Met Office issues rare red 'danger to life' weather warning as Storm Eunice approaches

Waves pound against the harbour wall at Portreath, Cornwall in 2020
Porlock is one of the areas set to be hit by Storm Eunice. Credit: PA

The Met Office has issued a red 'danger to life' weather warning for the UK as Storm Eunice approaches - and it's believed more red warnings could follow.

This one covers areas of the South West and South Wales and will come into force tomorrow (February 18) at 7am.

The Met Office has told people living in these areas to expect "significant disruption and dangerous conditions due to extremely strong winds on Friday".

Boris Johnson has confirmed the Army will be on stand-by as the UK braces for the storm.

The Prime Minister said the government is working with power companies and local authorities to restore power to areas already affected by Storm Dudley.

Trains have been cancelled in Wales, and lots of schools have decided to close as Eunice approaches.

The Minister for the Cabinet Office will chair a COBR today to discuss the response to both Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice.

There is one flood warning and 44 flood alerts currently in place across the United Kingdom, according to the Government website.

Most of the South of England has retained its Amber warning and the North of England and Northern Ireland remain predominantly in the Yellow zone.

The Met Office anticipates significant damage to infrastructure and power lines, and threats to coastal properties. The agency said to expect:

  • Flying debris resulting in danger to life

  • Damage to buildings and homes, with roofs blown off and power lines brought down

  • Uprooted trees are likely

  • Roads, bridges and railway lines closed, with delays and cancellations to bus, train, ferry services and flights

  • Power cuts affecting other services, such as mobile phone coverage

  • Large waves and beach material being thrown onto coastal roads, sea fronts and homes, including flooding of some coastal properties

Storm Eunice comes after much of the UK was hit by Storm Dudley on Wednesday (February 16).

The storm saw Capel Curig in Wales experience gusts of up to 81mph, with Emley Moore in Yorkshire seeing 74mph winds and Drumalbin in Scotland hit by 71mph gales.

But Storm Eunice could bring winds of up to 100mph - the last time this happened was back in January 1990 when 47 lives were lost.

The Met Office has never issued a solo red wind warning across southern England before. The coloured warning system was first introduced in 2008 and this is the 13th red alert issued since then.

The warning will be in place between 7am and 12pm tomorrow.

What does a red weather warning mean?

The area covered by the Met Office red weather warning for wind Credit: Met Office

The Met Office says: "Dangerous weather is expected and, if you have not done so already, you should take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the severe weather.

"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."