By Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas
A RED Weather Warning has been issued by the Met Office for Gosport, Fareham and the much of the South East of England as Storm Eunice arrives on our shores.
The warning came at 04.27 this morning – replacing the previous amber weather warning reported in The Globe earlier this week – and is in force from 10am to 3pm today – Friday, February 18.
The Met Office describes the issuing of a red weather warning as, “rare” and states: “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 details and advice for when a red weather warning is in force include: “Dangerous weather is expected and, if you haven’t already done so, 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.
“You should avoid travelling, where possible, and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities.”
Even before the red weather warning was issued, Gosport Borough Council had posted on its Facebook page that Stokes Bay Road will be closed today between 11am and 1.30pm because of the high tide and predicted strong winds.
If you have to drive
Head of Road Safety National Highways, Jeremy Phillips, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys and consider if their journey is necessary and can be delayed until conditions improve. If you do intend to travel, then plan your trip and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey.
“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.
“Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes.”
The Met Office also advises that, “people should make preparations, secure garden furniture and bins, avoid parking near trees and remain cautious.” More advice is available at WeatherReady.
‘conditions will remain unsettled’
The initial amber weather warning was for today between 3am and 9pm, so after the red warning expires, it is expected that the Amber Warning will be in place.
And even after Storm Eunice moves on, the weather outlook is that, “conditions will remain unsettled over the weekend and into the start of next week, although much less severe.
“A yellow wind warning has been issued for southern and southwest England and parts of southern Wales.”
Image (top): Met Office Red Weather Warning. The Met Office