A storm approaching Scotland has prompted weather experts in the United Kingdom to issue a rare type of weather warning, the country’s national weather service said Newsweek is “reserved for the most extreme weather conditions.”
A ‘red’ weather warning has been issued for parts of eastern Scotland in anticipation of significant rainfall which could lead to ‘severe’ flooding. The warning goes into effect at 6 p.m. local time on Thursday and will remain in effect until midday on Friday.
Most areas covered by the red warning are expected to receive between 100 and 150 millimeters of rain as Storm Babet moves through, although some locations could see rainfall amounts of 200 to 250 millimeters, according to the British Meteorological Department ( Met) Office. In a press release on Wednesday, Met Office forecasters said the impact of Babet could pose “a threat to life from flooding” with homes and businesses at risk of “extensive” flooding.
While the storm is expected to move north, the wind and rain it produces could affect many areas across the UK over the next few days. Meteorologists are expecting heavy rain in southern England on Friday.
Babet’s effects were already being felt in parts of Ireland on Wednesday. Cork residents posted videos of flooded streets on social media, which were later highlighted by AccuWeather. In a video shared on X, formerly Twitter, a local art gallery posted footage showing vehicles slowly navigating through floodwaters.
Another video shared on X showed rushing floodwaters rushing through a grassy golf course.
The Met Office said Babet could also cause landslides in areas falling under the red warning. Weather experts and local officials urged residents to be alert to the risk of flooding and to keep an eye out for official flood warnings. They also advised against traveling during the storm.
“Travel should be avoided unless absolutely necessary,” Scottish Prime Minister Humza Yousaf said said on X. “The Scottish Government is working with local resilience partners, including our emergency services, to ensure we keep everyone safe and mitigate disruption as best as possible.”
Storm Babet is the first time the Met Office has issued a red weather warning this year. The last red warnings were issued in mid-July 2022 due to extreme heat in parts of England and in February 2022 when Storm Eunice brought strong winds to parts of England and south Wales, Met Office senior press officer Nicola Maxey said Newsweek. Only one red warning was issued in 2021.
“The current red warning is the first red warning we have issued since Storm Dennis in February 2020,” Maxey added. “The last red rain warning we issued for an area of Scotland was in connection with Storm Desmond in December 2015, when the first red warning was in place over Cumbria but was later extended across the border into Scotland.”
Maxey said the red weather warning was considered “relatively rare” for the UK.