What is an amber UK weather warning and why does the Met Office issue them?February 9, 2021
ADVERSE weather conditions can have a big impact on your day – disrupting travel arrangements and posing a serious risk to life and property in extreme situations.
Here, we explain why the Met Office issues colour-coded weather warnings to give people advice on how to stay safe during hazardous weather.
What is an amber weather warning?
When the Met Office issues an amber warning, it means experts believe you should be prepared to change your plans and protect you, your family and community from the impacts of the severe weather.
When does the Met Office issue an amber weather warning?
Rain, wind, snow, fog and ice all threaten to cause disruption to our days – or at the very worst put us in danger.
Equally, weather warnings can be issued when the UK is hit with severe levels of heat and sunshine.
Before the latter happens, the Met Office will issue a weather warning – normally five days ahead – giving the public time to make alternative travel plans to help minimise disruption.
Weather experts will give an amber alert when there is a medium likelihood that members of the public will have to be prepared to change travel plans in order to keep themselves safe.
How do you find out when amber weather warnings are in place?
There are a number of ways you can be alerted to severe weather warnings in the UK.
Most people rely on radio and TV to find out the latest breaking weather news.
Others go straight to the source and visit the Met Office website, while others sign up to phone apps, RSS and email alerts so they can be notified while they're on the go through push-notifications.
It's always helpful to pass on weather warnings to family and friends by sharing them on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to spread the word.
Is an amber weather warning worse than yellow?
Compared to a yellow weather warning, amber means there is an increased likelihood of bad weather affecting the public.
Yellow means there a likelihood of bad weather affecting the public.
This potentially means cancelling plans, having to deal with travel delays, road and rail closures, interruption to power and the potential risk to life and property.
Yellow is issued when low-level impact is caused and refers to a wide range of weather situations.
Should I travel in an amber weather warning?
No, you should try to avoid any unnecessary travel when an amber weather warning has been issued.
When an amber warning is in place it means that the weather will cause disruption to travel or, in the case of ice and flooding, could put you in danger.
What is the highest colour weather warning?
The highest colour weather warning that can be issued by the Met Office is red.
It is the most serious kind of warning and means that the weather will cause damage – especially to buildings and roads.
Transport is likely to be delayed or cancelled and people are told to avoid travelling completely if they can.
It could also affect power cables which means that homes may experience power cuts.
It also means that people's lives could be at risk if they are not careful.
The Met Office says that when it issues a red warning, people must stay away from areas which could be potentially dangerous and that they should follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities.
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