This research was supported by the Chinese NSF Grant 40875027; the Chinese Scholarship Council; Ph.D. Programs Foundation of the Ministry of Education of China Grant 200800010026; National Science Foundation Grants ATM-0649512, ATM-0852379, ATM-0647776, and AGS-1036858; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Grant NA10OAR4310251. We thank Dr. Nathaniel C. Johnson, Dr. Tingting Gong, and Changhyun Yoo for offering beneficial comments. We also thank the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) for providing us with the ERA-40 data, and the Climate Analysis Branch of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory’s Physical Sciences Division for providing us with the CMAP precipitation data. In addition, we thank the NOAA Climate Prediction Center for providing us with the climate indices.
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