It was nearly a snow-free winter last year in New Jersey. But don't put your shovels away just yet. Forecasters say the northeast should have much more snow than usual this season.

October snow in Lebanon (Townsquare Media NJ)

Snow or no snow this winter, that is the question.

"It's a definite possibility, we are looking at some sort of El Nino event but its not supposed to be as strong as predicted. Nevertheless, it could bring some significant snow to the East Coast" said Dave Robinson, state climatologist at Rutgers University.

But he cautions there are a lot of variables.

"The ocean temperatures have to settle in, there will be snow starting to come in over the higher latitudes. New Jersey is a tough state to predict weather-wise because we are on the ocean, we have higher and lower altitudes."

A snowy winter this year would be a big switch from 2011, which was New Jersey's 6th least snowiest on record.

One thing he's fairly certain we won't see this year, a freak October snowstorm.

"Looking through the historic records, we haven't seen anything like that in well over a century, so one would suspect that would not occur again" said Robinson.

The best chance for the big snowstorms are January and February.

"There are still a lot of players here and it looks like the field is wide open...in terms of which storms prevail, how long do they prevail, and of course how strong any storm or cold outbreak might be, but we will definitely be getting more snow than last year" he added.