Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Geological and Atmospheric Sciences



First Advisor

William J. Gutowski Jr.


This study supports the Denver Water management goals by providing tools and metrics that are relevant for operational activities. The study focuses mainly on drought events, but with a slight mention of pluvial conditions over upper Colorado River basin (UCRB), the region that supplies water to Denver community. The study uses observed monthly minimum and maximum temperatures and monthly precipitation datasets (Climatic Research Unit; CRU and Precipitation-Elevation Regression on Independent Slopes Model; PRISM) and modeling outputs from 34 members of the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble (CESM-LE) to monitor and characterize droughts over the region. With these datasets, we compute two multi-scalar moisture indices: standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) and standardized precipitation index (SPI) on a 36-month scale. We evaluate the capability of the CESM-LE to reproduce drought over the region using the more recently developed spatial verification tool, the Method for Object-based Diagnostic Evaluation (MODE) technique. In addition, the study examines the large-scale atmospheric circulation features associated with drought and pluvial conditions using reanalysis output. The results reveal the usefulness of these datasets, the drought indicators, and the spatial verification technique as important analytical tools to monitor and characterize extreme hydroclimatic conditions over UCRB.

Copyright Owner

Abayomi Abiodun Abatan



File Format


File Size

148 pages

Included in

Meteorology Commons