Last winter sucked. I'm just going to throw that out there.  And I'm a fat guy who doesn't mind a cold winter!

But the guys at NOAA are giving us a heads-up that we're headed right back into that same pattern for this coming winter, too. The southern part of the US is ironically set up for not only a wetter winter, but a colder-than-normal one, too. How bad is it going to get, though? Are we going to see the ice storms and deep freezes of last year again?

"The reality was last year was an anomaly," said National Weather Service Meteorolgist Roger Erickson. "It's rare to get that kind of activity along the I-10 corridor. It's not unheard of, but five events like we had last year is super rare in one season.

So yes -- colder and wetter -- but will it be enough to shut down the city again? Not likely. Erickson said what's most likely is that we'll see our typical "roller coaster" of temperatures as cold fronts wash over us. For that, you can blame El Nino.

"The reason we're advertising cooler weather this winter is related to El Nino," said Erickson. "When that occurs, we see warming of the waters of the Pacific Ocean near the equator. It creates wind patterns that give us more cold fronts and more active weather."


He's got a 67% chance of showing up this year, which explains why we're getting screwed over. But we don't have it the worst. California's got it the worst.

"Wait," you might be saying. "California's supposed to have a WARM winter, you bozo. How is that 'the worst?'"  Well, they're also undergoing a drought, and a warm, dry winter will do nothing to fix that. That means 2015 will be even drier for California and will put a larger strain on their water supply.

You might want to start thinking now about how you want to winter-proof your home. Especially if your house is on piers like mine is, you'll want to prepare your pipes while it's still pretty warm outside.