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

particular forcings, including sea surface temperature (SST) and sea ice conditions and also the trace gas composition of the atmosphere, may have contributed to the occurrence of a drought over the central plains in summer 2012. Concerning SST forcing, it is useful to first assess the evidence for recurrent patterns of ocean conditions attending the prior nine severe summer droughts in the historical record. For these events, three cases (1910/11, 1933/34, and 1975/76) experienced moderate La Niña

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

ice-covered points excluded) aggregated from monthly data for each season. Two sets of estimates are used: one based on MERRA with precipitation corrected by GPCP and MERRA-Land estimates of evaporation (top panels) and one based solely on the original MERRA output. The bottom panels show the difference between evaporative source estimates with MERRA alone minus the estimates where MERRA-Land is used for terrestrial evaporation and precipitation estimates. Looking first at the top panels, there is

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Richard Seager, Lisa Goddard, Jennifer Nakamura, Naomi Henderson, and Dong Eun Lee

:// .] Rayner, N. , Parker D. , Horton E. , Folland C. , Alexander L. , Rowell D. , Kent E. , and Kaplan A. , 2003 : Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century . J. Geophys. Res. , 108 , 4407, doi:10.1029/2002JD002670. Roeckner, E. K. , and Coauthors , 1996 : The atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM-4: Model description and simulation of present day climate. MPI Tech. Rep. 218, 90 pp

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

precipitation record: GPCP version 2.1 . Geophys. Res. Lett. , 36 , L17808 , doi: 10.1029/2009GL040000 . Hurrell, J. W. , Hack J. J. , Shea D. , Caron J. M. , and Rosinski J. , 2008 : A new sea surface temperature and sea ice boundary dataset for the Community Atmosphere Model . J. Climate , 21 , 5145 – 5153 , doi: 10.1175/2008JCLI2292.1 . Koster, R. D. , Suárez M. J. , Ducharne A. , Stieglitz M. , and Kumar P. , 2000 : A catchment-based approach to modeling land surface

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