Weather Warnings Guide

March 12, 2021·6 minutes

When dealing with weather, don’t let yourself get caught unprepared. You need to know the basic warning signs with your local weather service. The Met Office gives accurate reports about UK weather, but you might not be familiar with the color system they use.

Throughout this article, you can learn how to read guides on weather warnings. You never know when this information can prove useful in the future, so it’s better to be safe than sorry! Share this review with your friends and family! It’s essential to remain vigilant about upcoming weather emergencies. Prevent danger by giving them this vital information!

What Do the Colours Mean: Full Explanation

The National Severe Weather Warning Service, or NSWWS, is what the Met Office uses to warn the public about potential weather emergencies. You might be given a text warning, or you might see it on the local news report. For the sake of convenience, the Met Office uses a color system to indicate threat levels.

The NSWWS uses a 4×4 matrix grid with four primary colors – neutral grey, yellow, amber, and red. How the grid works are quite simple. The further up you go, the more likely weather is to occur. Meanwhile, the farther right you go, the more potential there is for heavy impact. For this reason, it makes the difference between light rain and dramatic floods. The warning impact matrix uses a neutral grey on the bottom left side to indicate little-to-no threats.

Yellow represents the impact on a lower scale. Most people can continue with daily routines, although there is a possibility for travel disruption. Amber increases weather risks, which can negatively impact your current activities. It would be best to stay at home during amber warnings since they indicate severe weather like high winds.

Red warnings are the most dangerous, which means you should immediately take action. You need to ensure your safety. Widespread destruction can happen from tidal waves and strong wind, which can put your life at great risk. Should there be any red warnings, regularly update yourself with the current situation?

Whether the weather risks are yellow, amber, or red, you need to stay informed at all times. You never know where higher water elevation can happen. The good news is you can access weather reports with the Met Office. There are several ways to find the information you need.

How Can I Get Weather Warnings?

If you want to stay up to date with the Met Office, you can find information through several platforms. To access the homepage of their main website, where you can check out weather warnings. If you go to the homepage and there is an ongoing warning, you can see what’s going on with a banner. It highlights what you need to know and includes a color indicator.

You can also check warnings with the Met Office app, so your phone texts you during serious weather cases. Once you download the app, you can always check the main website while you’re on the go. The Met Office also has social media you can access. Other methods to stay updated include television and radio. You can even sign up for email alerts with the Met Office.

Location-Specific Warnings

The UK covers a reasonable distance of land, which means you need location-specific warnings for your area. Whether you live in Manchester or Newcastle, you can use an interactive map on the Met Office’s main website. Go to UK Weather Warnings to gather details for any given location, including the type of weather, impact level, and how long it’s expected to last.

If you allow the website to access your cookies, it can track down your location to give you specific updates in your area. You can also manually type in your current location on the search bar for more details. There is a weather forecast throughout the week to use as a guide, just in case. It even gives you reasons for why the weather reports are updated.

Dual Warnings

You should also keep up with dual warnings. Weather impact can happen from more than one source, such as wind and rain. When these weather forces combine, you end up with more potent forms of disruption. Dual warnings work like single warnings since they use the impact matrix for visual representation. They are going to share the same colour warning for the sake of simplicity. Remember, this is one warning for two different weather types. The most common is rain and wind, but you can also experience snow and ice.

What to Do in Case of Weather Warning?

Once you receive a warning with amber or especially red color, you need to take immediate action. First, you should pay constant attention to local weather reports. It’s your most important means of communication between you and the incoming weather. You need to follow any basic advice from the authorities since they are experts on what to do in these situations.

You might consider getting out of the area, but it’s best to stay inside. There might be warnings not to go outside since you can get caught up in disastrous situations. For example, if you ignore a “do not travel” warning, you put yourself at serious risk of injury or death from weather hazards, such as heavy snowdrift. If there is thunder or lightning, you don’t want to be struck while out in the open. It’s best to stay away from dangerous areas.

If you’re inside and there’s a weather report for lightning, don’t go near water sources like the bathroom. A substantial likelihood of lightning means you should find a center point in your home and stay put until weather reports indicate otherwise. If there is an incoming flood, try to stay inside. According to meteorologists, the afternoon offers the highest impact chances for local weather. You can expect the weather to hit the hardest around this time.

Never drive in unsafe conditions, especially with light flooding, heavy fog, and snow. You can take extra precautions with food supplies, water, and first-aid kits in your home and car. In cases of freezing weather, you should also have several clothing items to keep you warm, mostly if your heating system doesn’t work. Once severe weather clears up, you should again stay away from downed power lines to avoid electrocution.

Of course, if the weather reports are only yellow, you can exercise caution by driving safely. However, you should be careful and stay updated in case something changes. If it doesn’t look safe to be outside, stay inside.


Not everybody knows how to interpret weather warnings. With this handy guide, you can figure out what each color represents. Every warning has a threat level ranging from yellow to red, so be on the lookout for changing weather conditions. Check the main website for the Met Office and listen to their advice. You can always prepare yourself with extra supplies since you never know when you need them!

Take care of each other! Share this comprehensive list with your friends. By doing so, you reduce the risks of weather emergency damage! Stay one step ahead with this warning guide.

Casper Henson
Casper Henson

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