KCC Highways Storm Ciaran Update

Good morning,


Here is an update to this week’s weather including the latest on Storm Ciarán which is due to arrive tonight.  Sorry the messages are so long but there is a lot going on.  As a summary, the forecast is similar to yesterday but the risk of seeing the strongest winds is probably more focussed on Kent and Sussex.  A further warning may be required for some areas on Saturday, but this will be reviewed tomorrow.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


Warnings issued:

  • Yellow Rain Warning (Low likelihood of Medium Impacts) valid 1800 on Wednesday 1st November to 2359 on Thursday 2nd November 2023.
  • Yellow Wind Warning (Low Likelihood of Medium Impacts) valid 2100 on Wednesday 1st November to 2359 on Thursday 2nd November 2023.
  • Amber Wind Warning (Low Likelihood of High Impacts) valid 0600 to 1700 on Thursday 2nd November 2023 (includes the Isle of Wight and parts of Hampshire, Sussex and Kent)

Today will see a mix of sunny spells and showers, isolated heavy, but some places may remain dry.  The showers will gradually die out through the afternoon.


A deep area of low pressure, Storm Ciarán, will spread east tonight and tomorrow.  The forecast track of the storm is slightly further south than suggested yesterday which may reduce the winds speeds slightly, although some uncertainty remains, but wind and rain impacts are still expected.


The south to south-easterly wind will gradually increase this evening and tonight before turning south-westerly and increasing tomorrow morning with gusts of 50-60 mph inland but widely 60-70 mph and locally 70-80 mph along the coastA few exposed coastal locations could see gusts in excess of 85 mph.  Due to the slight change in the forecast track, the focus for the strongest winds is on Kent and Sussex but this will need to be watched as the storm approaches and impacts can still be expected further west.  The wind will gradually ease during the afternoon and evening.


The Met Office still have updated the Yellow Wind Warning (Low Likelihood of Medium Impacts) and have slightly updated the Amber Wind Warning (Low Likelihood of High Impacts) for the areas at a greater risk of seeing impacts. Impacts could include a danger to life, damaged buildings, power outages, disruption to transport, and large waves with beach material being thrown onto sea fronts.  Damaged or fallen trees may be a particular risk due to the fact that the ground is saturated and they are still in full leaf.


As for the rain from Storm Ciarán, a band of rain spreads northeast this evening before clearing overnight but further rain or more prolonged periods of rain can be expected throughout tomorrow.  The rain will gradually weaken tomorrow evening but locally heavy showers are expected to affect southern coastal areas, especially Kent and Sussex, tomorrow night before clearing on Friday morning.  20-30 mm of rain are expected quite widely with some locations seeing as much as 40-60 mm between this evening and Friday morning.


The Met Office have updated the Yellow Rain Warning (Low Likelihood of Medium Impacts) to cover the risk of seeing impacts from the rain and showers.  Impacts could include disruption to transport and isolated flooding of homes and businesses with flooding possibly exacerbated by fallen leaves and debris blocking drains. The Flood Guidance Statement is also Yellow highlighting a coastal, river and surface water flood risk.


Storm Ciarán weakens and gradually clears to the east on Friday.  Overnight rain and showers clear during the morning leaving a day of sunny spells and isolated showers which will gradually die out during the afternoon.  However, a further area of low pressure is expected to move east on Saturday with further rain on Friday night followed by a day of sunny spells and showers on Saturday.  The showers will be heavy at times with Kent and Sussex seeing frequent showers with a further 20-40 mm isolated 60 mm possible here before the showers clear on Sunday morning. The showers will be accompanied by a brisk, south-westerly wind.  The need for a warning for the showers and strong winds will be reviewed tomorrow.


Sunday and Monday will see a mix of sunny spells and isolated showers with some places remaining dry, however, more organised showers may affect Kent and Sussex again on Sunday night.


Please keep monitoring Hazard Manager, the Met Office App or Met Office website for the latest forecast and warnings.


KCC continue to monitor.  Back up officers are on standby from 5.00pm 1 November through to 9.00am Friday 3 November


Tankers are on standby