Cold, snowy winter expected for New York City region

Brace yourself.  Winter is coming and meteorologists all over the country are gearing up for another active winter season.

Steven DiMartino is a weather consultant.

"The start of the season is going to be nice and mild as it has been in November.  Then the hammer is going to hit," DiMartino says.  "Once you get past December, January, February and March are going to feature a lot of snow storms, some cold snaps and some very icy conditions."

New York say this same type of "late bloomer" season last year.  Remember the January blizzard that crippled much of Long Island?  Also, a long stretch os sub-freezing temperatures brought the third coldest February on record for Central Park.

In forecasting what to expect for this season, there are a number of variables to consider.

"First of all it's the El Nino, which is starting to change right now," DiMartino says. "It's moving from east-based to central-based which is a big deal. That means that we are gong to have more thunderstorms developing around the Date Line.  Also, snowfall in Siberia went way above normal and that's a huge factor as well. Combine those factors together with a very warm Pacific up towards the Gulf of Alaska, and you end up with a pattern that is very stormy and is going to introduce a lot of cold air into the eastern United States."

He says that means there is going to be a high potential for well above average snowfall, especially just away from New York City.  Along the coast he expects a lot of ice threats and a mixed bag of snow, sleet and freezing rain.