THE UK will be hit by blustery gales of up to 50mph today – before temperatures take a dramatic tumble later this week.
Dreary showers will hit most parts as fierce winds barrel in from the Atlantic on Sunday.
The rain is set to persist in the north of Scotland – where they could turn wintry – and western areas throughout the day today.
And temperatures will remain mild for the time of year – pushing into the high single figures.
An update from forecasters at Meteogroup UK said of Sunday’s weather: “A generally mild but blustery day with some strong winds, especially across the northern UK.
“There will be some showers in places but it should gradually turn drier throughout the day across most areas.
“However, for northern Scotland and the west the showers will persist.
“Brighter spells will develop as the day goes on in eastern England.”
But the warmer weather is not set to last as predict snow and freezing temperatures are set to batter Britain – with fears that a “Beast from the East 2” is on the horizon.
The Met Office has warned of the first “widespread snow” of winter with sub-zero arctic air next week bringing fierce gales and driving rain.
Temperatures will take a tumble overnight tonight as the first snowfall this year will hit over northern parts of Scotland, according to the Met Office.
Meteorologist Alex Deakin said: “The winds will stay pretty lively through Saturday night into Sunday, but it’ll be a fairly mild night.
“A band of cloud and rain pushing south is a weather front.
“It’s a cold front and it’s bumping up against an area of high pressure, which kind of means the front will be fizzling out in terms of rainfall but it will introduce colder air during Sunday, particularly across the far north east.
“Some rain and drizzle over northern England, maybe into the Midlands on Sunday morning.
“To the south of that, some brighter spells and certainly further north it’ll brighten up a little bit in the afternoon.
“But a whole raft of showers in northern Scotland, and they will turn to sleet and snow over the hills.
“The temperatures will be interesting on Sunday because the maximum will be double digits for most – 10C or 11C.
“By the afternoon, temperatures will be falling away down into single figures and maybe only even 2C or 3C in Shetland.
“There’ll be a strong wind and that’s going to feel cold and cold enough for the showers here even to low levels later on on Sunday.
“That leads into Monday morning where there will be a frost in places – a chilly start to the new working week.
“Then turn a bit mild for a time, but later next week it could turn cold again and that could stick around for a while.”
It will continue to turn much colder next week – with growing signals for a more severe bout of winter weather later in the month.
Met Office forecaster Sarah Kent said: “It looks like the last week of January will bring a significant downward turn in temperatures, possibly becoming locally very cold.
“As Atlantic frontal systems come in and bump into this cold air we will have an enhanced risk of snowfall.”
The imminent cold weather will be driven by a warming of the air over the North Pole dragging colder winds in from the east – a so-called Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW).
SSW was the driver for last year’s Beast from the East which brought the country to a shivering standstill at the end of winter.
Miss Kent said: “SSW has happened and it gives us an increased likelihood of colder weather in the UK.”
Britain could see the first widespread snow of winter by next weekend as the mild weather gives way to a freezing blast.