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Paul A. Dirmeyer, Jiangfeng Wei, Michael G. Bosilovich, and David M. Mocko

understand how upstream surface changes may affect local hydrology and to potentially aid prediction (e.g., Dirmeyer and Kinter 2010 ; Bagley et al. 2012 ; Spracklen et al. 2012 ). There are three basic approaches to estimating the connection between surface evaporation from specific locations and subsequent precipitation of that water. The simplest, but most limited in capabilities, is the bulk method, which relies on regional atmospheric moisture budgets at relatively long time scales, typically 1

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Hongshuo Wang, Jeffrey C. Rogers, and Darla K. Munroe

) layer in this study. The study was limited by the incompleteness of the soil moisture records at some stations, the effect of frozen surfaces in winter, and the depth of the evaluated layer. Future work might also incorporate Chinese crop yield data in further assessing regional soil moisture shortages, the actual severity of drought, and the usefulness of the drought indices. The study does show some of the basic regional patterns and characteristics of soil moisture variations associated with

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Zengchao Hao and Amir AghaKouchak

1. Introduction Drought is one of the most damaging natural hazards and could result in devastating effects to social and ecological systems. The annual economic damage of droughts across the continental United States is estimated to be $6–8 billion on average ( FEMA 1995 ). The 2002 widespread drought over large portions of 30 states resulted in estimated damages–costs of over $10 billion ( Lott and Ross 2006 ). In 2010, two major droughts, which occurred in Somalia and Thailand, together

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Bart Nijssen, Shraddhanand Shukla, Chiyu Lin, Huilin Gao, Tian Zhou, Ishottama, Justin Sheffield, Eric F. Wood, and Dennis P. Lettenmaier

years, a number of near-real-time drought monitoring systems have been developed with regional or global extent. For example, the University of Washington has operated a surface water monitor for the United States since late 2005 ( Shukla et al. 2011 ; Wood 2008 ; Wood and Lettenmaier 2006 ), which uses station observations of temperature and precipitation to produce near-real-time estimates of drought conditions in terms of soil moisture (SM), snow water equivalent (SWE), and runoff, simulated by

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M. Hoerling, J. Eischeid, A. Kumar, R. Leung, A. Mariotti, K. Mo, S. Schubert, and R. Seager

). These included remote effects of tropical sea surface temperatures, land use practices, and the potential feedbacks that abundant soil-related aerosols may have exerted on rainfall. An important role for random atmospheric internal variability has also been proposed ( Hoerling et al. 2009 ). However, since the 1930s, summer rainfall has shown less severe declines in the 1950s and 1970s, while the last two decades were noted mostly by abundant summer rainfall (e.g., Wang et al. 2009 ). Looking at

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Johnna M. Infanti and Ben P. Kirtman

1. Introduction Precipitation variability throughout the United States is a subject of recent research focus as extended above- or below-normal rainfall events have the potential to incur significant economic and environmental effects on a given region. Thus, accurate prediction of precipitation variability is extremely important. Here we focus on southeastern U.S. precipitation, which is a challenging and interesting region from a prediction standpoint. Extended dry and wet periods are common

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Jiarui Dong, Mike Ek, Dorothy Hall, Christa Peters-Lidard, Brian Cosgrove, Jeff Miller, George Riggs, and Youlong Xia

can be observed ( Beaumont 1965 ). However, it should be noted that a small increase or decrease in SWE values may not be attributable to snowfall or snowmelt. Rather, these fluctuations may reflect effects such as drifting, wind scour, sublimation, blowing snow, and foreign material being deposited on the snow pillow, especially in areas of low snow cover ( Serreze et al. 1999 ). The 670 available SNOTEL stations in our study area are predominantly located in high mountainous regions with a mean

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Hailan Wang, Siegfried Schubert, Randal Koster, Yoo-Geun Ham, and Max Suarez

fields. Relevant to this study, the GEOS-5 AGCM deficiencies during boreal summer include a dry bias and associated warm bias over the U.S. Great Plains, along with weaker-than-observed upper-tropospheric zonal wind and transients in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) middle latitudes. We mitigate the effects of such biases by focusing our analyses on anomalies and percentiles; the reader is nevertheless advised to keep the biases in mind when interpreting our results. We will point out certain

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Youlong Xia, Michael B. Ek, David Mocko, Christa D. Peters-Lidard, Justin Sheffield, Jiarui Dong, and Eric F. Wood

simulated or observed (i.e., precipitation) data. The climatology was used to generate NLDAS drought monitor (NLDASDM) products to provide to the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) author group. To keep the consistency of these operational products, we still use the 28-yr climatology without including recent extreme events. However, a sensitivity test shows small effects on CONUS calibration, although it may have a significant effect on a given specific region (e.g., Texas or the Great Plains). Updating the

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Kingtse C. Mo and Dennis P. Lettenmaier

( Xie et al. 2010 ). The P input for the NCEP system was taken from the CPC/Office of Hydrologic Development 0.125° daily precipitation gauge dataset. The other variables were taken from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR; Mesinger et al. 2006 ). For surface variables, 2-m temperature and specific humidity and 10-m winds were used. The data were adjusted to the surface for terrain height ( Cosgrove et al. 2003 ), and biases in the NARR downward solar radiation climatology were corrected

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