This study investigated the correlation between western US streamflow and two of the most important oceanic–atmospheric indices having significant effects in this region, namely, El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Data from 61 streamflow stations across six different hydrologic regions of the western USA were analyzed, using a study period of 60 years from 1951 to 2010. Continuous wavelet transformation along with cross wavelet transformation and wavelet coherence were used to analyze the interaction between streamflow and climate indices. The results showed that streamflows have changed coincidentally with both ENSO and PDO over the study period at different time-scale bands and at various time intervals. Both ENSO and PDO showed correlation with streamflow change behavior from 1980 to 2005. ENSO showed a strong correlation with streamflow across the entire study period in the 10–12 year band. PDO showed a strong correlation in bands of 8–10 years and bands beyond 16 years. The phase relationship showed that both ENSO and PDO preceded streamflow change behavior; in some instances, the variables were found to be moving in opposite directions even though they changed simultaneously. The results can be helpful in understanding the relationship between the climate indices and streamflow.

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