Weather warnings are in place for this weekend as winds reaching speeds of up to 80mph bring the potential for widespread disruption to services and transport links.
Forecasters say the jet stream, triggered by plunging temperatures in the US, will be felt worst in parts of northern England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
It is expected to arrive on Friday, with yellow wind warnings in place across much of the UK by Saturday evening.
Forecasters say the jet stream will bring with it wind speeds of up to 250mph at flying level - and that conditions could rival the storm-like weather which battered parts of southern England at the end of 2013.
Mark Wilson, of the Met Office, said: “We have got a very strong jet stream caused by the very cold conditions in northern America. The speed by the end of the week will be 200 - 250mph.
“It will be similar to the weather we had (at the end of 2013) - potentially as strong but in a very different location.
“Winds will be 80mph or more across northern Scotland, although it will be windy everywhere.”