Weather Warnings and Advisories
Please see our impact vs likelihood information below.
There are many variables that come with each warning and we take into account the time of year, the time of day and also the conditions running up to the severe weather event.
Summer warnings tend to be issued under slightly less severe weather than in winter time. In summer there are many more people on the IOW along with a dramatically increased amount of people outdoors enjoying various activities and inevitably a larger amount of people driving on the islands roads, so here is a rough guideline to different weather types and the warnings associated with them.
These are issued for very limited or extremely localised severe weather. The conditions may still cause a few disruptions to outdoor events and activities as well as a few travel disruptions or delays.
We also issue advisories for extremes of temperature:
In summer when the temperature is expected to be higher than 30’c during the day and/or not fall below 20’c at night.
In winter when the average temperature is expected to remain below 3°C for a period of 36 hours or longer.
A frost alert will be issued if the temperature is likely to fall below 3°C at any time of the year, but will be covered by our regularly updated frost maps.
We also issue separate Large Wave Advisories for Eastern and Southern parts of the island during the summer months if the swell is likely to be in excess of 2 meters.
Other weather types can include: Ice/Black Ice, Snow, Fog, Large Waves, Storm Surge, Flooding, Heavy Rainfall, Thunderstorms, Squalls and Frequent Wind Gusts reaching 45-55mph between 1st April and 30th September, although we do not issue wind advisories outside of these times.
An early warning or watch will be issued if the risk of severe weather is either very uncertain or is more than 72 hours ahead.
Weather types can include: High Winds, Heavy Rainfall and Snow.
A Severe Weather Warning will be issued if severe weather is likely within 72 hours and under exceptional circumstances 96 hours.
YELLOW WARNING means there is a risk of disruption to everyday activities such as outdoor leisure activities as well as the potential for some travel disruptions. There may be some property damage depending on the weather type and there may also be a risk of accident or injury due to the weather if you are spending time outdoors.
Weather types include: Large Waves, Storm Surge, Flooding, Heavy Rainfall, Thunderstorms, Snow, Ice or Black Ice, Freezing Rain, Fog, Squalls and Frequent Wind Gusts reaching 55-70mph between 1st April and 30th September, or 65-75mph from 1st October until the 31st of March.
AMBER WARNING means A higher likelihood of disruptions and damage could occur than with Yellow Warning along a more widespread risk.
The risk of accident or injury due to the weather is significantly heightened with a potential risk to life. There is also a significant risk of travel disruptions as well as possible power cuts.
Weather types include: Storm Surge, Flooding, Heavy Rainfall, Thunderstorms, Snow, Ice or Black Ice, Freezing Rain and Frequent Wind Gusts reaching up to 70-85mph between 1st April and 30th September, or 75-85mph from 1st October until the 31st of March
RED WARNING means that very dangerous conditions are expected with a significant risk of accident or injury as well as risk to life and property.
It is advisable to take the correct action to protect yourself and others from the severe conditions, and if possible to follow advice given on national and local broadcasts.
Power cuts and severe travel disruptions are also very likely.
Weather types include: Flooding, Extreme Rainfall, Extreme Snowfall, Freezing Rain and Frequent Wind Gusts of 85mph or higher
Planning ahead could potentially save lives, so make a safety plan if severe weather is expected and follow local and national updates on television, radio and online.