This work is supported by the NSF Geography and Regional Science Program and Climate Dynamics Program. The author thanks Drs. Cort J. Willmott, Scott M. Robeson, Michael J. Janis, and Andrew J. Grundstein for valuable discussions on Shepard's interpolation method. The author also appreciates Dr. Pasha Ya. Groisman's updated precipitation dataset and his comments as well as Argyl B. Houser for editing the final draft of this paper. Appreciation is extended to the data providers: the National Snow and Ice Data Center for snow records, the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, Met Office for sea surface temperatures, NCEP for 700-mb geopotential heights, and Drs. Jon Eischeid and Tingjun Zhang for station temperature records. Ross D. Brown and an anonymous reviewer's valuable comments have improved the quality of this paper significantly.
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