The Met Office has warned a “major weather event” is likely to take place in the UK in the coming weeks.

The forecaster has said a major sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) is “now likely to take place” in late February or early March.

It was a major SSW which brough the Beast from the East to the UK in 2018, as the country saw 22 inches of snowfall in some places, while £1.2 billion damage was caused to the economy.

However, the Met Office stressed that an SSW does not always equate to a Beast from the East like weather scenario.

The Met Office has said: “The latest forecasts are showing that a major SSW is now likely to take place.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

“The recent minor SSW weakened the Stratospheric Polar Vortex and it’s now likely to collapse and reverse in the middle of February.”

The forecaster explained: “A major SSW often makes the jet stream meander more, which can lead to a large area of blocking high pressure over northern Europe, including the UK.

“This blocking high pressure can lead to cold, dry weather in the north of Europe, including the UK, with mild, wet and windy conditions more likely for southern areas of the continent.

“However, this is not always the case and impacts on UK weather can also be benign when an SSW occurs.”

Prof Adam Scaife, Head of Long-Range Forecasting at the Met Office, added: “There is now over 80% chance of a major SSW occurring.

"Although the impact will become clearer nearer the time, any effect on UK weather is most likely to occur in late February and March.”

This is the current long range Met Office weather forecast for late February and into early March: “Generally changeable weather conditions with near or above average temperatures across the UK as a whole until late February.

“The end of February is likely to see a continuation of changeable conditions, with the wettest and windiest weather most probable across the northwest.

"The south and east may see some shorter spells of wet weather, although overall conditions should remain drier and more settled. Into March, high pressure is expected to develop to the north of the UK and low pressure to the south.

"This is likely to introduce a north-south split, with drier conditions across the north and wetter conditions in the south.

"Temperatures expected to be mostly around average, but a period of colder or much colder temperatures remains a small possibility and could bring spells of wintry weather."