I was going to post this Phil's thread, but I felt it was interesting enough for its own thread. I will say this though, Phil has been banging the drum on one of the strongest Ninas on record and it looks like he is going to be right; however, take a look at this map that shows the national picture for the four strongest on record (being 1917-18, 1955-56, 1973-74, and 1988-89).
First of all, credit goes to ElTacoMan on Eastern for the map, it is from the pay version of the free site we all use. As you can see, the realm in which we are heading looks absolutely nothing like nationwide warmth that is being predicted by many. Not saying it won't happen, but to me this is more compelling evidence that this winter will not suck (as long as you don't mind way below average snowfall).
Now for my southern plains brothers, here are the four years givens departures from average in Fort Smith, with the added 1917 number.
88/89 – Minus .9
73/74 – Minus .8
55/56 – Minus .8
17/18 – Minus 6.4
I will give you a second to let that last number sink in. It was the third coldest winter ever in Fort Smith. I mean, I couldn't even believe it, but when you put that with the others and see it in graphical form in the map, this is going to be a cold winter in the southern plains.