Tuesday 18 December 2018

Yellow, orange and red: What the different weather warnings mean for you

Snow (stock image)
Snow (stock image)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Met Éireann has issued both yellow and orange weather warnings this week, with a Status Red warning likely, but what do the different colours mean?

Status Yellow - Be Aware

Yellow warnings are for weather conditions that do not pose an immediate threat to the general population.

They are issued to those at risk because of their location.

For example, a snow-ice warning was issued for Kilkenny, Longford, Wexford, Offaly, Westmeath, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford on Monday and will remain in place until 11am Wednesday.

The warning helps people in those areas prepare for the icy conditions.

Status Orange - Be Prepared

This category is for weather conditions which have the capacity to impact significantly on people in the affected areas.

An Orange level weather warning implies that all recipients in the affected areas should prepare themselves in an appropriate way for the anticipated conditions.

For example, a Status Orange snow-ice warning has been issued for Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Wicklow and Meath.

It will remain in place until 11am tomorrow.

Status Red - Take Action

A Red level alert is the highest warning that can be issued. It implies that people take action to protect themselves and their properties. This could include moving families out of the danger zone temporarily, staying indoors or taking specific actions to mitigate the effects of weather conditions i.e. sandbags to prevent flooding, gritting for icy driveways etc.

What does that mean for schools and businesses?

A Status Red warning was last issued during Storm Ophelia in October, 2017.

The Department of Education ordered all schools and colleges to close as a safety precaution.

Many businesses across Ireland also closed for the day.

During extreme weather, the decision to close a business is ultimately down to the employer.

Chief Executive of ISME, Neil McDonnell said: “As employers have a duty of care for all employees under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act, a key consideration needs to be whether, in the circumstances, it is safe to ask employees to travel to work, or to undertake their work.”

What is the criteria for a Status Red warning?

Significant falls of snow likely to cause accumulations of 8 cm or greater. Slippery paths and roads due to accumulation of ice on untreated surfaces; situation likely to worsen.

Low temperatures Minima of -10C or lower expected. Maxima of minus 2C or lower expected.

With temperatures expected to hit lows of -10C this week, Met Éireann has warned that a Status Red warning is "likely".

Keep safe and warm, but if you are out in Storm Emma we'd love to see your photos and videos. Send by email to contact@independent.ie or Whatsapp to 0871847169

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