Long-range forecasts are rarely accurate. These forecasts cover three month periods.
Temperature Forecast During December, January, & February
Warm. This outlook is based on a general trend of increasing temperatures during the past years and decades.
Precipitation Forecast During December, January, & February
Most of the country is in the “Equal Chances” zone, which basically means that the odds of average, above-average, or below-average precipitation is about the same.
Coastal California is the “Probability of Below” zone, which means that the odds of below-average precipitation is higher.
Much of the Upper Midwest is the “Probability of Above” zone, which means that the odds of above-average precipitation is higher.
But remember, 3-6 month forecasts have little to no value.
What about El Niño or La Niña?
A strong El Niño or La Niña (which refers to ocean water temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean) can help us predict snowfall patterns during the winter.
For the upcoming 2019-2020 winter season, there’s a 10% chance that water temperatures will reach below-average (blue bar = La Niña), a 41% chance that water temperatures will be above-average (red bar = El Niño), and a 49% chance that water temperatures will be near-average (grey bar = Neutral).
Overall, this does not provide us with a strong signal for an El Niño or La Niña event.