If Your Tea Tastes Different, It Could Be Because Of Storm Ciarán

Yes, really.
GLYN KIRK via Getty Images

Storm Ciarán has been ravaging southern England and Wales this week, leaving buildings damaged, homes without power, and traffic disruptions across the country.

The full impact of the storm is yet to be seen with the Channel Islands remaining under an orange weather warning and schools being closed in the wake of 104mph winds.

One unusual effect that has taken place as a result of the storm is that our boiling water is – well – different.

While this might seem like something that’s immovable, it’s actually affected by air pressure and, according to the Met Office, “air pressure was so exceptionally low that the boiling point of water was nearly 2C below the normal 100C” in southern Britain.

According to the University of Maryland, a liquid’s boiling point is indeed directly affected by atmospheric pressure.

The Met Office’s senior operational meteorologist Marco Petagna posted on X saying kettles might boil quicker as a result of the storm.

He said: “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!”

The current state of UK during Storm Ciarán

According to BBC News, emergency teams of engineers have been moved across the UK in readiness for more power cuts in areas affected by this dramatic storm.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA), which represents energy companies, said 107,000 properties had power restored “in very challenging conditions” – and as of midday, 19,800 customers were still without power.

What to do if you’re at risk of being hit by Storm Ciarán

The ENA advises that if you’re at risk of losing power from the storm, you should consider the following steps:

  • Charge your mobile phone
  • Keep a torch handy
  • Have warm clothes and blankets to hand
  • Have food available that does not require power to heat
  • Check in on friends and family
  • Be aware that pets, livestock and fish may be vulnerable if there’s a power cut.