As we actually reach mid fall, our thoughts are already heading to what kind of weather will we have this upcoming winter in Texarkana.

N.O.A.A., which is short for National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, otherwise commonly referred to as the National Weather Service, has come out with its Winter Weather Climate Predictions for the United States.

Basically it looks like on average we will have a warmer and drier than normal winter season in Texarkana. This basically covers the December through February time period.

Lots of factors can go into deciding winter climate and weather conditions, including the positioning of the jet streams, the high level winds above us, and also whether we are in an El Nino or La Nina, or neutral pattern.

El Nino is a weather pattern that includes unusually warm waters in the Pacific Ocean and La Nina is the exact opposite which is unusually cool waters in that same region. These two weather phenomenons can greatly affect our weather patterns particularly in winter and early spring.

El Nino can cause the Southern Plains area, which includes the Texarkana and Four States Region, to be wetter than normal. La Nina can cause the same area to experience drier than normal and warmer than normal conditions. After going through an El Nino period last winter and spring, which gave us lots and lots of rain, it looks like La Nina may happen this time.

N.O.A.A. gives us a greater than 40 percent chance of experiencing drier and warmer than normal conditions on average this winter. Now, does that mean we will not have some outbreaks of very cold weather? Absolutely not. Even in La Nina years you can and likely will have several very cold arctic outbreaks. It just means on average for the totality of the season it will likely be warmer than average norms.

This also does not mean that we will not have a snow or any ice events. It simply means on average it may happen less than normal. Our winter precipitation events change so much from year to year that it is almost impossible to say whether we will go the whole season without a major event or get several.

I would say just stay tuned and don't totally believe forecasts that are more than a few days out. As they say in this part of the country, if you don't like the weather, wait a few days and it's likely to change.