The variability of winter precipitation across the western United States has important implications for a wide range of physical and socioeconomic systems. While El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) teleconnections explain a high degree of interannual variance in western U.S. winter precipitation, their influence on decadal time scales is less well understood. In this study, we examine the relationship between ENSO conditions and winter precipitation in the western U.S. within the context of decadal-scale variability, as represented by phasing of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). We identify spatial inconsistencies in the ENSO-precipitation relationship, commensurate with PDO phase shifts, which take the form of a 'dipole' signature across the western U.S. This finding has implications for the knowledge of uncertainty of ENSO teleconnections, and may prove meaningful for users of climate information throughout the region.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)