So far the winter outlooks we've seen generally have winter getting off to a warm-ish start.
That's not the view of Judah Cohen, the chief seasonal forecaster at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, who thinks the early weeks of winter might be cold and adventurous in the Northeast.
Cohen is well-known in the meteorological community for his correlating of robust Eurasian snow cover in October with cold Northeast winters.
Right now snow cover in Siberia is above normal, according to the Rutgers University Snow Lab, and he said Wednesday that atmospheric conditions favor a late-month rally.
Ironically, worldwide warming could contribute to cold around here; he says Arctic sea- ice melt in critical areas could conspire to affect the dreaded "polar vortex."
Cohen offers a technical explanation on this National Science Foundation site, but here are the SparkNotes:
The ice-melting is particularly advanced near Scandanavia. Meanwhile the hearty Eurasian snow cover is chilling regions to the east.
That pattern is inciting what he calls a "record-breaking" transfer of energy from the lower atmosphere (the troposphere) to the upper levels in the far-northern latitudes.
That, in turn, serves to weaken the polar vortex, causing it to migrate to the south and chill the lower latitudes. When the vortex circulation is strong, it confines the cold to the polar regions.
Cohen said the wild card is what appears to be unprecedented nature of the energy transfer.
"Does it all just flame out before the winter starts?" he asks. "Or is it a domino effect."