BUFFALO, NY-- How do weather forecasters predict how much snow we will get, or how cold it will be? 2 On Your Side Meteorologist Patrick Hammer takes a look at all the factors.

As we draw closer to winter, there are certain things that we look at across the globe to help us get a first look forecast of how the coming winter may be. Whether it's the temperatures of our oceans, location of high and low pressure systems certain atmospheric conditions across the globe can begin to show signs of whether or not our winter may be colder or warmer than average.

One of the things that we look at is the early-season snow pack that develops in Canada and Alaska, and more importantly Eurasia. There have been studies recently that links the early onslaught of snow cover in the Siberian portion of Russia and the future development of cold air masses that develop that winter.

An early snow pack in Siberia can allow cold air masses to develop early in the season, the cold air masses that could come to pay us a visit the following winter. An early snow pack is considered the snow that falls across Siberia and Northern China in late September through October.

One of the things that we are noticing is that the snow pack has gotten off to a fairly early start across Eurasia as map illustrates. You can see snow cover is fairly widespread as of today. Is this a 100% direct link to the level of cold we will have the following Winter? Not directly, as there are other factors at play. However, it but it does help us determine that cold air will be available and in larger supply potentially if this snow pack persists. That could lead to more frequent cold air outbreaks this winter season.