Britain will have a mild winter, the Met Office has predicted despite the inaccuracy of its ‘barbecue summer’ forecast that drew fierce criticism.
Scientists at the organisation have staked their reputation on temperatures and rainfall “likely to be near or above average”.
The Met Office said the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 were likely to be “milder than last year” and that there was an 85 per cent chance of normal or above-average conditions.
However, the Met Office added: “There is still a 1-in-7 chance of a cold winter.”
The organisation came under fire during August after its earlier prediction that Britain would bask in a ‘barbecue summer’ turned out to be incorrect, with the wettest July for a century despite above-average temperatures.
American forecaster Joe Bastardi of AccuWeather said winter would be cold across Europe. He added: “Though Britain’s temperatures are likely to be near normal there is a risk of very cold weather coming in from eastern Europe.”
Earlier this month Jonathan Powell of Positive Weather Solutions forecast a cold winter, with “potentially a big freeze in January and February”.
The Met Office told the Daily Express: “There will be some spells of cold weather, sleet, snow and frost but the temperatures and rainfall will be average or above.”
Despite fierce criticism that it gave false hope of a balmy summer, the Met Office insisted its 'barbecue summer' long-term prediction was largely accurate, in particular that temperatures would reach 30C.