The prospect of stormy conditions in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic means it has the greatest chance of having colder-than-normal conditions of anywhere in the country, Halpert said.
The northern Rockies, northern Plains, Great Lakes and northern Ohio Valley are likely to see below-average precipitation, including snow.
Cold air and even some snow blanketed areas of Maine Thursday, but the National Weather Service predictions indicate that Maine might experience a milder-than-average winter.
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.
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".
Map showing the NOAA winter outlook for the months of December, January and February for the U.S.
-No part of the U.S.is favored to have below-average temperatures. Wetter conditions are in store for much of the southern USA, up into the mid-Atlantic while drier conditions are likely for the northern Rockies, Northern Plains, northern Ohio Valley and Great Lakes. WDRB issues our own annual winter forecast for just our area. The northern half stays drier while the southern half gets extra precipitation.
Last winter ranked among the warmest third in historical records, 1.8 degrees above normal averaged over the nation.
The most severe (if at all so to speak this time) winter expects the Northern Rocky mountains, the OH valley and the region of the Great lakes.
The NOAA prediction has contradicted the Farmer's Almanac prediction, which said the winter will be harsh this season.