The Met Office has not announced Britain is expecting a three month heatwave, despite reports suggesting the contrary.
Reports of a sizzling spring and summer emerged over the weekend after the Met Office published its three month contingency plans, in which it said temperatures might be above normal in the coming months.
"From April to June, near to above-average temperatures are most likely. There is a reduction in the probability of below-average temperatures," it said. "The probability UK mean temperatures will fall into our warmest category is between 20% and 25%. The probability it will fall into the coldest category is 10%."
However, a Met Office blog post has now said its report does not mean there is an impending heatwave: "Some stories cite our three month outlook for contingency planners as proof of the impending heatwave, but this is in no way an accurate reflection of what it shows," it said.
"The outlook shows probabilities attached to different scenarios for temperature and rainfall over the whole three-month period it covers. This is useful for those who use probabilities to plan ahead on longer-timescales, but not very useful for deciding where and when to go on your UK summer holiday, for example."
Instead, Met Office officials say their three month outlook is a bit like working out the odds on a horse race – the favourite does not always win. It said that above average temperatures could emerge in a variety of ways. For example, it could be warm and wet, rather than sunny and dry.
Also, not all three months would need to be above average for their prediction to hold true.
"This just reinforces the point that the contingency planners outlook doesn't tell us what specific weather we are going to see at a specific location."
The Met Office does, however, note that the coming week is going to be "unseasonably warm" with temperatures rising to the low to mid 20s Celsius on 14 and 15 April – one of these is expected to become the warmest day of the year so far.
"Unfortunately, the weather we get in April doesn't necessarily tell us anything about the kind of summer we can expect. We're still in the midst of spring, so it's far too early to say what the months of June, July and August may hold."