(WKRN) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued its winter weather forecast for the months of December, January, and February.

It’s calling for above-normal temperatures with slightly above-normal precipitation in the northwestern counties of the state.

So, does that mean that we won’t see any snow or winter precipitation?

Well, we can use last year as an example of what could happen.

That’s because this year’s forecast is almost identical to last year’s for our area. A La Niña in the Pacific (the cooler than normal opposite of El Niño) has persisted from last year to the current time, and hence the similar forecast.

So what happened last year?

Temperatures in December and January were indeed above normal. But in February they were well below normal. And the month of February also brought 5.2″ of snow.

Tennessee faced a major bout with sleet and freezing rain on February 14 and 15. Up to 3″ of sleet fell in many areas; but for the south and east parts of Middle Tennessee, it was all ice with 1/2″ to up to 1″ of ice clinging to trees and powerlines creating thousands of power outages.

That was followed by 3-5″ of fresh snow the next two days.

So, even if the forecast for above-normal temperatures verifies, last year proved that you could still see plenty of winter precipitation.

So don’t stash away those snow sleds just yet!