Storm Ciarán, which the Spanish weather service has already warned with various weather alarms, has arrived in Spain with hurricane force. Numerous flights from airports in northwestern Spain have been cancelled and trees have blown down all over.
In Galicia, 10,000 people were without power this morning and trees have already been blown onto cars in places. The Spanish weather institute Aemet compares the impact of Ciarán with that of a hurricane, with gusts of wind up to 100 km/h. Alarms of various levels have been activated throughout the Spanish mainland, with the exception of the Canary Islands. In Cantabria, code red applies to coastal phenomena, including waves up to 11 metres high.
Bilbao Airport is full of stranded passengers bound for Madrid, Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Seville, London and Barcelona. Strong winds in the Basque Autonomous Community, especially in Bizkaia, have led to the cancellation of 18 flights. This includes 13 from this morning, and the diversion of 14 other flights. A total of 5,000 passengers have been affected by the disruptions.
Airlines have had to reorganise their operations, but it appears that the situation is normalising during the day and scheduled flights can land without further incidents.
Many travellers had already been informed of cancellations by their airlines, as the planes they were due to travel on could not land yesterday and were therefore not physically present in Bilbao this morning.
Wind speeds up to 160 km/h
This is the second time in just over a week that air traffic has been seriously disrupted by weather conditions. Last Tuesday, October 24, 9 flights were diverted due to the wind. Orduña (Bizkaia) experienced a particularly heavy night with wind speeds of up to 160 km/h, while in Gipuzkoa and Álava wind speeds of 137 and 127 km/h were recorded respectively.
Hundreds of incidents due to storms
A total of 400 incidents have been recorded in the Basque Country as a result of the storm, mainly related to fallen trees and loose branches or street furniture. Vizkaia province was the hardest hit with 200 interventions, followed by Gipuzkoa with 153 and Álava with an additional fifty. 100 incidents remain open by the Ertzaintza (the Basque police).
Traffic accidents and precautions
The strong winds have also led to 9 road accidents, with 4 accidents in Gipuzkoa, 3 in Bizkaia and in Álava, fortunately without injuries. Caution is advised to drivers who may still encounter branches and puddles of water on the roads. In Valencia, train traffic has been disrupted between Buñol and Utiel, Xátiva and Alcoi and Segorbe and Teruel. In Madrid the Cercanías train is stationary between Navacerradas and Cotos.
⚠️Ante las alertas de la AEMET por el temporal de lluvia y fuerte viento y el riesgo de caída de árboles y otros obstáculos sobre la infraestructura, entre las 10:00 y las 16:00 horas, estará suspendida la circulación en los siguientes tramos:
— INFOAdif (@InfoAdif) November 2, 2023
An amber warning for maritime navigation risk was activated from 12 noon, with waves expected to exceed six metres. Travellers and residents are advised to closely monitor weather conditions and take precautions when traveling.
Other parts of the country cannot ignore storm Ciarán. The first effects of the storm are already visible in the form of fallen trees. In the capital, the municipality has closed 8 parks due to dangerous wind gusts, including the well-known El Retiro. Train traffic has also been disrupted since Wednesday afternoon, and some flights also had to be cancelled in Galicia. In addition, there have been reports of minor power outages and flooding.
Falling temperatures and sea unrest
In addition to the strong winds, a drop in minimum temperatures and even a “severe” maritime thunderstorm is also expected, which will mainly affect Galicia, other northern areas and the Pyrenees. Ciarán will have less impact in the south, in the Mediterranean area, and in the Canary Islands, where clouds are expected with light rainfall in the north of the islands. According to Aemet, the southeast of the peninsula will not be affected by the storm.
A leading role for the wind
Winds will enter the northwest in strong gusts with speeds of over 70 km/h and could reach speeds of up to 90 km/h in large parts of the north, the interior of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands. These could even exceed 100 km/h in mountainous areas and along the Cantabrian coast and parts of the east and south-east. On Wednesday there were already wind gusts of almost 140 km/h in Cedeira (A Coruña) and Muras (Lugo).
The gusts of wind are accompanied by locally heavy rainfall and sometimes storms. These showers will happen in all four Galician provinces, with up to 40 litres per square metre in an hour. Huesca, Jaén, León, Guipúzcoa and Lérida will also be on alert.
Very rough seas are also expected on Thursday, especially along the coast of Galicia and the Cantabrian Sea. Therefore, Aemet has issued a yellow warning as waves could be higher than 8 metres.
Cold and snowfall
With the arrival of this new, colder air mass, temperatures will drop and with it the snow line, which will be between 1,200 and 1,400 metres in the north, between 1,300 and 1,600 metres in the centre and northeast, and between 1,500 and 2,000 metres in the south lie. In some mountain ranges one can expect the first snowfall of the season.
Routes through Alhambra closed
The famous Moorish building complex Alhambra in Granada is not closed due to the storm, but some routes through the gardens have been cancelled. The city has also closed parks elsewhere due to the risk of falling branches and trees.
⚠️ @alhambracultura informa que hoy, 2 de noviembre, la visita pública en la #Alhambra se está desarrollando con normalidad a excepción:
➡️ Generalife se deriva la visita por el lateral izquierdo del Patio de la Acequia para salir por el Pabellón Sur.#alhambrainforma
— Alhambra de Granada (@alhambracultura) November 2, 2023