How rare is a Met Office red weather warning?

The Met Office today issued a red weather warning for snow for the first time in England, just 24 hours after a similar warning was issued in Scotland.

The two alerts are the first issued for snow anywhere in Britain for five years.

Red wind and snow warning in SW England

Red wind and snow warning in SW England

The only previous time a red snow warning was activated in the UK was for South Wales in January 2013.

Today's alert is the tenth red warning issued by the Met Office since its three-tier system came into use in 2011. 

It also includes yellow warnings for 'be aware' and amber for 'be prepared'.

Red snow warning issued in central Scotland

Red snow warning issued in central Scotland

The snow alert in January 2013 came as a succession of weather systems meeting cold air led to a period of significant snowfall causing

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