Federal weather forecasters say the ice and snow storms that staggered parts of the East last week may be a warning of more wintry conditions to come.
A moderate strength El Nino is underway in the Pacific Ocean, a condition that can set the stage for cold and wet weather in the eastern states.
El Nino occurs when sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean remain above average for more than several months. This can affect wind patterns high in the atmosphere resulting in changed weather in many parts of the world.
NOAA forecasters said the nation can expect warmer-than-normal temperatures across the northern half of the country, wetter and stormier-than-normal weather across the south from California through the Carolinas, and drier-than-normal conditions in the northern Rockies and Midwest.