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Kingtse C. Mo, Lindsey N. Long, and Jae-Kyung E. Schemm

model’s climatology. Does a model need to have a realistic climatology in order to simulate the occurrence of drought and persistent wet spells? Drought is defined as persistent dryness. While drought can occur because of random forcing, it is often triggered and maintained by low-frequency forcing such as sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) ( Hoerling et al. 2009 ). As documented in both observational analyses ( Ropelewski and Halpert 1987 ; Ropelewski and Halpert 1989 ) and model

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Di Long, Bridget R. Scanlon, D. Nelun Fernando, Lei Meng, and Steven M. Quiring

States has been subjected to 133 weather/climate disasters since 1980 in which overall damages/costs exceeded $1 billion, totaling $875 billion ( http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions ). However, comparison of trends in these societal impacts (economic losses and fatalities) with trends in atmospheric climate forcing suggests that increasing economic losses reflect rising societal vulnerability from demographics and lifestyle changes rather than weather/climate trends ( Kunkel et al. 1999 ). Weather and

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