Winter precipitation tends to vary consistently over most regions of eastern China. The present study reveals that the variation in winter precipitation over eastern China is positively correlated to an east-west sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly pattern in the midlatitudes and high latitudes of the North Atlantic Ocean. When the SST is higher (lower) in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean and lower (higher) in the western North Atlantic Ocean, winter precipitation over eastern China tends to be above (below) normal. The east-west SST anomaly pattern in the North Atlantic modifies the atmospheric circulation over the Atlantic Ocean and Europe, and the anomalous circulation extends to downstream East Asia through the propagation of Rossby waves and exerts influence on winter precipitation over eastern China. The formation of the east-west SST anomaly pattern in the North Atlantic may be associated with anomalies in the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation and in surface winds over the North Atlantic Ocean.