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Soumaya Belmecheri, Flurin Babst, Amy R. Hudson, Julio Betancourt, and Valerie Trouet

), resulting in the broad-scale die-off of millions of trees and record wildfires ( Asner et al. 2016 ). The drought also threatened California’s economy and human welfare through diminished hydroelectric power generation and water shortages for both urban and agriculture consumers ( Bartos and Chester 2015 ). In each of these cases, the extreme weather was associated with anomalous and persistent ridging and troughing of the Northern Hemisphere jet stream (NHJ) over North America ( Jensen 2015 ; Yang et

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Keith J. Harding, Tracy E. Twine, and Yaqiong Lu

that can respond to variations in temperature and moisture stress ( Lu et al. 2015 ). The Great Plains have been previously identified as one of three global maxima in land–atmosphere coupling ( Koster et al. 2004 ), as variations in soil moisture are positively correlated with precipitation in the region ( Koster et al. 2003 ). The Great Plains low-level jet (GPLLJ), a nocturnal southerly wind maximum, is the primary driver of summertime convective rainfall in the region ( Higgins et al. 1997

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