Storm Eunice code RED warning: Millions of Brits told ‘act now’ to avoid ‘imminent danger’

Storm Eunice: Waves crash over pier in Porthcawl

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The Met Office has issued a rare second code red warning as the storm covers London, the southeast and east of England. Previously, the red warning was set to cover parts of southwest England and south Wales. This alert means that there is a danger to life from flying debris, as hundreds of schools shut down, along with train services in Wales being suspended.

BBC Weather said it “could well be one of the worst storms in three decades” as forecasters predict gusts of up to 90mph.

Hannah Cloke, Professor of Hydrology, Department of Geography & Environmental Science and Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, said: “The Met Office red and amber warnings for high winds on Friday should not be taken lightly.

“Red means you need to act now because there is an imminent danger to life.

“Everyone who lives or works in those areas should be battening down the hatches, literally in some cases, to prevent people from being killed and injured and to protect your homes and businesses.”

Eunice will be the second storm this week to hit the UK after Storm Dudley battered parts of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland, causing power disruptions and leaving thousands of homes in the dark.

Red weather warnings are rare, as the winds here are so powerful that roofs could be blown off, power lines pulled down and trees uprooted.

Prof Cloke urged people to say inside, adding: “Winds of 70mph will uproot trees, which can block roads and crush cars or buildings.

“They can pick up roof tiles and hurl them around.

“If you’re hit by one of those you will be seriously hurt or killed.

“Wind that strong will sweep people and vehicles off streets, and topple electricity lines.

“Don’t take any chances. Stay inside.”

People have been urged to “tie-down” objects in their gardens for fear of blowing away, along with fastening doors and windows.

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Car owners have been asked to keep their vehicles locked inside garages if possible, away from trees and walls.

Dr Ambrogio Volonté, a storm scientist at the University of Reading, said: “Red warnings for winds are not unheard of but they are fairly rare.

Before Eunice, we had storm Arwen in November 2021.

“Before that, there was a red warning for wind in January 2016.

Dr Peter Inness, meteorologist at the University of Reading warned that such winter storms are caused by intense jet stream winds that usually blow at about 7-10 km above the ground and reaches about 200 miles per hour.

He said: “A strong jet stream like this can act as a production line for storms, generating a new storm every day or two.

“There have been many occasions in the recent past when two or more damaging storms have passed across the UK and other parts of Europe in the space of a few days.”

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