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This paper focuses on the refinement of standard Hilbert-Huang transform (HHT) technique to accurately characterize time varying, multicomponents interarea oscillations. Several improved masking techniques for empirical mode decomposition (EMD) and a local Hilbert transformer are proposed and a number of issues regarding their use and interpretation are identified. Simulated response data from a complex power system model are used to assess the efficacy of the proposed techniques for capturing the temporal evolution of critical system modes. It is shown that the combination of the proposed methods result in superior frequency and temporal resolution than other approaches for analyzing complicated nonstationary oscillations.