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A Winter Precipitation ‘Dipole’ in the Western United States Associated with Multidecadal ENSO Variability | CLIMAS

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A Winter Precipitation ‘Dipole’ in the Western United States Associated with Multidecadal ENSO Variability

TitleA Winter Precipitation ‘Dipole’ in the Western United States Associated with Multidecadal ENSO Variability
Publication TypeArticles
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsBrown, D, Comrie, A
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume31
Issue9
PaginationL09203
ISBN Number1944-8007
Keywords3309 Meteorology and Atmospheric Dynamics: Climatology, 3354 Meteorology and Atmospheric Dynamics: Precipitation, 4215 Climate and interannual variability, 4522 ENSO
Abstract

The variability of winter precipitation across the western United States has important implications for a wide range of physical and socioeconomic systems. While El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) teleconnections explain a high degree of interannual variance in western U.S. winter precipitation, their influence on decadal time scales is less well understood. In this study, we examine the relationship between ENSO conditions and winter precipitation in the western U.S. within the context of decadal-scale variability, as represented by phasing of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). We identify spatial inconsistencies in the ENSO-precipitation relationship, commensurate with PDO phase shifts, which take the form of a ‘dipole’ signature across the western U.S. This finding has implications for the knowledge of uncertainty of ENSO teleconnections, and may prove meaningful for users of climate information throughout the region.

DOI10.1029/2003GL018726