Been playing with some potential analogs for the upcoming winter. I looked for Neutral ENSO years (between -0.5 and 0.5 ONI in DJF period), with a downwelling +QBO and AP Index below 12. I double weighted +AMO/ -PDO years in the set. A few important notes was the very consistent -NAO pattern showing up, as well as a weak -EPO much of the time. The SE ridge began to strengthen in february but is fairly weak in DEC/JAN.
December 500mb Pattern:
In terms of OLR their was very strong tropical forcing over africa with an MJO phase 7-8-1 look which is helping to drive the more el nino'ish h5 configuration. STJ looks very inactive though due to the mean SST setup in cool neutral/ weak la nina territory