Today, a 122mph gust of wind was reported on the Isle of Wight, which is thought to be the greatest wind speed ever recorded for England as Storm Eunice wreaks havoc across the UK.
The Met Office believes the gust measured at the Needles on the Isle of Wight is a new record.
As Storm Eunice made landfall in the UK, bringing power outages, flying debris, and traffic mayhem, two rare red “danger to life” weather warnings were issued, encouraging the public to stay indoors.
High winds have caused power outages, aircraft cancellations, the closure of hundreds of schools, and the closure of many key bridges across the country.
The Met Office has issued red weather warnings, which indicate a risk to life, for parts of southern and eastern England and south Wales.
As the storm barrelled into the UK, tens of thousands of houses, primarily in the south west of England, were left without electricity.
Forecasters believe Eunice will be one of the most powerful storms in three decades. It may also generate a rare ‘sting jet,’ a tight zone of exceptionally powerful wind, making it much more lethal.
At least 80 flights to and from London airports have been cancelled, London City Airport is closed until 4.30 p.m., and ferry services across the Irish Sea and between Dover and Calais have been halted.
Because of the windy circumstances, flights attempting to land at Heathrow had to be diverted to Geneva and Bordeaux. A aircraft spotter’s live running commentary of planes arriving at the airport in high winds drew 130,000 spectators.
Storm watchers ignored instructions to stay away from the shore and were photographed at Porthcawl Lighthouse in Porthcawl, Bridgend, watching waves slam against the sea wall. There have been complaints of individuals swimming and climbing on sea walls in Cornwall, according to the Coastguard and police.
To “keep people safe during the storm,” the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust has cancelled all outpatient appointments. The visits would be rescheduled, according to the trust.
Part of the roof of the O2 arena in London, formerly known as the Millennium Dome, has been taken off. Parks were blocked in other parts of the metropolis, including Primrose Hill in north London.
Home Office minister Damian Hinds stated this morning that the Army is on “high readiness standby,” insisting that the Government is prepared after learning lessons from last November’s disastrous Storm Arwen.
Today, the government held an emergency Cobra meeting to plan its reaction to the second storm in a week, following the huge disruption caused by Storm Dudley.
Just before 4 a.m., the second red alert warning of extremely high winds and a “danger to life” was issued for London, the south-east, and the east of England, which will last until 3 p.m. today.
Due to a mix of high tides, strong winds, and storm surge, the warning for Greater London, Kent, Surrey, Essex, and East Sussex follows an earlier red weather warning that went into effect at 7 a.m. for the coasts of Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset, as well as the south coast of Wales.