You might be surprised to learn what Gov. Andrew Cuomo blames for New Yorkers leaving the state at alarming rates.

According to US News, the overall population of the state slightly increased this year to 19.8 million. That's a growth rate of .01%, which trails the national average of .72%. 

But when you break down the numbers, many people coming to New York are going to New York City or the surrounding counties. In fact, 41 counties in the rest of New York have been losing people throughout the 2010s, according to US News.

According to numbers from the 2015 U.S. Census Bureau, just fourteen of New York's sixty-two counties posted population gains.

So why are so many people leaving? The answers you'll often get from residents are lack of high paying jobs and very high taxes. There's more, but these are usually the "big two".

Governor Andrew Cuomo feels differently. While he acknowledges that lack of jobs and high taxes have had their negative effects on the area, Cuomo praised his administration and said their policies have reversed those trends. 

His answer for the mass exodus? Weather. Yes, it's cold here during the winter. But is this really the simple answer? Cuomo told reporters after a speech at the Business Council of New York State's annual conference:

There are more jobs than ever. Our taxes are lower than ever. People were leaving upstate New York because they had to. ... That is no longer the case. Somebody wants to move to Florida because they want to move to Florida. God bless them. They want to fish. They want warm weather.

Cuomo's gubernatorial challenger, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, says otherwise. Molinaro said Cuomo and past state governors have failed to fix upstate New York's economic crisis.

We are witnessing entire communities hollow out. New Yorkers are voting with their feet.

The last several winters across the Hudson Valley have been more erratic than ever. Some years the region gets slammed, yet others it's fairly quiet. Then you have snowstorms that leave a foot of snow in one town. but practically nothing just a few miles away.

Such is life in the state of New York. Ready to head for Florida?

How's this upcoming winter looking according to some of the recent forecasts?