Hundreds of schools in England are closed and transportation is affected due to Storm Ciarán, which has winds reaching speeds of 200km/h and has caused power outages in France.
England is experiencing disruption from Storm Ciarán, affecting large parts of the UK.
Many schools have closed, roads are blocked, and transportation has been affected due to amber wind warnings in southern England that pose a threat to life.
As of 7:30am on Thursday, the Environment Agency had declared 65 flood warnings and 156 flood alerts for England. Natural Resources Wales cautioned that river levels in the far south-west region may reach their highest recorded levels. Approximately 10,000 households in south-west England were experiencing power outages.
On Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the Channel Islands experienced the worst of the storm, with winds reaching 102mph (164km/h) according to Jersey police.
Approximately 40 individuals were forced to leave their residences on the island due to structural harm to buildings. Four individuals were transported to the Accident and Emergency department and the roof of Jersey General Hospital sustained damage.
Large hailstones caused damage to the islands, accompanied by 9-meter high waves and a possible tornado. The Jersey Met Section issued a red wind warning, which is their most severe level. Flights from Jersey, Guernsey, and Alderney airports on Thursday were all cancelled and ferry service to and from the islands was halted.
Wind speeds exceeding 70mph were documented on the Isles of Scilly and Berry Head in the south-west region of England, with speeds surpassing 60mph in certain parts of the south and south-east.
As storm Ciarán strikes, Europe experiences severe weather conditions.
The regional water company has reported that power supplies in England were impacted by Storm Ciarán.
South East Water stated that they were working with power distribution networks to regain power for the pumps. In a service update on Thursday morning, South East Water also mentioned that they are promptly addressing any issues with water supply in order to restore tap water.
To ensure continuous treatment and pumping of water to most properties, our main facilities are powered by generators. This allows us to maintain supplies to as many areas as possible in case of a power outage.
Strong winds with speeds reaching 200km/h (124mph) swept through France, resulting in one fatality and six injuries among lorry drivers. Over 1.2 million individuals were left without power and tens of thousands lost their phone service.
Over 1,315 individuals were relocated from camping areas and shelters to more secure lodging.
The Aisne district in northern France reported that a truck driver was fatally injured when a tree collapsed onto the cabin of his large delivery truck early Thursday morning.
According to Clément Beaune, the transportation minister, the recent death of a driver highlights the fact that even in areas not designated as high-risk, there can still be significant danger on the roads.
Numerous streets were inaccessible to vehicles, such as in Finistère, a region in Brittany. Due to the numerous obstructions on the roads, authorities had to shut down large portions of the road system. Residents were advised to remain at home and avoid going near the coast.
Four additional individuals sustained injuries, including three members of the fire department, often linked to trees falling. Two fire department personnel were harmed on a highway north of Rennes due to a tree falling, while a motorcyclist suffered injuries in a crash near Nantes caused by a tree being uprooted.
More than 1 million households, primarily in Brittany but also in Normandy, experienced power outages due to fallen trees and knocked over pylons caused by strong winds.
Reports are emerging about events in England and the Channel Islands that are quite alarming.
Suzie Phillips, a 44-year-old government worker from Jersey, reported to the PA news agency that she was startled awake by large hailstones. She described them as being larger and heavier than golf balls and causing damage to three windows in her home – specifically in her daughter’s bedroom, a landing, and a bathroom. Phillips expressed concern for her children’s well-being, as they were feeling anxious about the situation.
The severe weather event caused the island of Portland in Dorset, located on the southern coast, to become isolated. The island is typically linked to the mainland by a slim causeway, but due to the storm, the flood siren was sounded for only the second time in nine years.
Heather Jones, a member of Stand up to Racism, is working with asylum seekers on the Bibby Stockholm barge in Portland port. She reports that some individuals on board are experiencing severe seasickness and had no sleep due to the boat’s intense shaking. This was a frightening situation for them.
A young biker and a pedestrian were hit by waves near West Bay.
The villagers of Loders, located inland, reported a “mini-tornado” had swept through the area.
Bridport fire station shared on Facebook: “We received a call to respond to alarms being set off in Loders. Upon arrival, we found several properties damaged and a significant amount of debris scattered on the road. Residents reported a small tornado passing through the village.”
The power of the storm was focused on one building, causing significant harm to its thatched roof and gable end. Additionally, several large trees were knocked over. Other nearby properties also experienced some type of damage.
On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, it was stated that “fortunately, the storm stayed on a southerly path, avoiding Ireland.”
The issuance of yellow level warnings was due to the potential for further flooding in already affected areas. While these amounts of rainfall may have contributed to the flooding, they were not significantly higher than normal.
Scientists have cautioned about Europe.
According to Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College London and co-founder of the World Weather Attribution network, there is a significant amount of research and evidence indicating that climate change has made autumn and winter storms more destructive.
This is because the precipitation from these storms is more intense as a result of climate change, and the storm surges are stronger and cause more destruction due to the increased sea levels.
As the planet’s temperature rises by one degree, the amount of water vapor that the air can hold increases by approximately 7%. Since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, human activities such as burning fossil fuels, raising livestock, and damaging the environment have caused the planet to warm by 1.2 degrees Celsius, resulting in an increase of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.
Michael Byrne, a climate researcher at the University of St Andrews, stated that the connection between powerful winds and climate change remains uncertain. While there is some indication that storms like Ciarán may increase in intensity due to warming temperatures, the verdict is still undecided.
Researchers will need to conduct a thorough investigation on the storm in order to determine if climate change exacerbated its impact. In certain instances, their analysis has revealed no significant correlation.
However, with the rising temperatures of the planet, researchers predict that there will be an increase in intense precipitation throughout a 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 with increasing frequency.
There is a high possibility that the severity of winter storms will escalate, leading to greater consequences such as flooding and stronger storm surges in coastal areas.
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites has released a photo of the storm taken from a satellite.
The KNMI has issued a warning for powerful winds. Below is a visual representation.
This morning, the effects of Storm Ciarán are being experienced in multiple European nations. Attached are a few pictures.
This morning, Spain’s state meteorological agency issued a map with warnings.
The UK Met Office has updated its warning to specifically target the areas in the south-east where the strongest winds from Storm Ciarán are expected.