Gusts of up to 80mph could be felt in some coastal areas this weekend with the Met Office warning of “very strong winds” throughout the country.
Forecasters have issued a yellow weather warning covering the entirety of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 6pm on Saturday and throughout Sunday.
Many inland areas of the UK could experience gusts of up to 60mph, the Met Office said, while gales of between 70-80mph could hit exposed coasts and hills, especially in the north and west.
Heavy rain is also expected, forecasters said.
Met Office chief meteorologist Neil Armstrong said: “After a dry start to the week for many, with some sunny spells, early frosts and fog patches, the weather will become more unsettled as we head towards the weekend.
“This warning is expected to be updated as we get nearer to the weekend and confidence grows in the exact track and intensity of the weather system that is causing the wind and also bringing the potential for some heavy rain.
“Although still a long way off in forecast terms, there are signals the unsettled weather arriving this weekend could also continue into next week.”
Today, meanwhile, will be fine and dry for most with some good sunny spells and lighter winds and minimal fog patches.
And yesterday, the Met Office said it was too early to warn with any certainty of heavy snowfall later this month.
Some forecasts last week predicted imminent snow but new analysis radars suggest this is no longer the case.
Temperatures will, in fact, remain mild for the coming days, even peaking at 13C in places in the southwest on Friday, in a repeat of the latter stages of last month.
But this may prove to simply be the calm before the storm, before the monster gales run riot across the country on Saturday and Sunday.
Speaking to Mirror Online, Met Office forecaster Nicola Maxey said: “It will get colder next week but it is too early to forecast whether there’ll be snow or what temperatures we should expect.
“We can only say with a great deal of uncertainty what the weather may be at this early stage.
“Polar maritime air moving in from the north will cause temperatures to fall. There is potential for some snow in parts of the north but that’s not a certainty by any means.
“It’ll remain mild this week and on Saturday and Sunday potentially. Temperatures will be in double figures for most of the country before then, around 12 or 13C in places.
“There is potential for heavy rain though when it becomes windier.
“As we go through the next few days, it is likely the weather warning for wind will be refined or trimmed down somewhat as it is too early to tell where it’ll be at its worst at the moment unfortunately.
“There is potential for weather warnings for rain too.”
The unsettled pattern should remain for the rest of the month, forecasters add.
The average temperature for the UK for February is 7C but most parts of the country have exceeded that each day so far this month, including Bournemouth which hit 12C on Monday.
UK 5 day weather forecast
A few fog patches around in the south this morning but otherwise a fine day for most with some good sunny spells and light winds. Windier and cloudier in the far north with some light rain, mainly for hills.
Cloudy in the far north with a little light rain for northwest Scotland and the Northern Isles. Cold with good clear spells elsewhere and fog patches, particularly in the south.
Fog patches in south may be slow to clear, feeling cold where this occurs. Otherwise variable cloud with good sunny spells at times. Winds picking up in the far west.
Outlook for Friday to Sunday:
Fine on Friday before rain arrives across west, this clearing east by Saturday morning. Further rain and strong winds arrive late Saturday, with unsettled or stormy conditions persisting through Sunday.