Date of Award

4-2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Lei Meng

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa DeChano-Cook

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Baker

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Drought has become a reoccurring phenomenon throughout many regions around the world. Significant drought conditions have beenobserved overthe pastfive decades in relation to economic, social, and agricultural impacts. In this study, Southern Michigan is investigated over the past 52 years from 1960-2012. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) will be calculated over a 6-month timescale from monthly precipitations. Three variables including 500-mb heights, surface pressure maps, and sea surface temperatures, will be correlated with the SPI using sliding correlations and Pearson's R correlation to determine any relations between these variables and precipitation variations. We will further investigate the five driest, wettest, and normal years to identify patterns in large-scale atmospheric circulation. This will allow us to examine the specific patterns associated with these extreme droughts and floods, and provide insight on drought prediction. The main goal of this thesis is to find correlations between these variables and drought in order to help better mitigate and forecast for drought in Southern Michigan.

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