The authors thank Professors D. Karoly and I. Simmonds (University of Melbourne) and Dr. K. Ashok (Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology) for their constructive reviews. We gratefully acknowledge comments by Drs. P. Hope and M. Wheeler in CAWCR on an earlier version of the manuscript. This research was supported by the South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative (SEACI; www.seaci.org), the Victorian Climate Initiative (VicCI), and the Managing Climate Variability Program (MCV; http://www.managingclimate.gov.au/).
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Transient eddy momentum flux convergence was computed from
Persistence forecasts shown in Fig. 12 are obtained by using the previous month observed SAM as forecasts for the following season SAM (e.g., the observed SAM in January 2010 is used as a zero lead time prediction for February–April 2010 SAM).
Zero lead time is defined as no time gap between the initialization and the verification of forecasts (e.g., forecast initialized on 1 Jan 1980 and verified for January 1980).