We thank three anonymous reviewers and the editor whose comments have helped clarify some issues addressed in this manuscript. This research has been supported by NOAA Grant NA09OAR4310188 and NSF Grant AGS-1103316 to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and by the USDA Cooperative Research Project NEB-40-040. The simulations were made with computational supports of the National Center for Computational Services at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
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In calculating this score, we first interpolated the observed pattern in Fig. 4a, which is on a 0.5° × 0.5° mesh, and the model result in Fig. 4b, which has a T42 resolution (2.8125° grid system), to a common 1.0° × 1.0° grid system, which has 1132 grid points over the study domain. Over these grids we calculated the pattern correlation. While this score is low in value it is highly significant in a statistical sense because of the correlation over a large number of samples. When focusing on a smaller region in the Great Plains (90°–110°W, 30°–50°N) the pattern correlation score is 0.615, again significant at the 99.99% confidence level.