Low-frequency (interannual or longer period) climatic variability is of interest, because of its significance for the understanding and prediction of protracted climatic anomalies. Since precipitation is one of the key variables driving various hydrologic processes, it is useful to examine precipitation records to better understand long-term climate dynamics. Here, we use the multi-taper method of spectral analysis to analyze the monthly precipitation time series (both occurrence and amount) at a few stations along a meridional transect from Priest River, ID to Tucson, AZ. We also examine spectral coherence between monthly precipitation and widely used atmospheric indices, such as the central Northern Pacific (CNP) and southern oscillation index (SOI). This analysis reveals statistically significant 'signals' in the time series in the 5-7 and 2-3 year bands. These interannual signals are consistent with those related to El-Nino southern oscillation (ENSO) and quasi-biennial variability identified by others. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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