Severe Weather

The UK is prone to a wide variety of weather extremes, all of which can cause great disruption. Here you will find advice on what to do to be better prepared and guidance on where to go for further information and updates.

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The Council of the Isles of Scilly is in regular contact with the UK's official weather service, the Met Office. They are responsible for issuing weather warnings, which warn of impacts caused by severe weather. These warnings are designed to let people, businesses, emergency responders, and governments know what weather is in store and what the impacts of that weather may be. When these warnings have potential to impact the islands as a whole, the Council aims to get this information out to the wider public. 

Understanding the Weather Warnings

We try to break down these warnings into usable information as well as sharing the full documents from the Met Office. Each warning contains the following sections:

  • Headline: A short weather headline, which states what weather type is forecast
  • What to expect: Details on the types of impact forecast and an indication of how likely those impacts are
  • What should I do: This section links to advice and guidance from our partners on how to stay safe in severe weather
  • Further details: Additional information on the forecast weather

Each of these Met Office issued weather warnings are given a colour (yellow, amber, or red) depending on a combination of both the impact the weather may have and the likelihood of those impacts occurring. Yellow and Amber warnings represent a range of impact levels and likelihoods. This means it is important to read each warning to know what level of impact you can expect for your chosen warning area - and how likely those impacts are to occur. These impacts can include damage to property, travel delays and cancellations, loss of water supplies, power cuts and, in the most severe cases, bring a danger to life. 

The Met Office describes each colour as follows:

Yellow Warning: Yellow warnings can be issued for a range of weather situations. Many are issued when it is likely that the weather will cause some low level impacts, including some disruption to travel in a few places. 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. It is important to read the content of yellow warnings to determine which weather situation is being covered by the yellow warning.

Amber Warning: There is an increased likelihood of impacts from severe weather, which could potentially disrupt your plans. This means there is the possibility of travel delays, road and rail closures, power cuts and the potential risk to life and property. You should think about changing your plans and taking action to protect yourself and your property. You may want to consider the impact of the weather on your family and your community and whether there is anything you need to do ahead of the severe weather to minimise the impact.

Red Warning: Dangerous weather is expected and, if you haven’t already done so, you should take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the severe weather. It is very likely that there will be a risk to life, with substantial disruption to travel, energy supplies and possibly widespread damage to property and infrastructure. You should avoid travelling, where possible, and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities.

If you would like more information on the weather warnings please see the following link: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/guides/warnings