Status Amber weather alerts are in place for the majority of the UK as Storms Dudley and Eunice approach.

Storm Dudley will impact on the northern half of the UK from Wednesday (February 16) afternoon through to early Thursday (February 17), while Storm Eunice will bring strong winds and potentially some snow for parts of the country on Friday (February 18).  

“An active jet stream is helping to drive low-pressure systems across the country, with both storms set to cause some disruption and National Severe Weather Warnings have been issued,” said Met Office chief meteorologist Frank Saunders.

“Significant disruption is possible from both Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice with strong winds one of the main themes of the current forecast.”

What to expect

Under a Status Amber wind alert the following is to be expected:

  • Road, rail, air and ferry services likely to be affected, and some roads and bridges are likely to close, leading to longer journey times and cancellations;
  • Perhaps some fallen trees and damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs;
  • Power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage;
  • Large waves and beach material may be thrown onto coastal roads, sea fronts and properties.

On Friday, there will also be a good chance that flying debris could result in danger to life.

People are being urged to take care, especially those on coastal areas.

“Please remember to take extreme care on coastal paths and promenades,” said Environment Agency flood duty manager Katharine Smith.

“We urge people to stay safe on the coast and warn wave watchers against the unnecessary danger of taking ‘storm selfies’. Flooding of low-lying coastal roads is also possible and people should avoid driving through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.”  

The storms

Strong winds from Storm Dudley will cross western Scotland and Northern Ireland on Wednesday afternoon, pushing eastwards to northern England later in the day.

Wind gusts could reach up to 80m/h in exposed coastal areas, with 60-70m/h gusts possible further inland. A yellow warning for wind has been issued for much of central and northern areas of the UK, including Northern Ireland.

Embedded within that is an amber warning for southern and western Scotland, the north coast of Northern Ireland and northern England, where the strongest and most disruptive winds are expected.

Yellow and amber warnings for wind have been issued for Storm Eunice, which is going to impact much of the UK on Friday. The most significant wind gusts are expected in the south and west of the UK, with an amber warning now in force here from the early hours of Friday morning.

Exposed coastal areas could see wind gusts in excess of 95m/h, while inland areas could still see gusts to around 80m/h, bringing the potential for fallen trees, damage to buildings and travel disruption. 

Although Storm Eunice’s strongest winds will be on its southern edge, the northern flank of the system brings the potential for some snow to northern areas.

A yellow warning for wind and snow has been issued covering Northern Ireland, northern England and southern Scotland, where potentially up to 20cm of snow could accumulate over high ground, with up to 5cm possible in some lower areas. Brisk winds in this area could cause blizzard-like conditions and drifting of lying snow, reducing visibility, and making driving conditions difficult.