Winter Forecast 2019-20: Watch the Winter Outlook

  • Nov 13, 2019

Our Earth Networks Meteorologists revealed their 2019-20 Winter Forecast during our Winter Outlook Webinar on November 13, 2019. Keep reading to watch the recording and learn what to expect!

Click here to watch the winter outlook webinar recording and see what your winter forecast is for 2019-20!

Winter has already careened into parts of the northern tier while California is desperately waiting for rain to help combat wildfires. So, will Mother Nature dish out more tricks to the U.S. over the next three months?

The Earth Networks meteorology team is calling for a potpourri of weather across the U.S. this winter.

Winter Forecast Drivers

The Earth Networks Winter Outlook meteorology team said there are two main drivers of this year’s winter weather forecast.

  1. Recent Climate Trends
  2. A Neutral El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)


When we say that there’s a neutral ENSO, we’re basically saying that we’re not in an El Nino or La Nina. We’re somewhere in the middle.

What a neutral El Nino looks like

Why does this happen? A neutral ENSO occurs when sea-surface temperature anomalies in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are near average. This differs from an El Nino, when there are warmer than average temperatures. This also differs from a La Nina, when temperatures are cooler than average.

Climate & ENSO

The most recent 10 winters in the U.S. have shown a moderate-to-strong signal for cooler than average temperatures in the northern Plains and northern Rockies.

On the other hand, they show warmer than average temperatures in the Southeast. The last 10 winters also had stormy weather patterns for the East and dry winter for California.

Neutral ENSO winters reinforce the cold signal seen in the recent climate trends across the northern Plains. They also compliment the stormy pattern signal across the East. Historically, neutral winters also keep the jet stream, or zone of high-level winds, far north of California. This leads to dry conditions there.

What our Meteorologists Have to Say

“When comparing the most recent climate trends to several closely matched neutral ENSO winters in the last 60 years, we see a good chance for a cold winter in the northern Rockies and northern Plains and a tendency for an active storm track from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast.” – Fred Allen, Earth Networks Meteorologist and Team Leader for the 2019-20 Winter Outlook

“Unfortunately, climate trends and neutral winters show an enhanced risk of an elevated wildfire season at least through the first month or so of winter in California.” – Chad Merrill, Earth Networks Senior Meteorologist and CO-Leader for the 2019-20 Winter Outlook Webinar

Regional Winter Outlook 2019-20

The Earth Networks forecast matches a blend of recent climate trends and neutral winters to increasing the likelihood of the following:

Northern Tier

While the winter will start out mild across the northern Rockies and Plains, there will be a shift towards older weather in January and especially February.


An active storm track from the Deep South to Northeast will alleviate recent drought conditions and likely lead to snowy periods in the Appalachians, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes and Northeast.

West Coast

We’ll see a warm, dry West Coast where storm systems will likely be directed north of California, leading to increased wildfire danger.

Watch Our Winter Forecast Webinar

Want to watch the entire Winter Outlook Webinar? Get started below! The webinar recording is free to watch, and you can even download the slide deck if you’d like to go through it at your own pace.


Other Winter Outlooks

NOAA’s winter forecast shows a good chance for a warmer than average winter in the southern tier, Great Basin, California and the Northeast.

NOAA highlights the northern Rockies into the Mid-Atlantic as having the best potential for a stormy winter while its forecast also shows part of California and the western Gulf Coast drier than average.

Common Winter Weather Threats

Freshly fallen snow and  crystal clear icicles are beautiful sights, but don’t let that fool you. While beautiful, winter weather is also downright dangerous.

Now that you know what to expect this year, the next step is refreshing your winter weather safety. If you don’t have commercial weather tools at your organization that help you manage winter weather threats, click the link below to get in touch with one of our experts who will help you build a comprehensive plan.


Snowstorms and extreme cold are two of the most dangerous forms of winter weather.

Some of the most common winter weather threats include:

  • Car accidents
  • Hypothermia
  • Frostbite
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Heart attacks (from overexertion while shoveling)


Learn more about the most common winter weather risks and how to protect yourself on our blog.

Winter Weather Safety Tips

If you can’t make our Winter Outlook Webinar, make sure you register anyway for the recording.

Facing winter weather is easy with the right winter weather safety tips and winter weather tools

In the meantime, you can get ready to face winter weather threats with these winter safety tips:

  • Stay off roads
  • Stay indoors
  • Dress warmly
  • Prepare for power outages
  • Use generators only outside and away from windows
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite
  • Check on neighbors and coworkers


More Seasonal Outlooks 

Here at Earth Networks, our meteorologists love to put together seasonal outlook webinars to help everyone – not just our customers – plan for the weather.

We’re committed to helping our friends at the National Weather Service (NWS) build a Weather-Ready Nation , and believe these webinars are a great way to make sure everyone in the U.S. knows what to expect.

Besides the Winter Outlook Webinar, we give other important forecast presentations throughout the year, including:

🌀Tropical Outlook

🌪️Spring Outlook

☀️Summer Outlook


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