NOAA has just issued the final update for its 2005-2006 Winter Outlook. The final forecast calls for an above 50% chance of warmer than average weather across much of middle and western America and all of Hawaii, with a greater than 70% chance of warmer weather in the Chicago area and desert Southwest. Equal chances of above and and below average temperatures are forecast for extreme southwestern California, the Southeast, and Northeast. Nowhere in the country is colder than average weather expected.
Wetter than average conditions are expected in Hawaii and drier than average conditions in the Southeast. The rest of the country has equal chances of above and below normal precipitation.
El Nino is not expected to play a major role in this year's forecast as it will be a neutral year, possibly leaning towards a mild La Nina.