Last week the National Weather Service had a seminar about the upcoming winter weather season that is slowly but surely headed towards the states. Meterologist Luke Robinson said a strong El Nino is expected this year.

"Typically with strong El Nino's, we usually look at more drier and warmer than normal throughout the winter," Robinson said. "That's not to say that we won't see any snowstorms, however. We still get those really cold days and those really strong snowstorms. The winter as a whole, however, we do expect it to be a little below normal."

Robinson said winter weather preparedness was also a hot topic of discussion during the seminar.

"Always carry extra supplies with you: food, blankets, water, and always look at the forecast before you leave. That was one of the big takeaways from the event," Robinson said. "Speaking of the snow-melt, we are expecting below normal, so we can probably expect to experience something similar to what we had last year: Below normal snowpack and then we'll have below normal snow-melt and drier conditions."

A similar forecast was released exactly one year ago which also called for warmer temperatures and less snow for western Montana.