Storm Eunice to be worst for 30 YEARS: Exact locations at risk–Met Office issues RED alert

Storm Eunice: Senior meteorologist Jim Dale on what to expect

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As the Met Office has upgraded a severe weather warning due to extremely strong wind gusts for parts of southwest England and south Wales to red — the highest level —, the Royal Meteorological Institute (IRM) of Belgium has claimed Eunice could be “the worst storm since 1990”.

Meteorologist David Dehenauw said: “In the most pessimistic case, we can talk about the worst storm since 1990.

“The red alert for wind is activated very rarely, if ever.”

The Belgian VTM Nieuw weather expert added: “To reach wind gusts of 140 km/h you have to go back 30 years, to the storm of January 25, 1990”.

The Belgian coast could witness gusts of up to 150km/h, while the most optimistic scenario could stop them at 120km/h.

The forecast for West Flanders and Antwerp is above 100km/h too, while Luxembourg’s is 80-120km/h.

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The IRM cautions that in some areas the damage may be extensive and important and traffic may also be severely disrupted.

Mr Dehenauw added: “Light lorries can be overturned by gusts of 120 km/h.

“It is also best to take precautions on construction sites where there are cranes.”

The red alert for wind in the UK, which the Met Office rarely issues, comes years after a similar warning in March 2018.

However, Eunice is not the first named storm of the season. It follows Storm Dudley, Corrie, Malik, Barra and Arwen.

The current warning is in place from 07:00 GMT on Thursday to 12:00 on Friday and covers the coastline of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

Predicted gusts of up to 90mph could pose a danger to life from flying debris.

There are also concerns it could bring coastal flooding to the west, south-west and south coast of England, while the River Severn has been dubbed an area of concern, too.

Damage to homes, train cancellations and power cuts are likely, according to the Met Office.

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The red warning was also issued for Wales, where people have been told to stay indoors due to “significant danger to life” and many schools have been shut.

While the warning covers Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea and Vale of Glamorgan, train services have been suspended across the entire country on Friday.

Martyn Brennan of Transport for Wales said: “The extreme weather forecast for Storm Eunice is very concerning, so we are strongly advising people not to attempt to travel during this time as services will not be operating.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford, who attended a Cobra meeting on Thursday afternoon, urged people to “make preparations today so you can keep yourself and loved ones safe”.

Advising residents against unnecessary travel, he said: “The cabinet is meeting this afternoon to discuss preparations for the storm.

“We will constantly monitor the situation and will keep the people of Wales updated.”

Meanwhile, Clarence House has confirmed Prince Charles has cancelled his visit to Newport due to the “dangers” posed by the storm.

Eunice has come the same week as Storm Dudley, which left thousands of people in northeast England, Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Lancashire without power.

It brought gusts of up to 81mph in Capel Curig in Snowdonia, while Emley Moor in Yorkshire recorded gusts of 74mph and Aonach Mor, near Fort William, saw 101mph winds.

In Northumberland, dramatic footage of an overturned lorry lying on its side on the A696 near Otterburn left locals shocked.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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