Winter’s on the way; see what’s in the forecast

It’s time to prepare for winter driving conditions.

“Onion skins very thin, mild winter coming in.”

Most of us will rely on the more sophisticated forecasting techniques than that bit of homespun wisdom when looking at what’s in store when winter begins officially at 11:48 p.m. EST Dec. 21.

Forecasters at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency’s Prediction Center released the organization’s outlook for this winter (December through February) and say we can, in a nutshell, expect:

•    Wetter-than-average conditions in the Southern tier of states, from central and southern California, across Texas, to Florida, and up the East Coast to southern New England. Above-average precipitation is also expected in southeastern Alaska.

•    Drier-than-average conditions for Hawaii, central and western Alaska, parts of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, and for areas near the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.

•    Above-average temperatures are favored across much of the West and the northern half of the country. Temperatures are also expected to be above-average in Alaska and much of Hawaii.

•    Below-average temperatures are most likely in the southern Plains and Southeast.

However, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is forecasting a colder and snowier winter than normal.