United Kingdom

What is a yellow weather warning?

Shoppers try to shelter from the rain on Oxford Street (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

As the UK prepares to be hit with another round of storms, the Met Office has issued an official yellow weather warning.

People across the north of England, including Manchester and Newcastle, as well as the Midlands and Wales should prepare for heavy showers and thunderstorms, with possible flooding and travel disruption as a result.

In addition, some power supplies could be at risk due to the weather circumstances.

But what is a yellow weather warning and when are they issued?

What are weather warnings?

Determined by the Met Office, weather warnings are notifications to inform people of conditions that could impact their plans or – in the very worst cases – pose a threat to life.

Ranging from yellow to red, they indicate the severity of the weather conditions to come – from wind and rain to snowstorms.

Umbrellas at the ready as people shelter from the rain on London’s Millennium Bridge (Picture: Guy Bell/REX)

What is a yellow weather warning?

The mildest of the warnings, a yellow weather warning alerts the public to upcoming meteorological events which may cause disruption to travel.

A representative from the Met Office states: ‘Many people may be able to continue with their daily routine, but there will be some that will be directly impacted and so it is important to assess if you could be affected.

‘Other yellow warnings are issued when the weather could bring much more severe impacts to the majority of people but the certainty of those impacts occurring is much lower.’

Still, a yellow weather warning is well worth being aware of as it may indicate a threat of floods or possible damage to homes and businesses.

What is an amber weather warning?

An amber weather warning is the next step up after the yellow stage, alerting people of events that are likely to have a medium to high impact on normal life.

What is a red weather warning?

The most severe of the weather warnings is the red level, which thankfully is rare to occur in the UK.

According to the Met Office, if this warning is issued you must ‘take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the weather.

‘Widespread damage, travel and power disruption and risk to life is likely.’

When was the last red weather warning?

Storm Dennis in February 2020 caused the Met Office to issue a red warning for rain for parts of south Wales, due to severe flooding.

Before then, the last red weather warning for rain had been in 2015 – proving just how rare the extreme alert is.

A red warning was also issued in 2018, for snow, in Devon.


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