The CPC did account for the lack of an El Nino, clearly stated in this quote from the article, which you can find here:
Forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center say a wavering El Niño, expected to have developed by now, makes this year’s winter outlook less certain than previous years.
“This is one of the most challenging outlooks we’ve produced in recent years because El Niño decided not to show up as expected,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “In fact, it stalled out last month, leaving neutral conditions in place in the tropical Pacific.”
The CPC has indicated that the El Nino is not coming to at the moment. Mike Halpert, deputy director of the NOAA CPC, also indicated that we are 'stalled' in a neutral ENSO situation. Recall that a neutral ENSO scenario presents cold in the North and wet in the East, as is shown below:
However, upon comparison to the typical Neutral ENSO winter and the NOAA forecast, the two are completely opposite. In fact, they are much closer to an El Nino solution, which dictates below normal precipitation in the Northwest and wet conditions along the Gulf Coast and East Coast. Temperatures do also partially resemble an east-based La Nina, which includes a warm West and cool East.
I have always been skeptical of the Climate Prediction Center- I find too many instances of above normal temperatures and/or 'Equal Chances' zones across the nation in their forecasts. Much like The Weather Channel, I have immense respect for the meteorologists at the CPC, but disagree with some of their content.
Personally, I find that there should be a cooler than normal section in the East, as the positive AMO will lead to increased instances of a -NAO/-AO (essential for cold weather in the East). You can find the rest of my winter thoughts at my Final Winter Forecast by clicking here.
Summed up, I disagree with the CPC's outlook. They seem too cautious and flip-flopping on what they want to do as for ENSO stages. Time will indeed tell, but I'm just a bit too skeptical for this forecast.