Last winter brought us lots of rain, particularly in December, warmer temperatures, and very little snow. Spring and summer ushered in warmer-than-average temperatures and drought conditions with far below normal levels of rainfall. So what can we expect this winter?

No one knows for sure, but based on data available now, here is what we could see play out.

The National Weather Service predicts this winter’s temperatures will be a little warmer than average with precipitation at near average levels.

Next, we look at sea surface temperatures and what is happening along the Equator. Right now there are no signs of an El Nino or La Nina system, which could impact our weather. Right now I think it’s going to stay pretty much neutral, and if you have a neutral weather pattern, at least for the winter, it can lead to temperatures that are a little cooler than average along the Great Lakes, warmer than average down along Florida and average here in the Tennessee Valley.

Now here’s what I’m thinking right now. Temperatures will be warmer than average out West and warmer than average south of Atlanta, with the Tennessee Valley pretty much in the average or “normal” area.

As far as snowfall goes, I’m thinking the mountains in Georgia, North Carolina and parts of East and northeast Tennessee could see more than average. It’s going to be dry out in the far West. For us, it’s going to be pretty much normal, which means about 3 – 5 inches of snow, maybe, coming up for this winter.

Again, winter forecasting is very difficult, especially for snow, even just a couple of days out. Much less 90 days. However, right now as far as the highlights go, we’re thinking normal temperatures, normal rainfall amounts, and below normal snowfall for the Tennessee Valley.