The Atlantic bathtub certainly can't help, but I will be personally focusing on the Pacific next winter at least for a first evaluation. If and only if it cooperates will I worry about what the HL/Atlantic are doing.
Actually I would like to ask you guys about this: when exactly was the last time we had a "good Pacific"? I know the last three years it has ranged from sub-mediocre to horrible. I remember that two week period at the end of 2017, beginning of 2018 which brought extreme cold to the east. It doesn't seem to be too fondly remembered up here because it was just cold/dry, but it was fun for my neck of the woods so I am calling that "good". Other than that when was the last good Pacific period? 2013 - 14? I don't really remember it being particularly good or bad in 2014-15. 2016-17 was a very bad winter for me because I had that December torch but I didn't have the Jan 2016 event to sweeten it. I associated the problems with that year being from the super-duper-hyper el nino though. Not sure if that is the same kind of "bad Pacific" we usually mean. I think the Pacific was mostly bad in 2016-17 as well. So two weeks of "good Pacific in the last six years? is that accurate?