Date of Award

5-21-2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Engineering and Applied Science

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Barbe, Donald; McCorquodale, John A.

Second Advisor

Reed, Denise

Third Advisor

Cothren, Gianna

Fourth Advisor

Tittelbaum, Marty

Abstract

To investigate seasonal patterns of precipitation, statistical analysis was performed on a dataset of daily rainfall observed at 63 south Louisiana stations from 1836 to 2002. Each station record was examined for data quality and continuity with special attention to time periods surrounding station relocation or equipment exchange. Mean Areal Precipitation (MAP) sheets were compiled for every month from 1836 to 2002 to document the daily rainfall across south Louisiana and neighboring portions of southern and coastal Mississippi. Using these MAP sheets, missing data was examined to see if a reasonable value could be substituted to extend the continuity of a station's rainfall record. Once these data quality and continuity checks were completed, a series of statistical tests were conducted to determine an accurate scheme to form station groups. To group stations together, each station was required to have a normal distribution of monthly average rainfall, a statistically equivalent variance, and a statistically equivalent mean when compared with other stations in the group. As a result of the Shapiro-Wilk Test, the F-Test, and the Student T-test, eight station groups were formed. To define seasonal rainfall patterns across south Louisiana, statistical tests were conducted for a 12 month period and six and three month intervals. For the six month intervals, group rainfall averages and pooled variances were calculated for each interval beginning with January-July and ending with December-May. For the three month intervals, group rainfall averages and pooled variances were calculated for January-March and concluded with December-February. To test the hypothesis of a statistically significant difference in mean rainfall between the eight groups for a 12, six, and three month period, the Student T-test was conducted. For an annual basis, there is a statistically significant difference in average rainfall at a five percent level of significance between all of the groups except the Southshore (S.S) group when compared to the SW1 group. For six and three month intervals, statistically significant differences exist between the eight groups especially during winter and segments of the Hurricane season from June to November.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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