The UK is experiencing disruption due to Storm Ciarán, particularly in England.
Many schools have been closed, roads have been blocked, and transportation services such as flights, buses, and trains have been affected due to amber warnings for strong winds in southern England that pose a threat to life.
At 7:30am on Thursday, the Environment Agency had released 65 flood warnings and 156 flood alerts for England. Natural Resources Wales stated that water levels in the far south-west region may reach an all-time high. Approximately 10,000 households in south-west England were experiencing power outages.
On the night of Wednesday and early morning of Thursday, the Channel Islands experienced the full force of the storm, with winds reaching 102mph according to Jersey police.
Approximately 40 individuals were forced to leave their residences on the island due to structural damage. Four individuals were transported to the Accident and Emergency department, and the roof of Jersey General Hospital sustained damage.
The islands were hit with extremely large hailstones and experienced 9-meter waves, as well as a reported tornado (which has not been confirmed). The Jersey Met Section issued a red wind warning, their most severe level. All flights departing from Jersey, Guernsey, and Alderney airports on Thursday were cancelled and ferry services to and from the islands were temporarily stopped.
Winds exceeding 70mph were documented on the Isles of Scilly and Berry Head in the south-west of England, with wind speeds of over 60mph in certain locations in the south and south-east.
As storm Ciarán hits Europe.
The regional water company has reported that power supplies in England were impacted by Storm Ciarán.
South East Water is currently coordinating with power distribution networks to reinstate power to pumps. According to a service update on Thursday morning, South East Water is promptly addressing any supply problems to ensure a continuous flow of water through taps.
We are using generators at our main locations to make sure we can still treat and distribute water to most properties. This helps us maintain water supplies for as many people as possible in case of a power outage.
Strong winds reaching speeds of 200km/h (124mph) caused havoc in France, resulting in one fatality and six injuries. The severe weather also caused power outages for over 1.2 million individuals and disrupted phone service for tens of thousands.
Over 1,315 individuals were relocated from campsites and shelters to more secure housing.
The Aisne district in northern France experienced a tragic incident when a tree fell on the cabin of a heavy-goods lorry, resulting in the death of the driver. This news was announced by the government on Thursday morning.
The recent passing of the driver, as mentioned by Transport Minister Clément Beaune, serves as a reminder that even in areas not designated with a red alert, there is still a considerable risk and danger on the roads.
Numerous roads were inaccessible to vehicles, particularly in Finistère, Brittany, due to numerous obstacles blocking the roadways. As a result, authorities took the precaution of closing off extensive sections of the road network. Residents were advised to remain at home and avoid approaching the coastline.
Four additional individuals sustained injuries, including three members of the fire department, typically due to incidents involving falling trees. One motorist was injured in a crash near Nantes caused by a uprooted tree, while two fire officers were injured on a road north of Rennes by a falling tree.
More than 1 million households, primarily in Brittany but also in Normandy, experienced power outages due to fallen trees and toppled pylons caused by strong winds.
Reports are emerging about England and the Channel Islands, with dramatic details being shared.
Suzie Phillips, a 44-year-old government employee from Jersey, reported to the PA news agency that she was suddenly awakened by large hailstones. She expressed concern as the hailstones were larger and heavier than a golf ball, causing damage to three windows in her home – specifically, her daughter’s bedroom, the landing, and a bathroom. The incident was particularly distressing for her children, who were anxious about the situation.
The south coast of Portland Island in Dorset was isolated by the storm, as it is linked to the mainland by a small causeway. The flood siren alert was sounded for only the second time in nine years.
Heather Jones, a member of the Stand up to Racism organization, is in communication with asylum seekers staying on the Bibby Stockholm barge at Portland port. She shared, “Some individuals on the barge are experiencing severe seasickness. They have informed me that they were unable to sleep due to the intense shaking of the boat, which was quite frightening.”
A young person riding a bicycle and a person walking were struck by waves in the vicinity of West Bay.
According to the villagers of Loders, located inland, there was a small tornado that occurred.
The Bridport fire station shared on Facebook: “We were dispatched to alarms going off in Loders. Upon our arrival, we encountered damage to several buildings and a significant amount of debris scattered on the road. According to residents, a small tornado had recently swept through the village.”
“A single structure bore the brunt of the impact, resulting in significant harm to its thatched roof and gable end. Additionally, numerous large trees were also uprooted. Various forms of damage were inflicted upon neighboring properties.”
The guest on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland mentioned that Ireland was fortunate because the storm stayed south.
The yellow-level alerts were issued due to the possibility of flooding in already affected areas. While the rainfall may have contributed to flooding, it was not significantly above average.
Scientists have issued a warning about Europe.
Friederike Otto, a climate scientist from Imperial College London and co-founder of the World Weather Attribution network, explains that numerous attribution studies and other evidence indicate that autumn and winter storms, such as this one, are increasingly destructive due to climate change.
This is because the precipitation linked with these types of storms has become more intense as a result of climate change, and the storm surges are stronger and therefore cause more destruction due to the rising sea levels.
As the planet’s temperature increases by one degree, the atmosphere is able to contain approximately 7% additional water vapor. Since the Industrial Revolution, human activities such as burning fossil fuels, raising livestock, and harming the environment have caused a 1.2C rise in global temperatures, resulting in the release of heat-trapping gases into the air.
According to Michael Byrne, a climate scientist at the University of St Andrews, the connection between powerful winds and climate change is not well established. While some evidence indicates that storms such as Ciarán may become more intense with global warming, the issue is still up for debate.
Researchers must conduct a thorough examination of the storm to determine if it was exacerbated by climate change. In certain instances, their analyses have revealed no noteworthy correlation.
However, as the Earth’s temperature rises, experts predict that there will be an increase in intense precipitation throughout the majority of Europe.
According to Melissa Lazenby, a climate scientist from the University of Sussex, climate models indicate that storms similar to Ciarán will occur more frequently.
It is highly probable that the strength of these winter storms will rise, leading to more significant consequences such as flooding and larger storm surges along coastal areas due to increased rainfall from these occurrences.
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites has released a satellite image of the storm.
The KNMI has issued a warning for powerful winds. Attached is a map for reference.
This morning, the effects of Storm Ciarán are being experienced in multiple European nations. Here are a few pictures.
This morning, Spain’s state meteorological agency issued a warning map.
According to the UK Met Office, their warning has been revised to specifically target the areas in the south-east where the strongest winds from Storm Ciarán are expected.