather has also caused disruption to a number of ferry services, including Monday night’s Aberdeen to Lerwick sailing.

Image copyright DSRL
Image caption Dounreay has been closed to most of its staff

Police Scotland urged drivers travelling in north and the north-east Scotland to take extra care, with winds gusting to 75mph forecast for some areas.

Ch Insp Stewart Mackie said the Highlands, Western Isles, Northern Isles. Angus, Dundee, Fife, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray were expected to experience the worst of the weather.

He said: “Police Scotland is advising all drivers to travel with extra caution and ensure you and your vehicle are adequately prepared for the conditions making sure you have sufficient fuel and supplies such as warm clothing, food and water in the event you are delayed for several hours.

“Charge your mobile phone and plan your route as well as alternative routes.”

Waterfall blown uphill

Ch Insp Mackie added: “If you are driving a vehicle which may be vulnerable to being blown over in such conditions along exposed routes including bridges, please exercise additional caution and plan your route to avoid exposed areas or consider cancelling your journey until conditions improve.”

Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) teams have reported encountering high winds in Lochaber, the Cairngorms, Glen Coe, Torridon and on Creag Meagaidh.

In Torridon, the SAIS forecaster said strong winds had blown water back uphill at the Beinn a’ Mhuinidh waterfall.

Image copyright SAIS Torridon
Image caption The waterfall on Beinn a’ Mhuinidh in Torridon