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Real-time monitoring of key system parameters constitutes a critical step in the development of future smart transmission grids. This paper describes the development of automated monitoring and analysis techniques as enablers of damping control functions in future control centers. A reliable method for real-time monitoring of changes in the characteristic signature of electromechanical oscillations in power systems is proposed. The method combines a local, fully-adaptive empirical mode decomposition (EMD) method with masking technique, and the non-linear Teager-Kaiser energy operator (TKEO) on the measured time synchronized data. The outcome is near real time computation of damping and frequency of oscillations in the system. A time dependent threshold is further set to detect the onset of such oscillations which is also useful from the system control perspectives. Simulation results on PMU measured data demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology.