According to the Met Office, temperatures could reach highs of 17C this weekend and climb to 18C or higher on Monday and Tuesday next week in what could be Britain’s hottest winter in almost 200 years.
Air pollution levels are also set to hit a high tomorrow as dirty air coming into Britain, from Morocco, crossing France and Spain, triggers health warnings for people with asthma, lung or heart problems, as well as for the elderly.
Monday is set to be the hottest February 25 on record if highs beat temperatures of 16.6C
A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said: “Occasional moderate and possible high levels of air pollution are forecast over parts on Sunday, perhaps becoming more widespread.”
Around 29,000 Brits are killed annually by air pollution – 15 times more than the 2,000 who die in road accidents, according to Department of Health-backed research.
But from next weekend and throughout March temperatures are set to plummet with possible snow flurries in the north and strong winds and gales.
Met Office forecaster Dean Hall said: “It’s quite exceptional weather and such a contrast to the Beast from the East 12 months ago. After 17C at the weekend, 18C or a touch higher is possible on Monday and Tuesday.
“But a stark change is ahead, with later in the week seeing rain and strong winds risking gales of over 50mph.
“Temperatures will return to near normal and the theme of Atlantic systems bringing wet and windy spells looks to remain until late March.
“The North and West will see the strongest winds and could see wintry showers on high ground in Scotland, and the South and East will also see wet and windy spells.”
The Weather Outlook even forecast temperatures of 19C for this weekend and the start of next week.
Forecaster for Weather Outlook, Brian Gaze, added: “19C highs pushing the winter record are possible on Monday and Tuesday.
“February is famous for skiing – not sunbathing – but warmth is near record levels thanks to African air plumes.
“But the Atlantic will hit back with stormy spells and gusts of up to 70mph threatening in early March.”