It has been a wet a chilly winter across North Carolina and the Southeast. New forecasts over the past week suggest the trend for cold and wet conditions will not change anytime soon. Much of eastern North Carolina has received over 25 inches of rain since early November. That number represents about half the rainfall we get in an entire year. Temperatures have averaged almost 3 degrees below normal since early December, which means we are having the coldest winter since 2002-2003 when it was between 3 and 4 degrees below normal. The main culprit for our problem is El Nino in the Pacific Ocean and what meteorologists call a blocking pattern across Canada that forces storm systems to plow through the southern United States. The good news is that spring begins next month.