How Storm Ciaran is reducing the boiling point of water

Did YOUR cup of tea taste different this morning? Unusual impact of Storm Ciaran revealed

  • Follow MailOnline’s liveblog on Storm Ciaran for the latest UK weather updates 

If you thought there was something a little odd about your cup of tea after you boiled the kettle this morning, then Storm Ciaran might be behind it.

The exceptionally low pressure that the 100mph system brought to southern England and Wales today has reduced the boiling point of water by about 2C.

This reduction from 100C to 98C means your kettle would have boiled slightly quicker – although this also may have changed the normal taste of your hot drink.

The unusual impact of the storm comes because the boiling point of a liquid is reached when the vapour pressure of the liquid matches the air pressure.

That means that a reduction in air pressure results in a lowering of the boiling point – and it also works the other way, with the boiling point rising as air pressure goes up.

Storm Ciaran became a ‘weather bomb’ overnight – a term describing a low pressure system whose central pressure falls by at least 24 millibars (mb) in 24 hours.

The phrase, which is also known as a ‘bombogenesis’ or ‘explosive cyclogenesis’, was attributed to Ciaran after it fell more than 30mb in the required time period.

Met Office senior operational meteorologist Marco Petagna tweeted this morning: ‘One benefit of the very low pressure across the UK today…

‘Your kettle should boil slightly quicker as the boiling point of water is reduced by 1 or 2 degrees… your tea might not taste quite so good, mind!’

This air pressure chart from the Met Office shows how it was down to nearly 950mb in England

And forecast agency MetDesk added: ‘Rubbish cup of tea? If your tea wasn’t up to scratch this morning, blame Storm Ciaran. Air pressure was so exceptionally low the boiling point of water was nearly 2C below the normal 100C in S Britain!’

MetDesk, which is based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, said pressure in its area was running at around 957mb but it was down even further to about 952mb in places.

The storm, which has brought chaos to southern England and the Channel Islands, had a pressure of 981mb yesterday morning before becoming a weather bomb.

In Jersey, people have been forced to take refuge in a hotel after strong winds damaged property and uprooted trees amid a ‘stay at home’ order for the island.

Rain and high winds pound the M5 motorway in Somerset this morning as Storm Ciaran hits

Waves crash over the harbour wall at Folkestone in Kent this morning as Storm Ciaran arrives

Flooding is expected in 54 areas, according to the Environment Agency, most of which are on the south coast of England. And a major incident has been declared in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight because of the expected pressure on local services.

Hundreds of schools across the south have also closed, while Southern Rail urged commuters to work from home if possible and avoid non-essential journeys.

Other operators warned of delays and cancellations. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution urged people watching the conditions to stay away from the coast.

A further 134 alerts are in place for possible flooding across England. Cornwall Council said that more than 10,000 homes in the county were without power.

Source: Read Full Article