Storm Ciarán threatens to exacerbate pre-existing flood conditions in Ireland and the UK

gfs 6hr precipitation rate valid 0600 utc on november 2 2023

Storm Ciarán is poised to exacerbate flood conditions in Ireland on November 1, 2023, and in the UK on November 2, 2023. The storm was named by the UK Met Office on October 29, and is expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds to both countries.

Ireland’s Met Éireann issued a weather advisory on October 29, 2023, predicting an unsettled end to October and start to November due to Storm Ciarán. The storm is expected to pass close to the south coast of Ireland on the night of Wednesday, November 1, 2023. Prior to the storm, Ireland will experience showers and longer spells of rain during the Bank Holiday weekend and into next week.

A weather advisory indicates heavy showers and longer spells of rain from Monday to Wednesday, with flooding likely in places, given that soils are already saturated and river levels are high. The heaviest rain and strongest winds are expected in Munster and Leinster. Poor visibility and difficult driving conditions are additional impacts to consider. The advisory is valid from 14:40 LT on October 29 to 23:30 on November 2, 2023.

Met Éireann meteorologist Aoife Kealy mentioned the risk of localized flooding due to heavy showers on Sunday. “Further heavy showers on Monday will add to already high rainfall accumulations. Then, more widespread and potentially heavy rain on Tuesday will lead to a further deterioration in ground conditions and river levels,” she said.

The UK Met Office also issued a warning regarding Storm Ciarán, which is set to impact southern parts of England and Wales on Thursday, November 2, 2023. The week will continue to be unsettled for much of the UK, with several severe weather warnings for rain expected to be issued for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Winds are likely to gust up to 129 km/h (80 mph) along the south coast of England, with a small risk of speeds reaching up to 148 km/h (90 mph). Inland winds could gust up to 80 km/h (50 mph) to 96 km/h (60 mph). The storm will also bring heavy rain to much of the UK. Southern and western areas are expected to receive 20 mm to 25 mm (0.8 – 1 inch) of rainfall quite widely, with the potential for 40 mm to 60 mm (1.6 – 2.4 inches) over higher ground.

Chris Almond, Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, emphasized the risk of further impacts such as flooding due to heavy and persistent rain falling onto already saturated ground. “Warnings will continue to be updated over the coming days, so it is important to stay up-to-date with the Met Office forecast and warnings in your area,” he said.

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1 A very unsettled end to October and start to November with Storm Ciarán on the way – Met Eireann – October 29, 2023

2 Met Office name Storm Ciarán – UK Met Office – October 29, 2023

Featured image credit: GFS/TropicalTidbits

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