Another ‘C’.. Storm Ciara 2020

Sunday February 9th, Monday the 10th and Tuesday 11th saw Storm Ciara batter the UK.. and our little corner of Thanet received its fair share of the action, albeit not on a par with the rest of the country.

On the Sunday, something very weird happened in Margate! It’s pretty normal to get significant protection on our North side of the Isle from SE through to SW winds, but this particular storm caused something even more peculiar to happen. The tide hardly came in at all! Despite approaching peak Spring Tide heights on Wednesday, here we were with a ‘high’ tide that’s at the level of a high ‘low’ tide at Neaps if that makes sense??

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Margate Main Sands – ‘High Tide (!) – 9/2/20

Social media was awash (sic) with scariness about the ‘tsunami’ that would be the inevitable consequence of all that water having to end up back in Margate at some point!

On one of the Facebook photography sites I found the following spectacular image of Dover Port at the height of the storm. Posted with permission granted for sharing, I have reproduced it here but, as suggested by another site contributor, have also experimented with the iPhone ‘Silvertone’ effect on the image – to some effect I think.

Dover Port – Storm Ciara – 9/2/20

Of course on the following, largely sunny, Monday tide(s) no such thing happened, although the high tide mark was slightly higher than the 4.9m predicted high for the day and there was some overtopping of the windward promenades. However, with the wind still SW, this didn’t amount to anything particularly abnormal at either Margate, Westbrook or St. Mildred’s. Bays. It would have been much worse if the wind, although still around 40mph in gusts, had been from a more Northerly direction (NW-NE). It was nevertheless a little higher on the proms and beaches of the more exposed towns of Broadstairs and Ramsgate and around Pegwell Bay, but not really the ‘flooding’ that some forecasts had predicted.


St. Mildred’s Bay overtopping – 10/2/20 high tide, 1.30pm

By the Tuesday, also a sunny but much colder day, the wind was still strong, but not enough to deter a couple of adventurous young ladies at around 3pm on Westbrook Beach. They decided to have a dip… without wet-suits!

Westbrook Bay, 11/2/20


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