Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Advisor/Committee Chair

Oliver Elison-Timm


The Hawaiian island are chain of volcanic island with unique location, climate, and weather patterns that are very different from the mainland united states. Various synoptic weather patterns, including cold fronts, tropical cyclones, Kona Lows, and trade winds all influence rainfall across the region. Unlike other areas, Hawaii has not been studied in-depth by climate models, in order to further identify tropical cyclones and extreme precipitation events.

Running both historical and future WRF ensemble runs allow for a close analyzation of extreme precipitation events over the entirety of the Hawai’i islands. Both the frequency and intensity of the top extreme rainfall events are observed throughout a set of various parameters, including precipitation maximum and surface pressure. The dry summer season and the wet winter seasons are divided into four seasonal groupings (SON, DJF, MAM, JJA), to get a better sense of how extreme rainfall in changing in future climate ensemble runs. From this it is observed that frequent and intense tropical systems over Hawaii are in the future, along with extreme amounts of rainfall, over the entire island not just the mountain regions, in a single day. The climate of the Hawai’i Islands is changing in the future, in terms of rainfall, and a deeper look at the synoptic weather patterns and the extreme rainfall that are produced give insight to just how so.