San José State University

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Thayer Watkins
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Oceanic Meteorological Oscillations

Meteorologists have compiled a number of oceanic oscillations, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, which potentially have the some predictive power concerning weather regimes. Typically these are pressure differences between two points.

The term oscillation suggest that the condition might fluctuate between two extremes. For example, the oscillation for the Southern Pacific is said to be either in the El Niño or the La Niña conditions. The statistical studies cited below for four different oscillations show the reality to be quite different. In each case there is no indication of a bimodality of the statistical distributions. Instead all of the distributions are similar to the normal (Gaussian) distribution.


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