Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Storm Darcy Forecast To Hit south East England and heavy snow Forecast

Storm Darcy has been named by the Dutch Met Office KNMI and is set to bring strong winds and heavy snow to south east England late on Saturday and on Sunday, with this weather easing through Monday. The Met Office have issued their own weather warnings for the UK from Friday 5th February.

The Met Office have indicated that cold air emanating from Russia and Eastern Europe will move across the UK over the coming days, bringing significant snow accumulations to parts of Eastern England and Scotland.

Rain will increasingly turn to snow on Sunday as the cold air spills across the whole of the UK. Yellow National Severe Weather Warnings for snow and ice have been issued covering the eastern half of the UK from Saturday through to Wednesday. Within this an Amber warning has been issued for snow brought to eastern parts of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Kent by Storm Darcy throughout Sunday.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Paul Gundersen, said: “The UK is in for a notably cold and snowy period over the next week, with very cold air in place over the whole of the UK by Sunday.

“Showers will see snow accumulating across eastern areas. Within the Amber warning area, more widespread snow is expected and we could see 5-10 cm of snow quite widely, with a chance that a few places could see 20cm or more.  With such severe weather around it’s important to keep up to date with the latest forecast.”

There will be strong easterly winds during this period which may lead to blizzard conditions and blowing and drifting of lying snow at times. Daytime temperatures will stay in low single figures for much of the country over coming days, with some places staying below freezing and the bitter winds will make it feel even colder.

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Margate’s Mersey ALB
Photo credit : Sarah Hewes

Storm Naming

Last year KNMI – the national weather forecasting service in the Netherlands – joined the Met Office and Met Éireann in the west Europe storm naming group.  Other European countries to name impactful storms include France, Spain and Portugal in south-west Europe and Sweden, Norway and Denmark in northern Europe. To find out more about ‘Name our Storms’ you can visit the Met Office Storm Centre website

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If you are lucky enough close to the coast and enjoy your daily exercise there always keep safety in mind and a few simple precautions could help you from getting into difficulty:

Always carry a ‘calling for help’ device such as a fully charged mobile phone or VHF radio so that you can alert the Coastguard if you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble

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Let someone know where you are going and what is the latest time that you will return.

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Check the tide times and weather forecast before you venture out.  There are a large number of smart devices app’s and web sites which can provide updates on tide times. Harbour and marina’s often stock paper copies of local tide times for a small fee.

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Wear the right kit for the activity. Conditions and weather can change very quickly.  It may start out flat and calm, but weather and sea states can change.

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Keep away from cliff edges, they are susceptible to crumbling particularly during heavy downpours and stormy sea conditions as we have seen recently around the Thanet coastline.

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Keep your dog(s) on a lead if your are walking close to cliff edges or fast flowing rivers.

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Keep away from big waves, they may look fantastic, but no ‘selfie’ is worth putting yourself or anyone else’s life at risk.  Recently anumber of Coastguard Rescue Officers on the South coast were injured and hospitalised after being hit by a freak wave after being called out to warn bystanders of the dangers watching stormy weather close to the coastline.

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If you see or hear someone in difficulty in the water resist the temptation to enter, but ring ‘999’ straight away ask for the Coastguard, give them an accurate location. Talk to the person in the water and let them know assistance is on it’s way encourage them to float and keep calm.   Reach – try to reach them from the shoreline using any lifesaving equipment available. Do not enter the water yourself. Throw a line – to the casualty and pull them towards the shore if possible.

No ‘Storm Selfie’ is worth putting yourself or others at risk.  Observe the waves at a safe distance such as a nice cafe or coffee shop with a brew and piece of cake.

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Photo credit: What3Words

Consider downloading the free to use What3Words smart phone device app which can help emergency services locate you quickly in an emergency situation.

Remember to follow the latest government COVID-19 safety rules.

Conclusion

Walking at the coast is one of the safest pastimes to take part in, but taking a few precautions and having a plan should things go wrong will help you enjoy it even more. Thank you for reading and stay safe.

Other useful links

How to have a fabulous but safe time with your doggie at the coast

How can you help the RNLI help you

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Acknowledgements

Royal National Lifeboat Institute

HM Coastguard

Met Office

Sarah Hewes for use of photograph’s