Extremes including drought and heavy precipitation are fundamental aspects of the climate system and its water cycle. Many of the greatest climatic impacts are also linked with such phenomena. Based to a considerable degree on research conducted over the Prairies within the Drought Research Initiative (DRI), some of the means of producing a sustained lack of precipitation are shown. It is then illustrated that heavy precipitation sometimes occurs on the edge of such a region or, occasionally, within it, and that the nature of the associated storms can be affected significantly by their proximity to a drought region. Finally, future projections of drought and heavy precipitation occurrence across the Prairies in particular are summarized along with scientific issues that limit our predictive capability.

Speaker: Professor Ron Stewart

Ronald Stewart is a Professor in and Head of the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of Manitoba as of July 1, 2008. Dr. Stewart obtained his BSc (honours) in physics from the University of Manitoba and his PhD in physics from the University of Toronto. He conducted postdoctoral research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (Colorado) and was an assistant professor at the University of Wyoming before moving back to Canada. He was a senior scientist with Environment Canada and an adjunct professor at York University in Toronto before moving to McGill and becoming a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

Professor Stewart’s research focuses on extreme winter and summer weather, precipitation and regional climate. He has led numerous Canadian and international research activities addressing these issues. He conceived and is currently co-leading the Drought Research Initiative (DRI). Dr. Stewart has also been President of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and he led Canada’s involvement in global initiatives on regional climate within the World Climate Research Programme and is currently one of the leaders within a new effort examining hydro meteorological extremes around the world.

This presentation is co-sponsored by the U of L Department of Geography, the Alberta Chapter of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanography Society (CMOS), LPIRG, ULSU, SAGE, SAYEE/SACEE, Greensence and SACPA.

Moderator: Stephanie Watson

Free presentation, refreshments and snacks provided, everyone welcome

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