They also said the El Nino will have a 70 percent to 75 percent chance of happening.
Matt Rogers, president of the Commodity Weather Group, which specializes in long-range prediction, agreed with the broad strokes of NOAA's outlook but said its temperature forecast was "conservative" in the East and that he would lean toward colder conditions.
-The Southeast, Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic all have equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures. It's also worth noting that the forecasters base their predictions on probability and don't say how much precipitation the USA will get or how hot temperatures will be.
The Climate Prediction Center, a part of the National Weather Service, is calling for a mild winter for most of the United States.
What will determine just how wet the Carolinas' winter could be is El Niño, "an ocean-atmosphere climate interaction that is linked to periodic warming in sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific". The southern states of the US, as well as those in the Mid-Atlantic, are expected to receive above-normal precipitation.
Halpert said the track record of winter outlooks is better than that of outlooks for other seasons, or about 40 percent better than the flip of a coin - good enough for people to be able to utilize the outlooks.
2018-19 Winter Outlook map for temperature. Northern Florida and southern Georgia have the greatest odds for above-average precipitation this winter.
Much of the north and west parts of the country - especially Alaska and from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern Plains - are set to see warmer-than-normal conditions, NOAA said. Don't pull a Kelly Kapoor and give away all of your winter coats to everyone around your office just yet because snowfall is still a very real possibility.
If the snowfall earlier this week reminded you how much you don't like the winter cold, you may be in luck. The northern half stays drier while the southern half gets extra precipitation. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center issues the three-month outlook every month- so we can expect our next update on November 15th.