Date of Award

Summer 7-2-2020

Semester of Degree


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental Resources Engineering


The Ranger School

Major Professor

Stephen Shaw

Steering Committee Member

Neil Laird

Steering Committee Member

David Eichorn

Steering Committee Member

Charles Kroll


The Great Lakes can seasonally alter local weather patterns with warm lake water contributing to significant snowfall in the region during the winter and a reverse effect occurring in the early summer when areas near the lakes receive lower precipitation totals than areas further from the lakes. While this pattern of precipitation deficits has been observed before, the mechanisms behind the deficit have not been deeply investigated. Early summer precipitation at near-shore and inland land-based stations are compared under varying conditions. Differences in temperature between lake water and overland air temperatures are considered to lead to differences in convective processes. This is coupled with analysis of the impact of wind direction and wind speed data. These localized effects (within 60 km of the lake) are difficult to separate from synoptic weather events, which are likely impacting the results from this study. While lower precipitation totals around the lakes are confirmed for the majority of station pairs, further study is required to understand the extent to which local conditions impact precipitation in this region.