The blizzard which has wreaked havoc on the eastern seaboard of the United States is due to hit the UK tomorrow, forecasters have warned.
Storm Jonas, which saw 60cm of snow fall on the east coast of America at the weekend – bringing cities including New York to a standstill, killing at least 19 people and leaving more than 100,000 homes without power – is to cause torrential rains and strong winds in parts of Britain including Scotland.
Weather experts said the amounts of rainfall north of the Border could rival that seen in December and early January, when flooding brought misery to householders in areas including Perthshire, Aberdeenshire, Stirlingshire and the Borders.
The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning covering central Scotland and the Highlands, most of Wales and north-west England, where residents have already faced mass evacuations amid repeated flooding over the winter period. However, Scotland is likely to avoid the snowfall which has blighted the United States, with temperatures likely to remain mild, as warm air “of tropical origins” is likely to hit a cold front moving from the US.
A spokesman for the Met Office said the system is the “remnants” of Storm Jonas. The Yellow warning for Tuesday applies to Scottish regions including Central Scotland, Tayside, Fife, Dumfries and Galloway, Lothian and Borders, Grampian and the Highlands and Islands.
“There will be several low pressure systems which will work their way across the UK,” he added. “We are in for some heavy rain and strong winds.
“The amounts of rainfall could be pretty high, there is potential for 50 to 100mm, which is four inches.
“Across northwest England and Scotland there could be upwards of 150mm, almost rivalling what we saw in December. These are quite wet areas and they are susceptible to flooding.”
Storm Jonas brought hurricane-force winds and up to 60cm of snowfall to the East Coast of America, bringing many states to a standstill.
Flights to and from major airports across America were cancelled, at least 45 of which were coming from or going to the UK.
At Glasgow Airport both Saturday and yesterday’s United Airlines flights to Newark, New Jersey were cancelled.
A state of emergency was declared across a vast swathe of the eastern seaboard, with schools and government offices closed and thousands of homes without power.