NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – We are in the midst of the hottest year on record for the northeast, but forecasters are already making their snow predictions for the upcoming winter.

Don’t plan on cashing in your snow days just yet, however, because the projections are a mixed bag.

WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot reports

Government forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that along the Interstate 95 corridor from Washington, DC to Boston, there is an equal chance of above or below normal precipitation.

“It’s awfully difficult to predict snowfall in the long-term,” said Dr. David Robinson is the New Jersey State Climatologist, who is not affiliated with NOAA.

The private firm Accu Weather is going out on a snow-covered limb, saying the northeast should expect a snow dump, based on current ocean patterns in the pacific known as El Niño.

That’s the snowy brother to the typically dry La Niña pattern. But the patterns don’t always stick, said Robinson.

“Two winters ago we had a La Niña and we had all of that heavy snow. Now, three winters ago, we had an El Niño and we had heavy snow. But [the] 1997-98 winter was one of the least snowy on record and that was a major El Niño event. So you really can’t take this to the bank,” Robinson told WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot.

Experts recommend taking the predictions with a grain of road salt.

Do you think we’ll have a mild or snowy winter? Offer your predictions and thoughts in the comments section below…

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