While it’s been hot lately, in terms of U.S weather and global records, it might be colder globally this from December 2010 through February 2011, according to one of NOAA’s computer models, the Climate Forecast System.
The CFS is one of NOAA’s climate models, which includes sea surface temperatures in addition to information that other forecasting models use.
Logically, then, this means that it might be expected to perform better when there’s a strong sea temperature component, such as an El Nino or La Nina, than during other time periods. For example, it generated decent forecasts last winter when there was an El Nino and has not generated good forecasts this summer (Cool, Wet Summer 2010?) when there has been a transition from El Nino to La Nina.
Oh, I guess I should’ve mentioned that a La Nina is expected to last through the upcoming winter.