Storm Eunice Manchester: when will strong winds and snow hit, how long will it last, weather warning explained

A rare red weather warning has been issued for parts of the UK as Storm Eunice moves in on Friday - and Manchester authorities are advising essential travel only.
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The UK is already finding itself buffeted by the arrival of Storm Eunice, just days after Storm Dudley caused widespread disruption up and down the country.

Some weather experts have predicted that Storm Eunice could give us the strongest winds recorded in several years and winds of over 100mph have already been noted over the Isle of Wight on Friday morning.

It is believed that London and larger parts of the south will be the worst affected by the storm, with coastal areas expected to face wind speeds that could exceed 100mph.

But when will the storm hit Manchester - and what weather warning are in place?

When is Storm Eunice predicted to hit Manchester?

Storm Eunice began battering Greater Manchester around lunchtime on Friday 18 February. The city-region has an amber warning for wind in place for 16 hours, ending at 9pm on Friday.

The city-region can also expect heavy rain and possible snow in some places. Parts have already experienced downpours and sleet showers from around 11am-12pm on Friday.

Agencies from across Greater Manchester have come together as the Greater Manchester Resilience Forum to plan ahead for the possible impact.

Assistant Chief Constable Wasim Chaudhry, Chair of the GM Resilience Forum said: "Storm Eunice will see us affected by winds that are unusually high for an inland area and is likely to cause some problems. Most notably we can expect to see falling trees or debris, damage to roofs or structures under construction and very difficult driving or travelling conditions. There is also the risk of power cuts.

"I'm confident that together we are all well prepared, have the people and resources in place that we may need and a strong plan to respond to incidents if we need to. We've learnt from previous bad weather events - including storm Dudley from earlier this week - and are well placed to handle any arising problems.

"We're asking people to restrict their movements to essential travel only and if they must travel during the storm to take extra care and check arrangements before they set off. “

What does an amber weather warning mean?

The weather warning system devised by the Met Office is made up of yellow, amber and red warnings, which are used to alert people about weather systems that may cause disruption or danger to life.

An amber warning from the Met Office means:

- There is a good chance that flying debris could result in a danger to life.

- Damage to buildings and homes is likely, with roofs blown off and power lines brought down.

- Roads, bridges and railway lines are likely to close, with delays and cancellations to bus, train, ferry services and flights.

- There is a good chance that power cuts, possibly prolonged, could occur and possibly affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage

- In coastal areas, large waves are likely and beach material is likely to be thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.

- It is likely there will be falling branches and some uprooted trees.

How can I prepare for Storm Eunice?

The Met office has provided advice for preparing for an amber storm warning. Ahead of the storm you should:

- Secure loose objects such as ladders, garden furniture or anything else that could be blown into windows and other glazing and break them.

- Close and securely fasten doors and windows, particularly those on the windward side of the house, and especially large doors such as those on garages.

- Park vehicles in a garage, if available; otherwise keep them clear of buildings, trees, walls and fences

- Close and secure loft trapdoors with bolts, particularly if roof pitch is less than 30°.

- If the house is fitted with storm shutters over the windows then ensure that these are closed and fastened.

- If chimney stacks are tall and in poor condition, move beds away from areas directly below them.

What weather can Manchester expect?

The Met Office says: “Storm Eunice will bring very strong winds on Friday with rain and snow. Snow showers may fall to increasingly lower levels later in the day as the storm clears. Maximum temperature 8 °C.”

When Storm Eunice arrives at 5am on Friday 18 February, we can expect heavy rain with wind speeds just below 30 mph.

Between 6am and 10am, the rain will ease off, to be replaced with strong winds. From 6am, the wind speed will increase from 30mph to 39mph.

The storm will hit hardest around midday, with heavy rain and wind speeds of around 50mph, which are expected to increase to around 56mph by 2pm.

From 3pm onwards, the rain will ease off, and the wind is expected to decrease to around 40mph between 4pm and 11pm.

Manchester is expected to be less windy on Saturday 19 February with a spell of rain and hill snow, according to the Met Office.

On Sunday, we can expect showery rain, with the weather turning dryer on Monday.