Londoners admitted "spring has sprung" on Wednesday as the capital basked in glorious sunshine.
Pictures showed people of all ages sprawled across the grass in London’s many parks and green spaces, with colourful blossom brightening up trees.
The mercury reached as high as 18C in some places, far exceeding the average March temperature of around 10C. But the hot spell is not set to last.
Storm Stella, the monster storm which has wreaked havoc across the US, is set to arrive in London on Friday.
Wow what a glorious day in London. Blue skies, blossoms, magnolias, daffodils, and hot, yes hot, sun! Never known mid March like this ever. pic.twitter.com/Cn0e07CEqv— Glynis Barber (@MsGlynisBarber) March 15, 2017
The blizzard conditions and 50-mile-per-hour gusts sparked a state of emergency in New York on Monday.
Meteorologist Alex Burkill told the Standard that the storm’s impact would be “massively reduced” as it crossed the Atlantic but would still bring wet weather across the weekend.
He said: “As the weather front responsible for Storm Stella hits on Friday it will bring wet and changeable weather to London and the south-east.
“The light spring weather we have been seeing will become more changeable over the weekend and in to next week.”
Is anywhere better than London in the sun? Days like this fill me with hope. (And my day is suddenly filled with beer garden plans). pic.twitter.com/DIsxHuqg2z— Lizzie Rivera (@LizzieRivs) March 15, 2017
But the ominous forecast did not stop Londoners getting out and enjoying the sunshine on Wednesday.
Many took to social media to share warm-weather experiences and pictures. Actress Glynis Barber wrote: “Wow what a glorious day in London. Blue skies, blossoms, magnolias, daffodils, and hot, yes hot, sun! Never known mid March like this ever.”
Ditched the tube 🚇and walked across London in the sun 🌞to the station 🚉. What a fantastic day. pic.twitter.com/XOw7bTqRna— Ross Renton 🎓 (@Ross_Renton) March 15, 2017
Another Twitter user shared a photo of Lincoln’s Inn Fields in Holborn packed with people stretching out on the grass during their lunch hours. He wrote: “Sun brings happiness in London while it is still cold.”
Lizzie Rivera posted a stunning picture of spring blossom with the caption: "Is anywhere better than London in the sun? Days like this fill me with hope. (And my day is suddenly filled with beer garden plans)."
Many others got in the act, with the phrase "spring has sprung" a common occurence.