Will Hurricane Ian affect the UK? Here's what the Met Office is saying

Parts of Florida remain without power in the wake of Storm Ian

The after effects of Hurricane Ian in florida show a broken traffic light and fallen down trees
(Image credit: Future/Getty)

Hurricane Ian has made for uncomfortable viewing as strong winds and flooding have devastated towns in south-east America.  

It's been recorded as the fifth-strongest hurricane in US history. And many sympathies lie with the people of Cuba and Florida currently, as search and rescue operations get underway in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. With South Carolina similarly bracing themselves next - as the storm moves further afield.

Some following the eye of the storm are wondering what the wider impacts of the named storm (opens in new tab) could have on other countries, including the UK. The Met Office have given updates on what Ian means for certain parts of the country and we've shared how much the UK is set to be affected.

Will Hurricane Ian affect the UK? 

The Met Office have confirmed that whilst some parts will experience strong winds and heavy rain, the UK will not experience as harrowing weather as currently being seen in America. "Although Hurricane Ian is impacting the jet stream, the conditions expected in the UK are not comparable," the national weather service says (opens in new tab).

Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Chris Almond said that this wet and windy weather is "nothing that is unusual for the time of year". He summarises: "The fast-moving system will bring strong gale force winds, locally in excess of 60mph, and heavy rain into the north-west before pushing quickly south-east through the day."

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Western Scotland and eastern areas of Northern Ireland could "see some minor impacts, such as surface water flooding or minor wind damage" plus impacts to ferry crossings - according to Almond. As for the south-east of England they "could experience winds of around 55mph, which may impact the English Channel too.”

The Atlantic jet stream (aka the winds blowing west to east above Earth’s surface) have certainly been strengthened by Hurricane Ian which has pushed warm tropical air northwards. The knock-on effect of this is that an area of low pressure will be driven across parts of the UK, with northern Scotland in particular specified as a region that will witness this.

As a result, a Yellow weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for those living in northern and western Scotland.

What is a Yellow weather warning?

Yellow weather warnings can apply to a number of different weather situations. "Many are issued when it is likely that the weather will cause some low level impacts, including some disruption to travel in a few places," states the Met Office (opens in new tab).

Generally people will be able to carry out their day to day activities and travel largely unaffected. The message from the national weather service is to always "read the content of yellow warnings to determine which weather situation is being covered by the yellow warning." This way you'll know how the weather is going to affect you.

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What category is Hurricane Ian?

Hurricane Ian has now been re-confirmed as a Category 1 hurricane as of September 30, 2022. It's now considered a tropical storm as it makes it way toward South Carolina. Ian was previously classified as a Category 4 hurricane as it devastated parts of central Florida on September 28, 2022.

Winds sweeping across Florida reached 85 mph according to ABC news (opens in new tab). Fort Myers is one city that suffered the brunt of the storm, with 80% of the city losing power and 70% left without water - according to Mayor Kevin Anderson (opens in new tab). A huge search and rescue operation is currently underway in the state of Florida.

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Whilst Ian has weakened, President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in South Carolina (opens in new tab). The fatality count so far has been suggested as at least 11 people - this includes six in Charlotte, two in Sarasota, two in Sanibel and one in Volusia.

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