Date of Award

6-2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Dr. Laiyin Zhu

Second Advisor

Dr. Chansheng He

Third Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Ofori-Amoah

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Restricted to Campus until

6-2020

Abstract

As a result of climate change, several dry regions continue to get drier as precipitation amounts decline. This decline impact water resources and hinder economic development. Understanding the variability of precipitation and drought through climatic, agricultural and hydrological studies is therefore critical to decision makers and stakeholders in developing proactive measures that promotes economic development.

This study therefore uses dataset from 55 Meteorological stations containing 110-year (1900-2010) monthly precipitation data and a series of spatial and temporal tests to investigate the spatial and temporal patterns of precipitation and drought as well as the effects of local factors such as topography and vegetation on Arizona precipitation and drought.

Result shows that the western half of Arizona is mostly dry while the eastern part is mostly wet. Over, 60% of Arizona’s drought is ‘Normal drought’ and 99% of this ‘normal’ drought occur in the southeastern portion of Arizona. Monsoon and Non-monsoon rainfall also affects Arizona differently. Summer precipitation affects mostly the eastern fringes of Arizona, including the South east (Climate Division 7 or CD7) and the south east of the Colorado Plateau, while Winter precipitation or Non- Monsoon precipitation affects mostly the Central highlands (especially Gila County or CD4).

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