Red Weather Warnings in force for Storm Eunice
Author: Press Office
04:27 (UTC) on Fri 18 Feb 2022
The Met Office has issued rare Red Weather Warnings as Storm Eunice is expected to bring extremely strong winds and continued disruption for much of the UK on Friday.
The Red Weather Warnings for wind cover some coastal areas towards the southwest, including south Wales, from early on Friday morning, before a separate Red Warning comes into force for much of the south and southeast with similar damaging gusts and disruption expected. Wind gusts in the most exposed coastal areas could be in excess of 90mph, which would bring significant impacts for many and represent a danger to life.
⚠ #StormEunice is going to bring damaging and disruptive winds for most of the UK today.— Met Office (@metoffice) February 18, 2022
🔴 See the latest Red Warnings for wind below and be aware of the wider Amber Warning area.
Exposed coastal areas could get gusts in excess of 90mph
Latest 👉 https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs pic.twitter.com/uQAeGfB3RK
Further inland and within the wider Amber Warning area, gusts will still be impactful and damaging for many, with 60-70mph gusts likely for many, and 80mph in a few places. With such severe weather impacting the UK, people should stay up to date with the latest warnings.
Red Weather Warnings are rarely issued by the Met Office, with the last one coinciding with Storm Arwen in November 2021, but you’d have to go back to March 2018 for the last Red Warning for wind before that.
The wider Amber Warning area highlights the ongoing risk of high impacts such as disruption to power, travel and other services. Damage is also likely for buildings and trees, with beach material being thrown onto seafronts.
The warnings reflect the expected track of Storm Eunice eastwards across the central portion of the UK, with the strongest winds expected to the south of Eunice.
On the northern flank of Storm Eunice, there’s a risk of snow for some in Northern Ireland, northern England and southern Scotland. A Yellow Warning is in force for snow, highlighting possible blizzard conditions for these areas. Much of the snow will be confined to the high ground within the warning areas, with up to 20cm possible in the Pennines. There remains a risk of some snow to lower ground, although with less significant accumulations.
Met Office Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: “After the impacts from Storm Dudley for many on Wednesday, Storm Eunice will bring damaging gusts in what could be one of the most impactful storms to affect southern and central parts of the UK for a few years.”
“The red warning areas indicate a significant danger to life as extremely strong winds provide the potential for damage to structures and flying debris. Although the most exposed coastal areas could see gusts in excess of 90mph, winds will remain notably strong further inland, with gusts of between 60-70mph for most within the amber warning area, and up to 80mph in a few places.”
Katharine Smith, Environment Agency Flood Duty Manager, said: “Strong winds could bring coastal flooding to parts of the west, southwest and south coast of England, as well as the tidal River Severn, in the early hours of Friday morning. This is due to Storm Eunice resulting in high waves and potential storm surge coinciding with the start of a period of spring tides.
“You can check your flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation at https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgency on Twitter for the latest flood updates.”
National Highways Head of Road Safety, Jeremy Phillips, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys and consider if their journey is necessary and can be delayed until conditions improve. If you do intend to travel, then plan your trip and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey.
“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.
“Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes.”
People should make preparations, secure garden furniture and bins, avoid parking near trees and remain cautious.
People are advised to check their local resilience authorities for ongoing safety advice around travel and preparations.
For more information on how to prepare for severe weather, please visit our WeatherReady advice.
Following impacts from Storm Eunice on Friday, conditions will remain unsettled over the weekend and into the start of next week, although much less severe. A yellow wind warning has been issued for southern and southwest England and parts of southern Wales.
Most of Scotland will enjoy a fine day on Saturday, although further rain will affect England and Wales with perhaps some snow across parts of the Midlands and southern Pennines. Rain and strong winds will develop more widely during Sunday, with some heavy rain expected for northern and western areas. Becoming windy again on Sunday and into Monday as another deep low develops close to northwest Scotland. The strongest winds, this time, will tend to be across northern areas.
That unsettled and windy theme looks to continue early next week, with some persistent rain and wind, especially in the north.
Check the latest forecast for your area on our website, by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as on our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store. Keep track of current weather warnings on the weather warning page.