Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Dixon, P. Grady

Committee Member

Dyer, Jamie L.

Committee Member

Brown, Michael E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Studies have shown that urban areas enhance mesoscale precipitation but have not revealed if urban areas have the same effect on synoptic scale precipitation. This study used Multi-Precipitation Estimator (MPE) and Next-Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) stage III data to examine the effect of urban areas on rainfall associated with hurricanes and tropical storms from 1976–2005. These urban areas were divided into upwind and downwind areas where 6-hour precipitation totals were calculated and compared. Results displayed that 69.2% of urban areas had greater rainfall in the upwind area. Statistical analyses revealed that there is a larger range of higher precipitation values in the upwind area and a smaller range of lower precipitation values in the downwind area. Therefore, instead of urban areas enhancing tropical rainfall it weakens the rainfall. Based on the results, there is no relationship between urban areas and enhanced rainfall; however, there is a relationship between the distribution of precipitation and urban areas.