Entries tagged with “eeas” from College of Sciences

On November 15, 2011, Andrew Hoell successfully defended his PhD dissertation, entitled “Aspects of Oceanic Forcing of Drought over Southwest Asia and the United States.”  His work was conducted in the department of Environmental, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and his PhD will be awarded by UMass Lowell’s School of Marine Sciences. Hoell’s work was advised by Prof. Matthew Barlow, and supported with funding from NSF and NOAA.

Hoell focused on understanding the exceptionally severe drought that affected much of the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes during 1998–2002, with maxima over Southwest Asia and the United States. Previous research had suggested that the oceans played an important role in the hemispheric drought.

In his research, Hoell examined the regional and hemispheric circulation response to tropical Indo-west Pacific Ocean convection, for both Southwest Asia and the United States. He studied the relative importance of individual sea surface temperature areas in causing precipitation in the United States.

Hoell developed a linear regression model, and demonstrated good correspondence between the model and measured precipitation in the Southwest and Southeast United States. But the model was not able to reproduce precipitation variability over the Northwest and Central United States, especially Texas.

Hoell’s thesis readers were Joshua Qian (UMass Lowell), Frank Colby (UMass Lowell), and Ellen Douglas (UMass Boston).

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Enhanced Indian Ocean precipitation persisted for almost the entire 2007–2008 season in association with severe drought over Southwest Asia. However, a period of suppressed Indian Ocean precipitation during January 2008 reversed the pattern, resulting in damaging floods in the midst of a season long drought.


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Andrew Hoell and Prof. Matthew Barlow share a moment during a classroom conversation.

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