Identifier

etd-07072017-224402

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geography and Anthropology

Document Type

Access to Thesis Restricted to LSU Campus

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to analyze the relationship between tropical cyclones of the Gulf of Mexico-Atlantic basin and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). The daily mean PM2.5 concentration values were collected from United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Tropical cyclone data were collected from Tropical Prediction Center Best Track Reanalysis in Unisys Weather®. The GRIdded Binary (GRIB-formatted) data were downloaded from the Data Support Section of the Computational and Information Systems Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Through ArcGIS®, the tropical cyclone tracks were compared with the interpolated daily mean PM2.5 concentration value. Results suggest that the tracks tend to avoid areas with higher PM2.5 concentrations, and the intensity was weakened significantly after passing the PM2.5-rich area. Through simulation using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, the pressure and vertical structure of Hurricane Lili were weakened after passing the most PM2.5-rich area in Louisiana. Also, little evidence is found for the possibility of precipitation generated by the approaching tropical cyclone to cleanse the atmosphere of PM2.5 before storm passage. These results have important implications for tropical cyclone prediction as storms approach polluted areas or other places where PM2.5 particles are abundant, not only including urban environments but also in coastal areas where proscribed burns take place during tropical cyclone season, such as during sugarcane harvesting in southern Louisiana.

Date

2017

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Student has submitted appropriate documentation to restrict access to LSU for 365 days after which the document will be released for worldwide access.

Committee Chair

Rohli, Robert V.

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