Destructive storms and Orkan Ciaran hit Europe

orkan Ciaran

Despite earlier predictions by meteorologists, Orkan Ciaran surprised the people of Europe with its strength and rate of build-up. The areas at risk were primarily southwest England and northwest France. Orkan Ciaran brought behind it torrential rains and record high winds. The worst effects of the storm were observed from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning, but strong winds and rain in the storm’s areas may persist until Friday, and difficult weather conditions until the end of the week.

November storms – how did orkan Ciaran originate?

Orkan Ciaran is the second violent storm to hit the UK in recent weeks. The previous one, Babet, caused significant flooding. Rainfall reached 100 mm, and the period from October 18 to 20 became a record-breaking string of 3 days with the most rainfall in England and Wales, with the previous record in 1891. Orkan Ciaran is a consequence of storm Babet and has attacked similar areas. Ciaran belongs to non-tropical storms, for the development of which a temperature difference of air masses over short distances is required. The storm formed over the North Atlantic Ocean, supported by a cold atmospheric front and a 300 km/h jet stream.

orkan Ciaran
Destructive storms and Orkan Ciaran hit Europe 1

Orkan Ciaran – dangers

Due to the storm, flights and ferry services have been canceled throughout the affected region of France and the UK, and there are disruptions and delays in public transportation. The greatest danger was predicted on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. On Wednesday evening, the threat of one or two tornadoes was announced. As many as 62 flood warnings have been issued in the UK.

On the south coast, in the counties of Devon and Cornwall, an orange alert has been declared for strong wind and rain that could potentially be life-threatening. They recommended avoiding leaving homes and closed hundreds of schools. A yellow threat was in effect in much of the rest of the UK, including Scotland and Ireland. Warnings have also been announced for people traveling on some of the roads where strong wind gusts and flooding could occur.

The biggest threat in the UK – in the Channel Islands

Record winds of nearly 180 mph were observed in the Channel Islands. The biggest threat in the UK was carried by Orkan Ciaran, among others. For Jersey. A red weather alert has been issued for this island located between France and the UK. The lack of grocery deliveries resulted in empties in supermarkets. Winds on the island were as high as 160 km/h, and there were violent thunderstorms with hail up to 8 cm in size. Some people had to be evacuated, and flood barriers were created.

What devastation did Orkan Ciaran bring to the UK?

Violent storms were observed on the UK coast, and wave heights could reach up to 10 meters. Heavy downpours of up to 80 mm persquare meter and winds of up to 140 km/h (140 mph) occurred throughout the affected area. Fallen trees blocked roads, and damaged buildings, torn roofs and massive power outages were also reported – thousands of people were left without access to electricity. Northern Ireland has also experienced flooding. Unconfirmed reports say that the announced tornado overnight may indeed have occurred – a severe thunderstorm with hail, gusty winds and heavy rainfall was certainly recorded, resulting in the occurrence of massive damage.

Orkan Ciaran in France

Weather alerts of the lowest degree covered most of the country, with second-degree warnings in the northwest and the highest in Brittany and Normandy. A state of emergency has also been declared in Brittany, the northwesternmost region of France, and residents have been advised to stay indoors. Power outages were reported in the area, high waves and fallen trees were observed, and wind gusts reached more than 130 km/h. Record wind strengths were observed off the coast of France and on surrounding islands such as Groix and Belle-Ile-en-Mer. They were as high as 193 km/h. Reports say several people were injured as a result of Orkan Ciaran.

Orkan Ciaran – what’s next?

Due to its rapid intensification and sharp drop in pressure, Orkan Ciaran may qualify as a cyclone bomb. It is a rare phenomenon, most often observed on the east coast of the US due to the specific conditions necessary for its creation. Global warming may favor more and more weather phenomena of this type.

Orkan Ciaran is considered the strongest storm in the UK and France area this year. The record low pressure of 952 hPa surpassed the previous record for November’s lowest storm pressure of 959 hPa in 2016. As for Poland, Orkan Ciaran is not expected to bring much danger. First- and second-degree strong wind warnings have been issued for more than a dozen counties in southern Poland. Wind gusts can reach up to 55 km/h and up to 150 km/h on the peaks of the Tatra Mountains.

We wrote about the recent hurricanes that hit the United States, meanwhile, in a recent article:“Hurricane Norma and Hurricane Tammy – powerful elements rage in America“.


Photo source: copernicus.eu

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