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PORTLAND -- The coming winter will likely be just a bit warmer than normal, and was not expected to bring any major weather events to the Portland metro area, according to KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill.

A neutral to weak El Nino winter season will be drier than normal, with low odds of significant valley snow, Hill said. Temperatures should be slightly higher than average.

The precipitation forecast for the water year (measured from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30) is 33.71 inches. The normal total is just over 36 inches.

Snow in the valley was expected to be far below normal, around 3.4 inches, which means there may be several small snow storms but probably not any huge events.

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The metro valley is not 'due' for any extreme weather events, Hill said. The last valley windstorm was December 2006, the last major snowstorm was December 2008 and the last ice storm was January of 2005.

On Mt. Hood, Hill said the snowpack would be around 400 to 500 inches at Timberline. That would be just below normal, and would make it the smallest snow pack since the 2006-2007 winter season.

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He also looked ahead to spring, but didn't necessarily see good news.

Perhaps most interesting of all will be to see if we have another wet spring, Hill said. The last few years have seen nearly identical rainfall over the winter months when compared to spring.

By the beginning of June 2012, the Portland metro area had already topped the water year average (with three months to go).

Last spring: Portland tops average annual rainfall

With all that said, Hill added, The skill level for seasonal forecasting is less than 20 percent better than pure chance or guessing. The skill does increase with strong La Nina and El Nino episodes.

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