Winter is here. You're going to have to trust me on that one. You couldn't tell it by stepping outside but trust me according to the calendar it is in fact Winter.

The Winter Solstice officially arrived a few hours ago, 10:49 PM to be precise. Just as the Saints were tanking in the 'Dome Old Man Winter was riding in on his electric power chair.

Shouldn't it be cold? Yeah that's a fair question to ask so we, along with the Louisiana Radio Network, decided to ask State Climatologist Barry Keim about the outlook for Louisiana and this Winter season.

The Climate Prediction Center is calling for cooler and wetter than normal conditions.  That's very typical for an El Nino.

You  might recall the El Nino term from hurricane season. Basically the water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean are slightly elevated and that affects the wind and weather patterns across the United States.

So, about that cooler weather Barry, is it going to happen?

expect lots of clouds, lots of rain, lots of dreary conditions.  In fact, you can expect to see more of that than normal for the next three months or so.

We get the clouds and dreary part of the story Barry,  but you did mention cooler weather. Right now Santa could get a heat rash if his suit is chafing him on Thursday night.

It is coming.  We are going to get some in January and February.  We can pretty much bank on that, but again it'll be less than normal.

Okay, so if we wait until New Year's Day we will see some colder weather? According to the 14 day forecast for much of the state that is exactly when we will get a nice shot of cold air. Until then temperatures will be slightly above normal to seasonal through Christmas week and into next week. Then comes that blast of colder air just in time for New Year's Eve.