There's been a significant increase in the snow and ice cover across the north pole, Canada, and Russia over the last month. The map on the left is from October 5 and the map on the right is from today, November 5.
Out of the five winter forecasts I've read, all but one are thinking our area will have a much colder and wetter winter than normal. The exception is from the National Weather Service. They are saying that ElNino will strengthen and bring our area a mild and dry winter. Let's hope that's not true. In winter's past, I've kept a close eye on long range forecasts, and usually ended up being greatly disappointed when things didn't work out the way I wanted. So... this winter, I'm not going to pay attention to anything other than the local news and the NWS website.