How do you like your Winters? Do you like them frosty and cold? Do you like them just cool enough to make a sweater and jeans a great outfit? Do you like to wear your gym shorts all year long? Chances are the sweater and jeans and an early return to the gym shorts are more likely than snow and ice this winter across our state.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released their long range outlook for the winter of 2016-2017. The set up for this winter appears to be warmer and drier across the Gulf South.

What's driving this forecast for a not so cold winter is a phenomenon the is situated thousands of miles away in the Pacific Ocean. We normally think of the terms La Nina and El Nino during Hurricane Season but these conditions also affect the winter months across the United States.

The cooler Pacific Ocean temperatures should result in wetter and colder conditions across the Northeastern United States. Meanwhile here in the south, our temperatures should be not as cold and the precipitation not as plentiful.

That doesn't mean we won't see snow. That doesn't mean we won't have a pipe busting chill. It only means that on average our winter temperatures should be above normal.

Foresters don't expect the La Nina conditions to be very strong and the phenomenon should not stay in place for very long either. So, I wouldn't use this long range prognostication as a reason to make specific plans.

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