“We have a fairly explosive cocktail for the entire North Atlantic coast,” warns an expert

Storm Ciaran is expected to hit northwest France from Wednesday evening.

“Precipitation, waves, wind, we have a pretty explosive cocktail for the entire North Atlantic coast”, alert Wednesday November 1 on franceinfo, Pascal Yiou, researcher in climate and environmental sciences. As Storm Ciaran approaches, Home Secretary recommends “across the entire national territory”of “do not go out during the night from Wednesday to Thursday” to avoid damage caused by the violent winds which will arrive from the northwest of the country.

Three departments, Finistère, Côtes d’Armor and Manche, will be on red alert in the wind from midnight, indicates Météo France. Up to 17 departments will also be placed on orange wind, rain or wave-submersion vigilance during the passage of this storm.

Météo France predicts very strong gusts ranging from 100 to 120 km/h in general, but also peaks at 170 km/h. “At 170 km/h, it only lasts a few seconds”, specifies Pascal Yiou. Nevertheless, he calls for remaining vigilant, because at “170 km/h, we can’t stand up against the wind”. At this time of year, “the trees still have leaves, so they will be weakened since they will provide more resistance to the wind and they are likely to lose their branches. And branches that fly at 170 km/h are dangerous for everyone “. With these strong gusts of wind expected, vegetation, objects “may become very dangerous for anyone outside”.

Like Météo France, this researcher in climate and environmental sciences estimates that storm Ciaran will be “potentially explosive”. He explains : “The atmospheric pressure will drop very quickly in a few hours. This drop in pressure is like a vacuum cleaner upwards, so it creates vortices, it accentuates the wind and it can also accentuate the intensity of the waves.”

The storms follow one another

Storm Ciaran is coming “fairly early” in the season, according to Pascal Yiou, but “this is not new”, because in recent years several storms have hit Europe around this time. He cites in particular storm Alex which devastated the Alpes-Maritimes department in October 2020.

On the other hand, according to Pascal Yiou, “what is quite surprising is this succession of storms in recent weeks: Aline, Céline, Bernard, Ciaran now and another one due to arrive in a few days”. This, he believes, “will perhaps be less intense, but – with weakened soils, wet soils – the damage could be even more significant”.

According to this researcher in climate and environmental sciences, with current scientific knowledge, it is “difficult” to make a “link between climate change and mid-latitude storms as we see them today”. However, the more significant damage is, according to him, a consequence of climate change.

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