It is too early to say whether climate change is behind the recent storms that have wreaked havoc on Britain, the Met Office said today.
Meteorologists said that no scientific research had been carried out into the cause of the heavy rain and floods that has blighted much of the country over Christmas and the New Year.
Winds of more than 60mph and huge waves battered the coastline from Cornwall to Scotland, with flooding affecting many parts of the UK, and motorists were tonight being warned that freezing temperatures would cause widespread ice in the morning.
The Met Office comments appeared to be at odds with that of David Cameron, who yesterday said at Prime Minister's Questions that climate change could well be linked to the recent storms.
Dan Williams, a Met Office spokesman, said: "No attribution study has been done, so you can't make a definitive statement about how more or less likely the recent flooding has become because of climate change."
Mr Williams said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - the world leader on research into climate change - had produced a report last year linking some types of "extreme weather" with man-made climate change.
"So if you are talking about extreme weather globally there has been some observed increase in some types of extreme weather and there is some evidence, depending on which types of extreme weather you are talking about, of a link between man-made climate change and some types of extreme weather," he said.
Mr Williams said that this research was supported by attribution studies which looked at specific weather-related events, such as Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the Caribbean and North America, or a drought in East Africa.
"They can see how that event is more or less likely because of human influence," he said.
"What those attribution studies have shown is that some events have become more likely and there are some events where there is no evidence of any human influence at all - it's a mixed bag really.
"You can't say definitively that an event is caused by climate change and climate change only because we have always had extreme weather.
"But the chances of extreme weather occurring may have altered because of climate change.
"So it would be consistent with the picture we have seen of increasing rainfall in the UK over the past few decades.
"There has also been an observed increase in intense rainfall events but again to link those to climate change is a research project which hasn't been done."
Mr Cameron's view will put him at odds with many Tory backbenchers as well as members of his own Cabinet, including Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, who is widely viewed as a climate-change sceptic.
His comments yesterday followed a question from Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron, who asked about the "extreme weather conditions affecting our communities", which he said "are a destructive and inevitable consequence at least in part of climate change".
Mr Cameron replied: "I agree with you that we are seeing more abnormal weather events.
"Colleagues across the House can argue about whether that is linked to climate change or not. I very much suspect that it is."
Earlier today, the Environment Secretary brought a roar of laughter from the opposition benches in the Commons as he appeared unable to bring himself to endorse his party leader's view.
The latest Met Office yellow warning replaced the threat of rain with ice for Wales and all of England - excluding the north east - tomorrow, particularly places with large areas of standing water.
Around 100 flood warnings in England, along with four in Scotland and one in Wales remain in place with forecasters predicting freezing temperatures and possibly snow in the north next week.
River levels have been rising in counties including Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset, Somerset and the Midlands, the Environment Agency (EA) said.
Rivers including the Hampshire Avon through Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset, the Stour in Dorset, the Parrett in Somerset and the Severn through the Midlands showed no signs of receding.
Communities along the River Thames throughout Surrey, Berkshire and Oxfordshire were also warned that they were at risk of flooding in the coming days.
Howard Davidson, the EA's director for the south east, said: "River levels are high and will continue to rise for the next few days. It is likely that we will see further flooding to properties over the coming days."
Flooding continued on parts of the Somerset Levels, and there remained a risk of flooding from groundwater in Dorset, south Wiltshire and West Sussex, the EA said.
Eight people have died and more than 1,700 homes and businesses have been flooded in England since the beginning of the Christmas period, with around 550 properties flooded since the new year. Some 140 properties have been flooded in Wales.
Flood defences protected 220,000 properties over the Christmas period and another 800,000 were protected during the coastal flooding in early December.
High winds over Christmas also left 250,000 homes without power, with some families waiting days for electricity to be restored.
In Cornwall work was continuing to repair the damage caused by the storms - estimated costing around £2 million - with people advised not to visit places badly affected.
Meanwhile, a woman was taken to hospital after being rescued from water in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire overnight.
People living on Ham Island on the River Thames in Old Windsor, Berkshire have been helping neighbours after their homes flooded, while supplies have continued to be brought by boat to Muchelney in the Somerset Levels, which has been cut off since last week.
Dorset Police was warning motorists in large vehicles not to drive through standing water at speed creating a wash that floods nearby homes.