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  • Author or Editor: C. M. Woodruff x
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Qi Hu, C. M. Woodruff, and Stephen E. Mudrick

Century-long annual precipitation time series at 168 stations in the central United States are analyzed with special attention given to interdecadal variations. The results show statistically significant precipitation variations of interdecadal timescales in the region. In particular, one variation has a quasi 20-yr period, and another one possesses a quasi 12-yr period.

The negative phases of the 20-yr variation match with the major drought periods in the region's history, that is, the 1910s, 1930s, 1950s, and the late 1970s. The positive phases of this variation correspond well to the wet periods between the dry epochs. The 12-yr variation shows an amplification after the mid-1960s, while the 20-yr variation shows a reduced amplitude following this time. Concurrent with these changes, the annual precipitation in the region has increased since the mid-1960s.

A plausible mechanism connecting the interdecadal variations of annual precipitation in the central plains region and slow timescale variations in the midlatitude and subtropical North Atlantic regions is briefly discussed.

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P. W. Thorne, R. J. Allan, L. Ashcroft, P. Brohan, R. J. H Dunn, M. J. Menne, P. R. Pearce, J. Picas, K. M. Willett, M. Benoy, S. Bronnimann, P. O. Canziani, J. Coll, R. Crouthamel, G. P. Compo, D. Cuppett, M. Curley, C. Duffy, I. Gillespie, J. Guijarro, S. Jourdain, E. C. Kent, H. Kubota, T. P. Legg, Q. Li, J. Matsumoto, C. Murphy, N. A. Rayner, J. J. Rennie, E. Rustemeier, L. C. Slivinski, V. Slonosky, A. Squintu, B. Tinz, M. A. Valente, S. Walsh, X. L. Wang, N. Westcott, K. Wood, S. D. Woodruff, and S. J. Worley


Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. Yet, currently available land meteorological data are highly fractured into various global, regional, and national holdings for different variables and time scales, from a variety of sources, and in a mixture of formats. Added to this, many data are still inaccessible for analysis and usage. To meet modern scientific and societal demands as well as emerging needs such as the provision of climate services, it is essential that we improve the management and curation of available land-based meteorological holdings. We need a comprehensive global set of data holdings, of known provenance, that is truly integrated both across essential climate variables (ECVs) and across time scales to meet the broad range of stakeholder needs. These holdings must be easily discoverable, made available in accessible formats, and backed up by multitiered user support. The present paper provides a high-level overview, based upon broad community input, of the steps that are required to bring about this integration. The significant challenge is to find a sustained means to realize this vision. This requires a long-term international program. The database that results will transform our collective ability to provide societally relevant research, analysis, and predictions in many weather- and climate-related application areas across much of the globe.

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