It's that time of year again.  The leaves are changing and nearly gone Everybody's asking me what's going to be happening this winter. I'm been thinking about it for the past couple of months or so and I've got a conclusion we'll get to in just a second.

First of all, we want to review what happened last year.

November 2013: "We could have, especially north of Chattanooga, above normal snowfall for this year.  Normally we have about 4 inches to maybe 5 inches. Well we may get 6-7 inches this year."

I was pretty proud of what the forecast ended up and what actually did happen.

We had two snow events last year.  We had one on January 28th.  We had 1.2" of snow but the big one was in February on the 12th-13th.  We had 7.2" of snow.  You add that up and that's 8.4" which gives us about 155% of normal.  That's quite a bit.  We are not used to that.

Now the Farmer's Almanac is talking about some very, very cold temperatures.  I don't really take that in to consideration because that forecast was made over a year ago, but when we're done with this you'll see I'm sorta agreeing with what the Farmer's Almanac has been saying.

Let's take a look at what some people have written in about on our Facebook page.  

Nick Austin, about a week or so ago, did a story on persimmon trees.  We got a lot of reports on Facebook. From Maddie,  she said, "My friend's uncle opened some and found 7 spoons and a fork."

Lori says, "My husband has brought some home and they are all spoon from different trees."

And if you have spoons in the middle of the persimmon tree, inside that little fruit, it indicates very cold, snowy weather.

We have another comment from Deborah who says, "a farmer told me the acorns are really big this year, a sign of a harsh winter".  That could be true.

Now, I'll tell you why I'm thinking what I'm thinking.

Let's look at the National Weather Service forecast of winter temperatures.  It's really not a forecast per se. It's more a guidance. They think the southern half of the country is going to be below normal and we're just on the edge of that. The northern half will be above normal.  

As far as snow goes, or precipitation, they think right along the Gulf Coast will be wetter than normal.  Right along the Great Lakes will be drier than normal.  

I think it's going to be drier than normal but there's one thing I don't think they've taken in to consideration and that's how much snow is already on the ground through Canada and the Artic.  All that pink is ice out over the Pole and that's really building up fast.  The main thing we look at is out over Siberia and northern Europe so most of Russia right now, including Siberia, is totally covered with snow.  It's been snowing gangbusters out there. That could be a harbinger of a lot of snow for at least North America because that cold air starts to build up out there.  So we're going to be watching that to.

This is what I'm really thinking.  Very cold temperatures across the Ohio River Valley, the Tennessee River Valley.  The farther south you go, it's just going to be colder than normal. The real cold stuff will be from about Crossville on northward but we're going to be very, very close to that.

As far as snow goes, this is what gets people real excited.  Lots of snow will fall along Ohio and Cumberland Plateaus.  The jet stream is going to be well to the south of us.  That puts us in the perfect place to get a lot of snow.  So here are the highlights. I think it's going to be a cold, snowy winter.  It's going to be about 3-5 degrees colder than normal with about 7-9 inches of snow, which will make it sorta like last year or maybe even a little more than last year.  That would give us about 160-170% above normal.  We will see what we will see.  

Good luck everybody. I hope you get what you want.  - Paul Barys