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 (v, 53 pages) : illustrations (some color), color maps.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Craig Ferguson

Committee Members

Lance Bosart


Water vapor transport, Water vapor, Atmospheric, Atmospheric circulation, Jet stream

Subject Categories

Atmospheric Sciences


Atmospheric Rivers (AR) are the primary source of poleward moisture transport globally. In theUnited States, much recent attention has been placed on Pacific Coast ARs which occur between December and March. However, the central US is also substantially impacted by warm-season AR. An open question is whether these warm-season ARs are synonymous with Great Plains low-level jets (LLJs) that have long served as a focal point of mesoscale atmospheric research. In this study, we perform a comparative analysis of ARs and LLJs in the central U.S using ECMWF’s climate-quality reanalysis of the 20th century, CERA-20C. The aim is to identify potential overlap and synergistic opportunities between AR and LLJ research. The analyses are focused on quantifying LLJ and AR dynamic similarities and differences and are framed by the following science questions: 1) How do LLJ and AR frequency and interannual variability compare? 2)What is their relative contribution to regional precipitation and wind extremes? and 3) What are the differences in their synoptic-scale atmospheric environments?