Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Greg Goodrich (Director), Dr. Josh Durkee, Dr. Xingang Fan

Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Science


Over the 1951-2009 time period, 47% of all tropical systems in the Atlantic Basin transitioned to post-tropical storms. These storms are capable of producing hurricaneforce winds, torrential, flooding rains and storm surge that floods coastal areas. This study adds to previous climatological work by completing a case-study of Hurricane Ike (2008) and examining how teleconnections such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) contribute to the strength of a transitioning post-tropical storm. T-tests performed show strong statistical relationships between an increase (decrease) in post-tropical storm frequency and warm PDO – La Niña (cold PDO – La Niña), cold PDO – ENSO neutral (warm PDO – ENSO neutral), and warm (cold) AMO conditions. Moreover, nearly significant results were found for the same increase (decrease) and La Niña seasons since (pre) 1980 and for cold (warm) PDO conditions. Modeling the MJO suggests that increased (decreased) relative humidity associated with the wet (dry) phase could increase (decrease) precipitation output from the storm and decrease (increase) forward speed of the storm, decreasing (increasing) wind speeds observed at the surface.


Physical and Environmental Geography