We all know that the weather is unpredictable, but the National Weather Service is the best hope we have for an accurate winter forecast. According to a "Winter Outlook"  posted yesterday by the NWS, here's what to expect this winter:

Weather this winter is going to be most influenced by La Nina. This is the opposite of the El Nino effect that we experienced a few years ago that brought us unusually warm weather.

Basically, La Nina is characterized by abnormally cool waters off the coast of South America which have a tremendous influence on weather patterns over North America.

One other major factor is the position of the blocking high over Greenland. The position of these two events should cause our current winter to have above normal temperatures for the first half of the winter, with a strong chance of below normal temperatures for the second half of the winter season.

Snowfall is expected to be above  normal. Generally we can expect between 40 and 60 inches of snowfall, but this year you might be well advised to keep the snow shovel handy!