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Can you drive in a red weather warning?

The Met Office has announced amber weather warnings for most of England and Wales in the face of Storm Eunice today. However, there are also a number of red weather warnings for parts of England near the South East coast and areas of Wales. These warnings are set to last from 7am to 12pm for the Welsh areas and 10am to 3pm for the English areas. Such a warning means “dangerous weather is expected” and the winds will be “extremely strong”. What should people living in these areas do? Can you drive a car during a Red Weather warning?

Can you drive in a red weather warning?

If you live in an area with a red weather warning, you probably shouldn’t drive. While there are no rules against driving in a red alert area, but it’s better to stay at home and avoid travel.

Southwest coastal areas of the UK can expect winds in excess of 90mph this morning, which is even more extreme and potentially damaging than the winds experienced further inland. 

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Frank Saunders said Storm Eunice could 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.”

READ MORE- Storm Eunice triggers rare red weather warning: ‘Worse than expected!’

If you do intend to travel, then plan your trip and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey, Mr Phillips warned. 

He added: “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 rest of England minus parts of the north above Manchester is on Amber alert, which is not as severe or dangerous.

For example, where amber says ‘there is a good chance that flying debris could result in a danger to life’, red says ‘flying debris resulting in danger to life’.

You should also expect the following in a red alert area:

  • 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

The last time a Red Weather Warning was issued by the Met Office was in 2021 due to Storm Arwen and before that, the last red warning for wind was in March 2018.



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