A rare red weather warning has been issued for Storm Eunice as it looks set to batter the UK with gusts of up to 100mph.

The warning has been issued along the coastline of Devon and Cornwall as well as the south coast of Wales as extremely strong winds are predicted.

The high alert for southwest England comes after the Met Office upgraded its “danger to life” amber alert covering almost the whole of England – warning of more outages and travel chaos on the roads and train lines.

A “stay indoors” alert was already in place as Storm Eunice approaches on Friday, with stronger winds than Storm Dudley, heavy snow and blizzard conditions in places.

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Police chopper buffeted by winds

Forecasters had warned Eunice would be more damaging than Dudley, which left tens of thousands of homes without power, downed trees, disrupted travel services and caused flooding in areas.

The Met Office said a red warning means “dangerous weather is expected” with it “very likely that there will be a risk to life, with substantial disruption to travel, energy supplies and possibly widespread damage to property and infrastructure”.

People are also advised to avoid travelling where possible.