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Storm Ciara hits Europe

The Storm

  • Storm Ciara has caused extensive damage in Europe.
  • After first sweeping across Ireland and the UK on 9th February, the storm thrashed the north coast of mainland Europe.
  • Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, and Poland
  • Storm Ciara is notable because of the very strong and widespread winds(~150 kph).

Why multiple names ?

The storm has multiple names because there isn’t yet a pan-European system in place for labelling weather systems.

  • Sabine in Germany
  • Ciara in UK
  • Elsa by Norway

What kind of storm?

Storm Ciara is an active extratropical cyclone.Temperate cyclones are also known as Extra-tropical cyclone.“Extra-tropical” signifies that this type of cyclone generally occurs outside the tropics with a latitude range between 30° and 60°.

Extra tropical Cyclones

  • Extra-tropical cyclones are also known as mid-latitude storms or baroclinic storms.
  • In the Northern hemisphere, cold air blows from the north of the front and warm air blows from the south.
  • When the pressure descents along the front, the cold air move towards the south and the warm air moves northwards setting in motion an anticlockwise cyclonic circulation.
  • The cyclonic circulation results in a well-built extratropical cyclone, with a cold front and a warm front.

• Direction • Duration • Intensity

The storm developed over the Atlantic Ocean “in interaction with a strong” jet stream, which consisted of winds running at about 249 miles per hour.

  • The jet stream behaves like a giant vacuum cleaner which can sometimes dig deep areas of low pressure, until creating storm depressions


  • Transport shut down – Flights, trains, roads
  • Ferry services stopped
  • Schools were forced to close across Northern Europe
  • Extensive damage to buildings and infra in coastal areas
  • Storm surge and Flooding

Unexpected benefits

  • The powerful gusts of wind did bring one unexpected benefit in Germany.
  • Wind turbines there produced a record amount of electricity, reportedly equivalent to 44 nuclear power plants.
  • A passenger plane travelling from New York to London made the trip in four hours and 56 minutes by riding a jet stream that was accelerated by the storm.

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