We warn the public and emergency responders of severe or hazardous weather which has the potential to cause danger to life or widespread disruption through our National Severe Weather Warning Service. Make sure you know what to do when severe weather is forecast.
The first thing to do is to check your local weather forecast and keep up to date with the latest warnings. Remember that you can also get this information on our mobile apps if you are out and about so you can always stay up to date.
Warnings are given a colour depending on a combination of both the likelihood of the event happening and the impact the conditions may have. Each colour has a key message.
The table below provides examples of the kind of disruption that might be experienced for each impact level (high, medium, low) and for each weather type (rain, snow, fog, ice, wind). It also provides some general advice to try and mitigate the impacts. Note that weather assessed as having a "Very Low" impact may still have some minor impacts.
Impact and advice applying to ALL SEVERE WEATHER
The weather is not expected to have any noticeable impacts but there may be some minor issues e.g. when travelling some extra care may be needed on occasions and there may be some disruption to outdoor events.
BE AWARE and ensure you access the latest weather forecast for up to date weather information.
BE PREPARED. Take precautions where possible and ensure you access the latest weather forecast.
TAKE precautionary ACTION and remain extra vigilant. Follow orders and any advice given by authorities under all circumstances. Ensure you access the latest weather forecast.
Impact and advice associated with RAIN
Some flooding of low lying fields, recreational land and car parks but little or no disruption to travel.
Localised flooding of low lying fields, recreational land and car parks.
Some flooding of homes, businesses and transport links possible.
Widespread flooding of property.
Impact and advice associated with WIND
Debris dislodged and some branches removed.
Some branches or trees brought down.
More widespread tree damage & other debris, slates etc dislodged from roofs.
Widespread structural damage, e.g. roofs blown off, mobile homes overturned, power lines brought down.
Impact and advice associated with FOG
Some localised non-persistent fog affecting limited geographical areas.
More widespread, locally dense fog affecting significant areas of the country but not persisting beyond 1 - 2 days.
Widespread and dense fog affecting large areas of the country including a number of major airports and/or ports.
Impact and advice associated with SNOW
Small amounts of snow lying on roads and pavements so some slippery road surfaces possible.
More widespread snow lying on roads and pavements but road networks generally open.
Widespread snow with a number of road closures, others passable only with care.
Widespread deep snow with many roads closed or impassable.
Impact and advice associated with ICE
Localised icy stretches on some untreated roads and pavements are possible.
More widespread icy stretches on untreated roads and pavements but road networks generally open.
Widespread black ice, some roads passable only with care.
There are a number of other agencies involved in dealing with the impacts of severe weather. For further information on what to do during severe weather please check the links below:
Every effort is taken to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate. This website is provided for information, and the Met Office cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or injury that arises from the use of this website.
Last updated: 26 March 2014
Severe weather warnings
Keep informed of severe weather
What to do in heavy rain - infographic
Find out more about what to do in severe rain in our infographic.
What to do in severe wind - infographic
Find out more about what to do in severe wind in our infographic.
What to do in severe snow - infographic
Find out more about what to do in severe snow - before, during and after the storm.
What to do in severe ice - infographic
Find out more about what to do when severe ice is forecast.
What to do in dense fog - infographic
Find out more about what to do during dense fog in our infographic.