The key difference between Storm Babet and Storm Ciaran in the East of England

Rough seas and high winds are likely to be common sights off the coast with the arrival of Storm Ciarán. Credit: Elizabeth Longbottom

Just two weeks after Storm Babet produced nearly two months' worth of rain in parts of the East, the region is set to be battered by the next storm system: Storm Ciarán.

The biggest difference between the two storms is that Babet produced an abundance of rainfall, whereas Ciarán will bring strong destructive winds.

Storm Ciarán is set to arrive through Wednesday night and into Thursday, with the strongest winds expected through much of Thursday.

As a result the Met Office has issued a number of weather warnings for wind and rain, with an amber wind warning creeping into the Essex coast.

Wind warnings for Storm Ciarán. Amber warnings across coastal areas likely to be most impacted Credit: ITV Weather

Winds are expected to reach 55-65mph quite widely in the yellow warning zone and 70-80mph in the amber warning area.

Some exposed sites inside the amber area, particularly across the southern part of Britain could see 80-90mph.

The perfect storm?

After a mild autumn so far, many of our trees are still in full leaf.

The heavy rain from Storm Babet means the ground is currently saturated. Therefore strong winds could lead to a high number of trees being blown over.

Power outages are likely where trees fall on to power lines.

Expect travel disruption across our rail network and cancelled flights at our airports.

The QEII bridge at Dartford and the Orwell bridge near Ipswich are is likely to close as winds exceed safety thresholds for them to operate.

High-sided vehicles could also cause issues on the road networks from buffeting from high winds.

Strong winds will whip up the seas too, causing some possible coastal impacts if they coincide with high tides.

Storm Babet had a huge impact on many coastal communities, including Hemsby on the Norfolk coast.

But it's not just the wind - there will be further heavy rainfall too. This rain is falling on to already saturated ground meaning only small amounts could have big impacts.

Flooding could impact places that have already been affected from Storm Babet. You can find the latest flood warnings here.

A reminder: don't drive through flood water. Only a foot of water (30cm) is enough to float a small car.

If you approach a flooded road in your car, the saying "don't drown, turn around" is the best advice.

The yellow warning zone is expected to see a further 20-30mm of rainfall quite widely, but 40-60mm may accumulate in some spots.

Yellow Rain warning for Storm Ciaran Credit: Met Office

Will this be similar to previous storms we've seen?

It's difficult to compare storm systems as their track, wind strengths and rainfall amounts are so different.

Storm Ciarán will be a mature system by the time it reaches the UK. It will rapidly deepen in the Atlantic just before reaching our shores - which is good news, and unlike the Great Storm of 1987 which rapidly deepened across the UK.

For reference these are some of the peak wind gusts from past storms in the East of England:

  • 98mph at Gorleston, Norfolk on 16 October 1987 (the Great Storm);

  • 92mph at Wattisham, Suffolk on 25 and 26 January 1990 (Burns Day Storm);

  • 79mph at Andrewsfield, Essex on 27 and 28 October 2013 (St Judes Storm).