Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

First Advisor

Dev Niyogi

Second Advisor

Ernest Agee

Committee Chair

Dev Niyogi

Committee Member 1

Ernest Agee

Committee Member 2

Jonathan Harbor

Committee Member 3



The term hydroclimate is used to describe the climate of a given location as determined by the incident radiant energy (temperature) and the existence of water in its various forms on Earth. Two types of climate comprise the science of hydroclimatology: the climate as established by general global circulation patterns at specific locations on Earth (large-scale climate) and the climate established at Earth's surface resulting from the daily fluxes of radiant energy and water in its various forms between the atmosphere, Earth's surface, and the subsurface (local-scale climate) (Shelton 2009). This dissertation investigates different spatial and temporal scales of the U.S. Corn Belt hydroclimate and includes analysis of large- and local-scale hydroclimatic feedbacks. Large-scale hydroclimate research in this assessment investigates how general circulation patterns and teleconnections, specifically the El Ni?o-Southern Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation, influence climate variability in the form of temperature and precipitation patterns across the U.S. Corn Belt with findings applicable to agricultural decision making. A large- and local-scale hydroclimatic assessment examines the rainfall contribution of land-falling tropical cyclones to the Eastern U.S. Corn Belt. Locale-scale hydroclimate research considers the role of land-surface feedbacks in the life cycle of land-falling tropical cyclones. Results from the assessments that comprise this dissertation show that the spatial and temporal scales at which hydroclimatic feedbacks are examined are important to the understanding of hydroclimate system interactions. It is suggested from the results of this comprehensive assessment that the newly identified, large- and local-scale hydroclimatic feedbacks be given stronger consideration in forecasts and climate projection models. Additionally, it is suggested that more hydroclimate assessments across spatial and temporal scales be completed to better prepare for and mitigate the effects of projected climate variability and climate change. A framework for climatological applications to agronomy is discussed in the first chapter, with the findings of the hydroclimatological assessments in subsequent chapters primarily applied to agronomic decision making.

Included in

Meteorology Commons