The UK could see its warmest ever February day this weekend, forecasters have said, just a year after the country shivered in the icy grip of the Beast from the East.
Scotland has already enjoyed its warmest ever February day after the temperature reached 18.3C (64.94F) at Aboyne in Aberdeenshire on Thursday afternoon.
That beat the previous high of 17.9C (64.22F), recorded in Aberdeen in February 1897.
The current record maximum temperature measured in the UK in February is 19.7C (67.46F), which was set in London in February 1998.
Sky weather presenter Nazaneen Ghaffar said: “The combination of the southerly winds and sunshine could see temperatures close to 18-19°C (64.4F – 66.2F) in some spots on Friday and the weekend.”
The Welsh record temperature for February was set at 18.6C (65.48F) in Powys in 1990, and the highest in Northern Ireland was 17.8C (64.04) in Bryansford in 1998.
The balmy conditions could hardly make a sharper contrast with this time last year, when the Beast from the East brought freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall to much of the UK.
The cold snap, which caused huge disruption to businesses, travel and schools, was caused by a ”sudden stratospheric warming”, or a big jump in temperatures that saw the UK swept by cold easterly winds.
Nazaneen Ghaffar said it is different this year because high pressure centred over continental Europe is also sitting across the bulk of the UK, making most places dry and sunny.
“Winds have been coming from a warm southerly direction, so as a result temperatures have been above average for the time of year,” she said.