Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, ix, 45 pages) : illustrations (some color), color maps.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Oliver Elison Timm

Committee Members

Liming Zhou


Climate Variability, Hawaiian Island, Kona Low, Paleoclimate, Precipitation, TraCE-21ka simulation, Precipitation (Meteorology), Rain and rainfall, Lows (Meteorology), Climatic changes

Subject Categories

Atmospheric Sciences | Climate


Kona lows (KLs) are a type of seasonal cut-off cyclones in the North Pacific around the Hawaiian Islands during the cold season month (Oct.-Apr.). KLs are important for the annual rainfall budget of the Hawaiian Islands. This study investigates what controls the winter precipitation variability over the Hawaiian Islands in the present-day climate and within a long-term paleoclimate simulation. ERA-interim data from 1979-2014 are used for the present-day analysis of the large-scale circulation. The potential vorticity is used as a measure of extratropical synoptic activity. The Hawaii Rainfall Index is from the Rainfall Atlas of Hawaii (seasonal means, 1920-2012). For the paleoclimatic study, the Transient Climate of the Last 21,000 Years (TraCE-21ka) simulation is used for the zonal wind – Hawaii rainfall analysis.