Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Dixon, Grady

Committee Member

Dyer, Jamie

Committee Member

Brown, Mike

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


The winter urban heat island (UHI) has been suggested to reduce snowfall downwind of city centers due to localized energy and moisture flux variations, but previous research lacks spatial detail since it is primarily based on sparse surface observations. This project utilizes high-resolution radar data for twelve snow-only events, occurring from 1995-2008 and passing over the Minneapolis – St. Paul (MSP) urban area, to quantify the change in radar reflectivity values downwind of the city. Results show that five of the twelve snowfall events evaluated for the MSP urban area did not significantly decrease in summed decibel (dBZ) values downwind of the city center, and four of these events occurred on a day with a zero to positive urban-rural temperature gradient. Analysis of related atmospheric variables on these days suggest that atmospheric instability and convergence may play a critical role in urban snowfall modification.