Meteorologist Jeremy Davis has studied weather for well over a decade from his vantage point in the Hudson River Valley of New York State.
"Weak El Nino and La Nina weather patterns tend to produce the heaviest snow for us in the Northeast, and along the East Coast," Davis told OnTheSnow.
El Nino is a warming of surface waters in the equatorial Pacific; La Nina is a cooling of those waters. Both affect the temperatures and energy of air masses over the ocean, which in turn affect weather across North America.
"The Climate Prediction Center forecasts a weak-to-moderate La Nina for this winter, which really means we have an equal chance of above or below normal temperatures and precipitation," Davis said.
"Weaker La Nina patterns tend to give more snow to New England," he said.
"It's one of those correlations between weather patterns in the Pacific and weather here in the Northeast that are not very well correlated, because we are so far from where those systems develop off the coast of South America," Davis said.
"When there's an El Nino, Pacific storms hit California and come across to Florida, and then occasionally come up the East Coast, and can produce some heavy snow up in New England. Moderate El Ninos tend to push storms up the East Coast; stronger ones tend not to.
"La Nina is a little more transient, usually producing a ridge of high pressure across the West which drives the jet stream north, and then it dives down across the Midwest, and our weather all depends on where it makes its turn.
"Our weather really depends on the exact storm tracks, and 1 or 2 degrees of difference in temperature can make a huge difference in snowfall amounts," he said.