There is no such thing as a “weather expert.” I am reminded, daily, of the depths of my ignorance. Just keeping up with emerging science, papers, trends and breakthroughs is daunting. So much noise — so little wisdom.

Today’s weather blog includes this nugget: Shoveling snow kills or injures an average of 11,500 Americans every winter. Good incentive to remain on the couch and wait for spring.

Hurricane Hunter aircraft probed Saturday’s megablizzard off the East Coast, trying to “initialize” NOAA’s models with better data. Every El Niño is different; NOAA sent a fleet of planes, ships and weather balloons into the Pacific to get a better grasp on how El Niño warm phases may evolve in a warming world.

That same El Niño should, on paper, keep us milder than average into the spring. But there will be spasms of cold and snow. Models hint at a sloppy southern storm brushing Minnesota with a potentially plowable snowfall next Tuesday. By late next week highs may be stuck in the teens — so enjoy our five-day thaw. January should wind up milder than average.