'Science simply does not exist to predict long term'
The Met Office has dismissed reports the Westcountry could be set for its "worst winter in decades", saying it is too early to predict.
It was reported over the weekend that brutal winds and blizzards could engulf the entire country in coming months with record-breaking snowfall predicted for November.
However, the long-range forecast has been dismissed by the Met Office, which says it is impossible to predict with any certainty what will happen this winter.
"The science simply does not exist to make detailed, long-term forecasts for temperature and snowfall even for the end of November, let alone for the winter period, which does not officially start until December 1," said a spokesman.
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"While we have seen a return to more normal, cooler temperatures for this time of year, this is no indication of what we can expect over the next four months with regards to temperatures and when we might see snow. It is far too early to tell."
It was reported in the Daily Express on Saturday that Britain was facing its "worst winter in decades" due to the poorly positioned jet stream.
However, the longest-range forecast put out by the Met Office, for 30 days, predicts that temperatures will be near average, with milder nights, and a less-than-usual chance of frost.
The Met Office no longer makes its long-range forecasts public after it was lampooned for its "barbecue summer" claim head of the less-than-balmy summer of 2009.
In March this year it was forced to defend itself after conceding the advice it had given the Government over the previous April was "not helpful". The weather centre had in its three-monthly forecast for April to June 2012 predicted slightly drier conditions – April then went on to become the wettest on record.
A spokesman added: "Ultimately, we're heading into winter and it is perfectly possible that we will see the whole range of weather that we get in winter at some point over the coming months, including snow and freezing temperatures, but also heavy rain, windy weather and mild conditions too."
The prediction comes after weeks of poor weather which brought the region's record-breaking summer to a dismal end.
Huge swathes of the Westcountry were put on flood alert at the beginning of the month as almost two-thirds of a month's rain fell in less than a week.
Weather for the South West is predicted to reach highs of around 14C over the next few days with rain and fog patches, dipping to a noticeably colder 5C at night.