A red weather warning has been issued for the south east, including Kent, as Storm Eunice is expected to cause significant disruption due to extremely strong winds today (February18).
Extremely strong west to southwesterly winds will develop mid morning, transferring eastwards across southern and southeast England through the middle of the day then slowly easing from the west during the afternoon.
Gusts of 60-70 mph are likely widely, but the Met Office says 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. The red warning is in place between 10am and 3pm with an amber warning remaining in place up until 9pm.
Red Weather Warnings are rarely issued by the Met Office, with the last one coinciding with Storm Arwen in November 2021, but you’d have to go back to March 2018 for the last Red Warning for wind before that.
⚠ #StormEunice is going to bring damaging and disruptive winds for most of the UK today.
🔴 See the latest Red Warnings for wind below and be aware of the wider Amber Warning area.
Exposed coastal areas could get gusts in excess of 90mph
— Met Office (@metoffice) February 18, 2022
Damage to buildings and homes is likely, with roofs blown off and power lines brought down. Roads, bridges and railway lines are likely to close, with delays and cancellations to bus, train, ferry services and flights.
There is a good chance that power cuts, possibly prolonged, could occur, perhaps affecting other services, such as mobile phone coverage.
Large waves are likely and beach material is likely to be thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties, and flooding of some coastal properties also seems likely. It is likely there will be falling branches and some uprooted trees.
As a safety precaution because of the forecast, there will be a 50mph speed restriction across most of the Southeastern network (except High Speed services) from the start of service until at least 6pm and some trains will be cancelled.
Due to the probability of trees and debris being blown on to the tracks, disruption on all Southeastern routes is highly likely. It is recommended that travellers consider postponing their journey or working from home if possible.
If you’ve already bought your ticket for Friday you can use it on Saturday at no extra cost or apply for a refund.
Met Office Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: “After the impacts from Storm Dudley for many on Wednesday, Storm Eunice will bring damaging gusts in what could be one of the most impactful storms to affect southern and central parts of the UK for a few years.”
“The red warning areas indicate a significant danger to life as extremely strong winds provide the potential for damage to structures and flying debris. Although the most exposed coastal areas could see gusts in excess of 90mph, winds will remain notably strong further inland, with gusts of between 60-70mph for most within the amber warning area, and up to 80mph in a few places.”