Betsy Blaney, File, Associated Press
In this July 22, 2011 file photo, a lone cotton plant has sprouted through a piece of parched, cracked earth in a West Texas field near Lubbock, Texas, that was not irrigated. A full-blown El Nino has yet to arrive, but moisture coming in from the Pacific could result in a wetter-than-normal winter and spring for drought-stricken Texas. Forecasters initially expected the rain-producing weather pattern to materialize earlier this year.

LUBBOCK, Texas — Weather forecasters say the weaker-than-wanted weather pattern that's still expected to bring rains to Texas this winter could continue into early spring.

National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Cavanaugh said there is a "slight leaning" toward above-normal precipitation through March from a weak El Nino (NEEN'-yoh). But moving deeper into spring, the rain odds drop to equal chances of above normal, normal or below normal amounts.

Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon says "a little bit of activity" in the subtropical jet stream the past couple of weeks is expected to bring cool, damp weather in the coming weeks.

He says that if the jet stream moves farther south across the Southwest, it would bring a really wet winter.

Just 2.6 percent of the state is in exceptional drought, the driest category.