Red Weather Warning issued for Storm Eunice
11:16 (UTC) on Thu 17 Feb 2022
The Met Office has issued a rare Red Weather Warning as Storm Eunice is expected to bring extremely strong winds and continued disruption for much of the UK on Friday.
The Red Weather Warning for wind covers southwest coastal areas of the UK, where the most significant gusts in exposed areas could be in excess of 90mph from early Friday morning. Further inland and within the wider Amber Warning area, gusts will still be significant and damaging for many, with 70-80mph gusts possible. With such severe weather impacting the UK, people should stay up to date with the latest warnings as they could be updated.
⚠️⚠️🔴 Rare Red Weather Warning Issued 🔴⚠️⚠️#StormEunice will bring extremely strong winds across parts of Southwest England and south Wales
Friday 0700 – 1200
Latest info 👉 https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs
Advice 👉 https://t.co/JFRa8CtfWY
— Met Office (@metoffice) February 17, 2022
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 providing another risk near coastlines.
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 has been issued 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 Frank Saunders 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 area indicates 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 in the south and west could see gusts in excess of 90mph, winds will remain notably strong further inland, with gusts of between 70-80mph for most within the amber warning area.”
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.
For more information on how to prepare for severe weather, please visit our WeatherReady advice.