NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Winter is just two months away, and the experts are sharing their forecasts on what we can expect.

When you think winter, many think of the salt, snow and the mess.

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CBS2’s Cindy Hsu spoke to climate researcher Andrew Kruczkiewicz, who says we may be looking at a winter similar to last year.

“Yes, we could expect a slight chance of above average snowfall and overall, temperatures are likely to be slightly above average,” he said.

“Can we tell what month will be worse?” Hsu asked.

“One of the elements where we cannot be confident enough to make statements are, like, the month by month,” Kruczkiewicz said.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, just announced its winter outlook. CBS2’s John Elliott broke it down.

“According to NOAA, Great Lakes and into the Ohio Valley, they’re going to see above normal winter precipitation, more snow. Less precipitation to the south. Temperatures will likely be a little bit above, but that’s certainly been the order of the summer. The problem is, even with those warm temperatures, it doesn’t take much to turn things around. If you get any of that cold Canadian air over the very warm lakes, we see these very heavy snow bands set up and that can lead to periods of heavy snow for us,” he said.

Sea surface temperatures nearly 3,000 miles away drive NOAA’s winter outlook here at home. NOAA predicts a “La Nina winter” – that’s when colder than normal water piles up along the equator near the west coast of South America and forces the jet stream north, a huge player in what unfolds during our darkest, coldest months of the year.

Meanwhile, the New York City Department of Sanitation held its annual “snow and tell” with a behind-the-scenes look at snow operations.

They say they’re ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store.

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The first day of winter is Dec. 21.

Cindy Hsu