This research was partially supported by NASA Grant NNG05GQ08G and NOAA Grant NA03OAR4310152. The authors are thankful to Dr. Eric Lindstrom for his encouragement to undertake this study and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful and constructive comments and suggestions. The NOAA ERSST V2 data and CPC U.S. rainfall data are provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, from their Web site at http://www.cdc.noaa.gov.
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