El Nino tends to generate an active subtropical jet stream that would hike precipitation across the southern half of the country, including in Southern California, where beneficial rains could swiftly morph into threatening flooding and mudslides.
In the U.S. Winter Outlook for December through February, higher-than-normal temperatures are expected across the western and northern U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii.
The northern Rockies, northern Plains, Great Lakes and northern Ohio Valley are likely to see below-average precipitation, including snow.
During that time, an Arctic cold front will move across the US and produce bitter winds and a drop in the temperature over much of the U.S. However, Halper said, it's not expected to be quite as strong as the El Nino that helped lead to the record warm 2015-2016 winter season. Weather experts predict a warmer than normal winter in Kansas. The Arctic Oscillation influences the number of arctic air masses that penetrate into the South and could result in below-average temperatures in the eastern part of the U.S. The Madden-Julian Oscillation can contribute to heavy precipitation events along the West Coast - which could play a large role in shaping the upcoming winter, especially if El Nino is weak, as forecasters predict.
Kentucky has equal chances for both above and below average temperatures according to NOAA's outlook.
The Climate Prediction Center's outlook seems to at least indirectly contradict the one released by the 2019 Farmers' Almanac, an annual Lewiston-based publication which uses a mathematical and astronomical formula created in 1818 to come up with long-range forecasts.
Precipitation is expected to be above normal across the southern tier of the USA, extending up into the Mid-Atlantic.
- Warmer-than-normal conditions are anticipated across much of the northern and western US, with the greatest likelihood in Alaska and from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern Plains.
But they are expected to get better in Arizona and New Mexico, southern parts of Utah and Colorado, the coastal Pacific Northwest and the Central Plains, NOAA said.
If the snowfall earlier this week reminded you how much you don't like the winter cold, you may be in luck.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center updates the three-month outlook each month. The next update will be posted on November 15.
NOAA's winter forecast comes as the mercury is finally beginning to dip across most of the country after a summer that lasted well into October in the eastern United States, with temperatures into the 80s and even 90s.
The Farmer's Almanac said that for its winter outlook, the temperatures are going to be cold with "plenty of snow".