Interannual variability of United States cloudiness
Abstract. United States cloudiness data for 1950–1992 show quasi-biennial (QBO) and quasi-triennial (QTO) oscillations which match partly with the QBO and QTO of the Southern Oscillation (SO) index (the Tahiti minus Darwin pressure), but not with the QBO of the 50-mb equatorial zonal wind. Cloudiness also shows significant periodicities near 4.2 and 7.5 years, and probably a sunspot cycle effect (periodicities 11–14 years), with minimum cloudiness at or soon after sunspot minima, though this could also be due to periodicities of 10 and 17 years observed in the SO index. During 1955–1970, cloudiness increased by about 1%. Thereafter, it remained almost steady for the eastern and central parts of the USA, but continued to rise until about 1980 for the western USA.