Robert Simpson

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Michael Trapasso, Conrad Moore, Nicholas Crawford


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Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Science


The relationships that might exist between snow cover in the eastern half of the United States and the number, movement, and pressure of cyclones in and near this region were investigated in this report. The range of latitudes covered by snow measured at every five degrees of longitude from 100°W to 70°W was correlated with average cyclone latitude, pressure, and frequency at each of the same longitudes for each week of the winter season from the winter of 1970 - 1971 through the winter of 1979- 1980. Each cyclone parameter was also lagged from one to four weeks and then compared with snow cover range. These correlations enabled the author to test the relationships extant between snow cover of a particular week and the parameters of cyclones of the following one to four weeks. Correlations were also run between snow cover range and the frequency of Gulf coast and Atlantic coast cyclones, as well as the lagged periods. All correlations were run using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation.

It was found that cyclone parameters to the west of the Mississippi River correlated more strongly with snow cover in the west. The same was true for correlations of the lagged periods as well. However, cyclone frequency west of 80°W lagged three and four weeks was significantly related with snow cover in the east. By and large, cyclone latitude and pressure correlated positively with snow cover, while cyclone frequency correlated negatively. These results implied that the more extensive snow cover was related with cyclones traveling farther south, having higher pressures, and becoming less frequent. Except for cyclone frequency, the relationship between snow cover and cyclone parameters was not evident for periods longer than two weeks. There was generally a positive relationships between snow cover and the number of Gulf coast and Atlantic coast storms, indicating that during periods of extensive snow cover there tended to be more frequent instances of cyclones along the Gulf coast and, to a lesser extent, the Atlantic coast. While none of the correlation values were very high, the results of this report indicated that relationships between snow cover and cyclones did exist while reaffirming the thesis that cyclonic activity was affected by changes in the extent of snow cover.


Geography | Meteorology | Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology | Physical Sciences and Mathematics