National Weather Service previews Wisconsin's winter

Will this winter be as mild as last year or will the other shoe drop?

CREATED Oct 10, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct 10, 2012

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  • Joel Berman works on clearing the snow from his driveway in Bayside on Friday, February 24, 2012. Most of southeast Wisconsin has about 5 inches of wet, heavy snow to clear away this morning. The snow will continue in the Milwaukee area until 8 or 9 a.m., making for a slow drive into work and school today. Photo by Mike De Sisti / MDESISTI@JOURNALSENTINEL.COM Image by Mike De Sisti

MILWAUKEE - 2012 has been an odd year weather-wise: we had an incredibly mild winter, an early spring, 10 record high temperatures and a drought aided by lack of thunderstorms.  Meteorologists here and at the National Weather Service certainly agree this year has been far from normal.

Meteorologist Paul Collar tells TODAY'S TMJ4's Jesse Ritka how quiet the National Weather Service Office in Sullivan has been, "Very inactive severe weather season, I mean to not have even issued a tornado warning is amazing, it's incredible. And then to have only one winter storm warning issued last year and that was in March, it's just been incredibly quiet."

So many people in southeast Wisconsin can't help but think we're due for a change in the weather.  Collar is almost waiting for the other shoe to drop, "There's that part of me that believes that Mother Nature has payback in mind."

The current winter outlook from the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.  That could soon change as the CPC's official winter outlook is expected to be released on October 18.  Collar expects a few changes in the new outlook, "There are some indications that the El Nino signal is lessening a bit which would lead us to think that we would get more snow and maybe have more cold than we're currently thinking."

But even a normal winter with 47 inches of snow will seem like a lot compared to last winter when we didn't even have to shovel 30 inches of the white stuff.

This unusually warm year has some Wisconsinites holding onto the hope that the warm trend continues.  "I think this winter is going to be a little bit warmer than what we've been used to even, I think it'll just continue the trend that's been going on," says John Lyons.

"There's no way of saying how the winter is going to play out on a whole but I think Mother Nature has some surprises up her sleeve that right now we're maybe not accounting for and stay tuned," says Collar.

And stay tuned to TODAY'S TMJ4, next week Jesse Ritka will grade last year's predictions and unveil the Storm Team 4Cast for this coming winter.