While thousands of people are waiting for power to be restored, the UK Met Office has issued several weather warnings and urged people to only travel if absolutely necessary. As Storm Eunice approaches the UK weather experts are predicting 100mph winds and snowfall in some areas of Great Britain. In the last few minutes, the Met Office issued a Red Alert Weather warning in a pinned tweet.
⚠️⚠️🔴 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
During Storm Dudley, the highest winds were recorded in Snowdonia’s Capel Curig battering Wales with winds of 81mph. Currently, Dudley is heading east and the winds are easing across the UK. It brought severe disruption to travel, power outages, and infrastructural damage. For its part, the Network Railway tweeted:
“🌬️ #StormDudley has caused major disruption and #StormEunice will be more severe tomorrow.
⚠️ Check @nationalrailenq before travelling.”
A short time ago, the UK government announced that Cabinet Office Minister, Michael Ellis, would head up a COBRA meeting “to discuss the response to Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice.”
Storm Dudley caused severe disruption and costly damage
Apart from leaving thousands of people without power, Storm Dudley wreaked havoc on ferry and rail services. Falling trees made roads treacherous and coastal areas like Blackpool suffered exceptionally high seas. Cornwall was one of the most affected areas while parts of Scotland also came in for a hammering. The UK Environment Agency issued flood alerts for two areas, namely Keswick Campsite and the coast between North Head and Haverigg while warning a further 42 sites of possible flooding.
Local councils have warned people to stay away from coastal areas and not be tempted to take storm selfies. As usual, people shared dramatic storm footage and memes across social media with this one being one of the stand-out tweets:
IMPORTANT DIRECTIVE FOR ALL UK CATS: Only dogs would be stupid enough to go out in this weather. Find the warmest, most comfortable spot in your home and stay there…until June. #StormDudley #StormEunice pic.twitter.com/pRvBgLgmoQ
— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) February 16, 2022
Storm Eunice – what to expect and how to prepare
Met Office storm forecaster, Becky Mitchell, told The Mirror that Storm Eunice could be the worst storm since The Burns Day Storm thirty years ago: “With the wind gusts we are forecasting at the moment, we’ve only seen a handful of storms in the past 30 years that have brought similar gusts. It’s got the potential to be up there as quite a notable storm.
“Winds are likely to be 60 to 70mph inland across the south of the UK.
“It’s quite unusual, we don’t see gusts that high over such a wide area in the south.
“The Burns Day Storm brought similar gusts.”
During the Burns Day Storm, 47 people lost their lives.
The red alert is for large areas of South West England including Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Isles of Scilly, North Somerset, Somerset, South Gloucestershire. It also applies in the Welsh regions of Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea, and Vale of Glamorgan. The red alert will be in place from 7 am to 12 pm tomorrow for those areas.
The whole of England and Wales will face a period of amber alert which means there is a “danger to life.” The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for Northern Ireland, northern England, and southern Scotland predicting strong winds and snow.
The Met Office said that the red weather alert means “dangerous weather is expected” adding that it is “very likely that there will be a risk to life, with substantial disruption to travel, energy supplies and possibly widespread damage to property and infrastructure.”
While the Met Office and local councils have urged people to avoid unnecessary travel, both the Association of British Insurers and the RAC have published advice in the run-up to Storm Eunice.
RAC Breakdown spokesperson, Rod Dennis, told the Guardian:
“Drivers should take the fact the Met Office has upweighted its warnings from yellow to amber on Friday very seriously. Storm Eunice will make road conditions hazardous, so we strongly urge drivers not to risk it and instead consider delaying their journeys until the storm passes.”