Storm Ciara: Britain hit by ‘storm of the century’ - in pictures

Strong winds help plane set new subsonic record from New York to London

Storm Ciara has been labelled the “worst of the century” after it battered Britain, causing widespread disruption to flights, railways and roads with heavy rain and winds of more than 80 miles per hour.

Train firms issued “do not travel” warnings while dozens of international and domestic flights were cancelled and several sporting events called off. The Environment Agency issued more than 200 flood warnings and the Queen missed the Sunday service at Sandringham church as a public safety precaution.

The opening ceremony of Galway’s year as European Capital of Culture, due to take place Saturday night, was cancelled due to bad weather on Ireland’s west coast.

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The scale of the storm - with amber warnings across all of Wales and most of England – “make it the most widespread for years, although it’s full toll will not be known until it begins to blow itself out”, says The Daily Telegraph.

The storm hit Britain on the back of a Gulf Stream travelling at 265 miles per hour, as fast it has ever been, said the Met Office.

Helen Roberts, a senior meteorologist with the Met Office, said: “In terms of area this is probably the biggest storm this century”, and could end up being the biggest storm since 1987 she added.

The Guardian says the storm “made a different sort of impact on air traffic as it helped flights set records over the course of Saturday night by propelling aircraft across the Atlantic on the back of a jet stream”.

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The British Airways flight from JFK landed at Heathrow after just four hours and 56 minutes, reaching speeds of more than 800mph on account of record tail winds.

Flights travelling in the opposite direction were said to take more than two hours longer than usual says The Times.

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