Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Geography and Geosciences

Degree Program

Geography (Applied), MS

Committee Chair

Naylor, Jason

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Gunter, W. Scott

Committee Member

Gunter, W. Scott

Committee Member

Stallins, J. Anthony

Author's Keywords

geography; geoscience; meteorology; urban; precipitation; urban heat island


Numerous studies have detected anomalous precipitation patterns occurring up to 50 km downwind of major cities, providing major evidence that cities inadvertently modify precipitation and atmospheric circulations. Louisville is one such major city with a growing body of evidence of inadvertent precipitation modification. Despite these efforts, the physical mechanisms driving small-scale and unintentional changes in urban precipitation are little understood, being rooted largely in theory rather than in physical observations. This study seeks to build upon previous research by analyzing ground-based precipitation observations recorded by a high-density gauge network located within approximately 40 km of Louisville’s urban center. The results of this research show that precipitation around Louisville, KY have a strong bias for urban enhancement by a median of 14% in all directions. This research also shows a strong bias for directional dependency in the relationship between wind flow and precipitation modification. By improving our understanding of urban precipitation modification, we also improve our ability to predict and effectively mitigate severe weather, especially those events which threaten dense and vulnerable population centers.

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