Long-term winter forecasts are always a funny thing. We tend to look at them in the context of what we want to happen. When that doesn't work out, we say that the forecasters failed. When it does, they are geniuses. Obviously it is kind of a crap shoot. However, the legitimate long-term winter forecasts do provide a little insight into patterns, trends, things that are happening elsewhere that could affect the weather and what the various models predict.
Looking at last year, the NOAA forecast was, at a high level, fairly correct. They called for overall higher temperatures and less precipitation in the Northwest.
This year, the early NOAA forecast (we'll see a new forecast in October or so) says we should expect an "average" winter in the west - average temperatures and average precipitation. While this may seem like kind of a cop out, to me it is good news. It means that NOAA does not see any indicators at this point that we are going to have extremes on one side or the other. Extreme forecasts seem to be the bane of snowmobiliers. Extreme warm or extreme wet forecasts often mean rain or dry conditions in the mountains. Extreme snowfall forecasts often end up with sporadic results. BC could get pounded, yet Oregon and points east are hounded by a high pressure system that diverts everything north.
The forecast will continue to be refined as winter gets closer, but at this point I would welcome an "average" winter. One with decent snowpack that starts building up in November, fairly frequent storms that give us powder to ride in and a minimal amount of rain events.
My point being, forecasts are guesses and average is good. Start working on your snow dances.