NOAA was tasked by politicians with making 2012 the hottest and most extreme year ever, so they jacked temperatures way up and came up with a nonsensical Climate Extremes Index, which made mild weather be classified as extreme.
Using their indices, the stormy start to 2013 will be rated much less extreme than the mild start to 2012.
I spent last winter in the Northeast, and there was not one single occurrence of extreme weather, yet NOAA classified it as the third most extreme winter on record. The weather was picture perfect last winter. I should know, because I didn’t have a car and rode a bicycle for all of my transport.