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.
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.