Heavy rain warning as Storm Ciaran continues to hit UK

The Met Office has warned of flooding and disruption to transport as it announced a yellow weather notice for heavy rain across the south and south west of England.

Although Storm Ciaran has largely eased, the warning has been issued to last from 5am on Saturday to 11.59pm – stretching from Kent to Cornwall.

The Met Office said the storm had now moved into the North Sea, but parts of southern England especially would continue to see heavy rain on Saturday.

It comes after Storm Ciaran battered the south coast and the Channel Islands with heavy rain and gusts of up to 100mph on Thursday, leaving nearly 150,000 homes without power.

The Met Office has said there would be frequent heavy and blustery showers throughout the day, with the odd thunderstorm and 30-40mm of rainfall possible in coastal, south-eastern areas.

The yellow warning advises of the possibility of spray and flooding on roads as heavy rain falls on saturated ground leading to delays to road, bus and train travel.

The Met Office also warned that flooding of homes and businesses is possible and large waves could lead to dangerous conditions along the English Channel coastline.

A spokesman said: “In the early hours of Saturday morning another weather front will begin to encroach from the south west.

“By noon on Saturday this belt of rain is expected to have moved across much of England and Wales, but conditions will turn more showery behind the front.

“A yellow warning for rain is in place for much of southern England, to cover the initial rain and the subsequent showers, which will be heavy and thundery in places.

“The ground is saturated in many areas, so some disruption is possible, especially to travel.”

Chief forecaster Frank Saunders said: “After the events of this week, the forecast is moving into a period of fairly typical autumnal weather, with breezy conditions and spells of rain and showers, interspersed with some clearer and brighter periods.

“We still have warnings in the forecast, partly because the ground is already so wet but overall conditions are expected to be less impactful than we’ve seen over the last few days.

“Aside from scattered showers in the north and west of the UK, Bonfire Night (Sunday) will be largely dry and settled, although temperatures will be dipping compared with values last week.”

Autumn weather November 2nd 2023
Storm Ciaran brought high winds, heavy rain and huge waves along the south coast of England (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Showers will predominantly be in the west on Sunday with dry and brighter conditions in the east, and no weather warnings are currently issued.

Despite conditions improving, rail services remained disrupted on Friday as the UK felt the after-effects of Storm Ciaran.

LNER, the main train operator on the East Coast Main Line between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverley, advised passengers not to travel until Saturday.

A significant number of delays and cancellations were expected as trains and staff were out of position following power supply failures at both ends of the route on Thursday.

Several other train operators advised of disruption on Friday while debris from Storm Ciaran was cleared from tracks.

The threat of flooding also remains high in England, with the Environment Agency issuing 38 flood warnings in place with 168 flood alerts stretching up through the country.