Storm Ciarán is set to batter parts of the UK today (Thursday, November 2) but some might question if the weather event is strong enough to be considered a hurricane.

There are numerous amber and yellow weather warnings from the Met Office in place for wind and rain, mainly covering southern England and Wales.

Major incidents have been declared in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Jersey and hundreds of schools have closed.

Travel has also been affected for many, with train lines impacted by the weather and many companies telling their employees to work from home.

With all of these issues caused by Storm Ciarán, is its wind speeds strong enough to make it a hurricane?

Is Storm Ciarán a hurricane?

According to the National Ocean Service, a hurricane is defined as "a type of storm called a tropical cyclone, which forms over tropical or subtropical waters".

It needs to produce a constant wind speed of 74mph or more to qualify as a hurricane.

Whilst Storm Ciarán is expected to bring some very strong winds, with gusts of 70 to 80mph being possible, it is not sustained enough to count as a hurricane.

What do different weather warnings mean?

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Brent Walker said: "Very strong winds are expected along southern coastal areas of England in particular, where gusts of 70 to 80mph are possible, perhaps exceeding 85 mph in a few exposed locations. Further inland, gusts could reach up to 50 or 60mph.

"As well as strong winds, there will be heavy rain across many parts of the UK. Much of southern and western England, Wales, northeast England and eastern Scotland look to see the wettest conditions between Wednesday evening and Friday morning."

Further updates and additions to warnings are possible, so it is important to stay up to date with the Met Office forecast and warnings in your area.