Doctoral Dissertations

Orcid ID


Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Kelsey N. Ellis

Committee Members

Sally Horn, Liem Tran, Jen First


Effectively mitigating the human costs of future hazardous weather events requires examining meteorological threats, their long-term patterns, and human response to these events. The southeastern United States is a region that has both a high climatological risk and a high societal vulnerability to many different meteorological hazards. In this dissertation, I study hazardous weather and human response in the Southeast through three different lenses: identifying uniquely simultaneous hazards posed by tropical cyclones, assessing precipitation and synoptic weather patterns on hazardous weather days, and examining patterns in intended response to tornado watches. I find that simultaneous and collocated tornado and flash flood warnings are common in strong tropical cyclones, particularly those that move slowly after landfall. Additionally, hazardous weather days are common on days dominated by Moist Moderate and Moist Tropical airmasses and airmass transition days. Finally, factors including age, income, self-efficacy beliefs, and knowledge of and experience with tornadoes affect one’s intended response to a tornado watch. These studies produce new contributions to the state of knowledge on both the natural and social elements of hazards studies.

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