WARM weekend weather will see temperatures rise to near record levels for February, the Met Office has said.

The warm, sunny weather across most of the UK will contrast with the same time last year, when Britain was braced for the arrival of the Beast from the East, which hit at the start of March.

This year, temperatures could be as high as 18C (64.4F) on Saturday in some places, and most will see a lot of sunshine.

Bolton is set to see the temperatures rise as high as 14C on Saturday with sunny intervals throughout the late morning and early afternoon.

In contrast, the weather in Athens, Greece, is set to be rainy with highs of 11C. 

The warmest February since records began was in 1998 when temperatures hit 19.7C (67.4F), and the Met Office said there is the “potential to get close” to those readings.

“There is an outside chance we could get close to that,” a spokesman said.

Met Office chief meteorologist, Steve Willington, said: “By the weekend we could see temperatures almost 10 degrees higher than what we might normally expect at this time of year, so there will certainly be a spring-like feel in the air across the country.

“North-western parts of the UK will be wet and windy at times this week, but settled conditions will spread to all parts of the country by the weekend, bringing plenty of sunshine and unseasonably mild temperatures that could well compete with current February temperature records.”