The National Weather Service issued its winter forecast for the United States on Thursday. Portions of the Southwest, including Texas and Oklahoma, should see temperatures above normal with dry conditions. The Northern Plains and Upper Midwest are expected to have a colder than normal winter with a significant amount of snowfall. Much of the East Coast including eastern North Carolina is expected to have temperatures close to normal. The general trend for eastern North Carolina would suggest a colder than normal December, a near normal January and a warmer than normal February. Precipitation is expected to be near to slightly below normal. Of course, we're still several weeks away from December so it could change a bit. At this point there are no predictions on the possibility of snow across our area. Last year was colder and snowier than normal.