Review of CPC's Winter 2015-16 Forecasts

With meteorological winter (Dec-Feb) at a close, it's always interesting to look back and see how well it was, or wasn't, forecast. Below is the 90-day outlook issued in November by the Climate Prediction Center along with the precipitation and temperatures anomalies that were actually occurred.

My big takeaway is that the precipitation forecast was pretty much out of the "El Niño Playbook" and that this winter's El Niño impacts were atypical to say the least. ( See El Niño 2015-16 becoming Poster Child for "All El Niños are not the same!")  Consequently, most of the West Coast was 180 degrees out of phase with expectations along with the upper Midwest and Great Lakes.

A more complete breakdown, including monthly forecasts, can be found at, and previous winters can be found at

Jan Null, CCM
Golden Gate Weather Services