This study benefited from comments from the anonymous reviewers. We acknowledge support from the DOE Office of Science (BER) under Cooperative Agreement DE-FC02-97ER62402 (Teng) and Contract DE-SC0005355 (Branstator) and by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Program for the Americas Award NA09OAR4310187 (Branstator).
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If we calculate the EOFs using December–March (DJFM) instead of DJF means, the resulting EOF2 has similar wavenumber 3 structure except that the amplitude of the positive anomaly over the North Atlantic and negative anomaly over Europe is much reduced.