Storm Stella: US blizzard is on its way to Britain


A freezing blizzard that battered the north east of the United States on Tuesday is heading for the UK.

Britain's calm spring weather is set to come to a wet and windy halt this weekend when the tail end of Storm Stella strikes.

See also: Rare 100ft 'snownado' caught on camera in Scotland

See also: Costa Blanca and Majorca covered in snow for first time in years

Swathes of the country are on alert for heavy rain, strong gusts and even snow as temperatures plummet.

The violent storm, which has triggered a state of emergency in parts of the US, is about to make a U-turn towards the UK.

Although it will have weakened on its track across the Atlantic it will bring wind and rain to most parts, experts warn.

Credits: AFP

Two snowmen sit in Central Park in New York

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People cross the Brooklyn Bridge in New York

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A cross country skier exercises in Brooklyn, New York

In America the storm brought thousands of flights grinding to a halt and tens of thousands of homes and businesses were left without electricity after the storm hit.

Weather forecasters warned people to expect 2 feet (60 cm) of snow by early Wednesday, with the worst blizzard conditions forecast for parts of New England.

While New York City got less snow than expected, areas upstate were already buried in more than was forecast and up to 30 inches was still expected in central parts of the state.

"It's a ghost town," Ali Naji, 33, said as he sat listening to Mexican pop music amid the emptiness of his usually bustling convenience store in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood.

Airlines canceled more than 6,000 flights across the United States, according to tracking service

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People walk through the snow and sleet-covered streets near Times Square

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Metro North employees clear the snow off the platform at the Greenwich Station in Greenwich, Connecticut

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The streets of Brooklyn are covered by the snowstorm

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A homeless man bundled up in blankets sleeps in a doorway in Midtown Manhattan

New York City public schools - the largest U.S. school system - canceled classes on Tuesday as did schools in the Washington, D.C., area, Boston, Philadelphia and northern New Jersey.

The storm comes near the end of an unusually mild winter along much of the East Coast, with below-normal snowfalls.

In Boston, Kelley Peace, a 26-year-old dog walker, was out with three of her charges in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, where residents braced for up to a foot of snow.

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A subway station that services an above ground train is closed in the Bronx Borough

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Light traffic travels on Northbound Interstate 95 in the Bronx Borough

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A worker clears the Brooklyn Bridge from ice and snow in Brooklyn, New York

"The dogs are more hyper in this weather," she said.

"They want to play. Especially the big dogs. The only thing is the salt. It burns their paws. So I put booties on them."

Around 50 million people from Pennsylvania to Maine faced a "rapidly intensifying easter" due to the intense weather, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The weather in the UK will change on Thursday with Scotland and the north first in the firing line.

The Met Office said much of the country faces a wet and windy few days while thermometers will drop around 8C from last weekend.

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A man makes his way at the Times Square during a snowstorm in New York

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Men plow snow from a street at the Times Square

Credits: REUTERS

A snow plow drives through Times Square

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Storm Stella crashed into the US bringing up to 18 inches of snow

Forecaster Oli Claydon said: "The benign conditions are certainly going to turn as things become more unsettled at the end of the week.

"It is all part of the same system which is currently causing stormy weather in the US, although it won't be anywhere near as vigorous when it reaches the UK.

"But we are going to see a regime change as this low pressure system moves across the Atlantic.

Credits: Internet Unknown

Storm Stella is heading for the UK

Credits: AFP

A man snowboards on a snow-covered hill in Central Park

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People cross a snow and ice-covered street in New York

"There will be some rain around on Wednesday although most places will see a dry day; on Thursday the north will get some rain.

"From Friday into the weekend it will turn wet and windy across the country and this will last thorough the weekend."

The stormy outlook comes as Britain enjoys a warm and sunny start to spring, with temperatures hitting around 8C higher than average.

Credits: PA

People sheltering under an umbrella by Tower Bridge during a rain shower in London

Credits: PACars drive along the M4 Motorway in the rain near Chippenham, Wiltshire

Credits: PABritain will be battered by rain

A change in wind direction will bring cooler conditions at the weekend with even the risk of snow over high ground in the north.

Temperatures will drop to around 10C in the south compared to last weekend, which saw highs of 18C.

Elsewhere the mercury will dip to low single figures with the chance of thermometers plunging below freezing overnight.

AccuWeather forecaster Eric Leister added: "Cooler air will be felt throughout the UK on Friday as rain falls on Wales, northern England and southern Scotland."

Winter weather around the world

Winter weather around the world