The GOA is a wind prone region. A high frequency of synoptic pressure systems interact with rugged coastal terrain to produce a variety of strong low level winds. There are considerable monthly and annual variability in these strong low level winds in the throughout Alaska's Cook Inlet due to the variation of the location relative to the coastal region and strength of these pressure systems.
In the region of interest El Nino typically features a zonally-extended Pacific jet stream situated to the south of its climatological mean position Also the midlatitude low pressure systems tend to be more vigorous than normal over the eastern North Pacific. Also there are reduced cold air outbreaks from polar and sub-polar regions. Therefore, the strong westerly low level winds occur less with less fluctuation from month to month in Cook Inlet.
During ENSO-neutral conditions, the Pacific jet stream is near its climatological mean position. Active polar and subtropical branches of the jet stream result in increased month to month variability of occurrence of the strong westerly low level wind events in Cook Inlet. AO is almost perfectly aligned with the fluctuation of the strong westerly low level wind in Cook Inlet.