By Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV Meteorologist

BOSTON (CBS) – As the leaves begin to change some are already beginning to wonder what kind of winter is around the corner.

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AccuWeather has released it’s official forecast for the upcoming winter. Chief long-range forecaster Paul Pastelok says we can expect a snowier winter compared to last.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports

“I think for the Northeast this year to get above-normal snowfall, I think it’s going to come in a couple of big storms. We’re talking about wetter systems coming out of the south direction. And I think that will bring substantial snow amounts, especially for southern New England into the northern mid-Atlantic,” Pastelok said.

The major difference from last year is the water temperatures. It is warmer in the Pacific and North Atlantic. This will make for a completely different pattern across the nation.

“We are looking at an ENSO pattern, a weak El Nino setting up. Pretty much lasting most of the winter but even weakening more as we head toward the spring season,” says Pastelok.

Local long range meteorologists believe these warmer waters could play a major role in at least the first part of our winter.

Weather Services International, based out of Andover, meteorologist Dan Leonard says the warmer water off the coast should make for more energized storms if they track near us.

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But the warmer water could keep snow totals down especially at the coast.

“It does indeed look like the eastern U.S. will at least start with warmer and drier conditions, especially right up the east coast and into New England. As the winter goes on that may change. But for right now, at least until December, warmer than normal and perhaps less snow than normal.”

A turn to a colder pattern as the winter progresses is likely, which will come as welcome news for snow lovers and skiers.

“I think that the Northeast will get their share of snow and will be able to produce snow. I mean it may not be an exceptionally snowy winter, but I think there will be a few big ones.”

Conditions will continue to change.

What is in place now will certainly be different by the time winter is here.

The real question is how much blocking we see in the atmosphere which helps to steer cold into the northeast as well as allow a more active storm track.

It is very early with plenty of mixed signals in the atmosphere this far out.

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The WBZ-TV weather department will continue to monitor these conditions and give you an updated AccuWeather forecast in November.