Andrew C Comrie
- Professor, School of Geography and Development
- Professor, Public Health
- Professor, Arid Lands Resources Sciences - GIDP
- Professor, Entomology / Insect Science - GIDP
- Professor, Global Change - GIDP
- Professor, Remote Sensing / Spatial Analysis - GIDP
- Professor, Statistics-GIDP
- Professor, Hydrology / Atmospheric Sciences
- Member of the Graduate Faculty
Dr. Andrew C. Comrie is an interdisciplinary climate scientist and geographer at the University of Arizona. He is a professor with a primary appointment in the School of Geography & Development, with joint appointments in Hydrology & Atmospheric Sciences and in Public Health. His research links climate with health, pathogens and vectors as well as with broader atmospheric environmental issues. He focuses on questions such as: How do disease patterns shift in space and time with changes in climate?
His specific expertise includes climate and health, synoptic climatology, urban and regional air pollution, climate variability and change in the Southwest United States, and techniques for mapping climate and environmental information. Dr. Comrie has published widely in specialized and interdisciplinary international journals and his work has been funded by numerous federal, state and local agencies. He has served as editor and editorial board member for several international scholarly journals and on many national and international professional committees and boards.
Dr. Comrie served as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost from 2012-2018, and previously as Dean of the Graduate College & Associate Vice President for Research from 2006-2012.
- Ph.D. Geography
- Pennsylvania State University
- M.Sc. Environmental & Geographical Science
- University of Cape Town
- B.Sc.(Hons.) Atmospheric Science
- University of Cape Town
- B.Sc. Geography
- University of Cape Town
- University of Arizona (2012 - 2018)
- University of Arizona (2006 - 2012)
- University of Arizona (2005 - Ongoing)
- University of Arizona (1999 - 2005)
- University of Arizona (1992 - 1999)
- Outstanding Academic Title Winner (for book "Like Nobody's Business")
- Choice Reviews, Fall 2022
- Lifetime Achievement Award
- American Association of Geographers, Climate Specialty Group, Spring 2020
- Special Recognition: Full endowment of the Andrew C. Comrie Doctoral Fellowship
- Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs, University of Arizona, Spring 2019
- Advocate Award
- Graduate and Professional Student Council, University of Arizona, Spring 2016
- Distinguished Service Award
- African American Community Council, University of Arizona, Fall 2015
- Honorary member
- Phi Beta Kappa, Spring 2013
- Honored Faculty Award
- Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs, University of Arizona, Spring 2012
- Excellence in Mentoring Award
- Honors College, University of Arizona, Spring 2011
- Special Contribution to American Indian Education Award
- University of Arizona American Indian Alumni Club, Spring 2007
No activities entered.
Our Changing ClimateGEOG 230 (Spring 2022)
Earth Envr:Intr Phys GeoGEOG 170A1 (Fall 2021)
Independent StudyGEOG 699 (Spring 2021)
Our Changing ClimateGEOG 230 (Spring 2021)
Earth Envr:Intr Phys GeoGEOG 170A1 (Fall 2020)
Research DesignGEOG 500 (Spring 2020)
Earth Envr:Intr Phys GeoGEOG 170A1 (Fall 2019)
DissertationGEOG 920 (Spring 2019)
DissertationGEOG 920 (Fall 2018)
DissertationGEOG 920 (Spring 2018)
DissertationGEOG 920 (Fall 2017)
DissertationGEOG 920 (Summer I 2017)
DissertationGEOG 920 (Spring 2017)
DissertationGEOG 920 (Fall 2016)
DissertationGEOG 920 (Spring 2016)
- Comrie, A. C. (2021). Like Nobody’s Business: An Insider’s Guide to How US University Finances Really Work. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers. doi:10.11647/OBP.0240More infoHow do university finances really work?From flagship public research universities to small, private liberal arts colleges, there are few aspects of these institutions associated with more confusion, myths or lack of understanding than how they fund themselves and function in the business of higher education. Using simple, approachable explanations supported by clear illustrations, this book takes the reader on an engaging and enlightening tour of how the money flows. How does the university really pay for itself? Why do tuition and fees rise so fast? Why do universities lose money on research? Do most donations go to athletics?Grounded in hard data, original analyses, and the practical experience of a seasoned administrator, this book provides refreshingly clear answers and comprehensive insights for anyone on or off campus who is interested in the business of the university: how it earns its money, how it spends it, and how it all works.
- Brown, H. E., Comrie, A. C., Tamerius, J., Khan, M., Tabor, J. A., & Galgiani, J. N. (2014). Climate, wind storms, and the risk of valley fever (coccidioidomycosis). In The Influence of Global Environmental Change on Infectious Disease Dynamics(pp Chapter A12). Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.
- Garfin, G. M., Franco, G., Blanco, H., Comrie, A. C., Gonzalez, P., Piechota, T., Smyth, R., & Waskom, R. (2014). Ch. 20: Southwest. In Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment. J.M. Melillo, T.C. Richmond, and G.W. Yohe (eds.)(pp 462-486, doi:10.7930/J08G8HMN). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Global Change Research Program.
- Yool, S. R., & Comrie, A. C. (2014). A taste of place: environmental geographies of the classic beer styles. In The Geography of Beer(pp tbd). Springer.More infoThe environmental geographies of beer can be viewed as a coupling of Earth's elements (yeast; hops; malt; water) and brewing ingenuity. Yeast literally brings life to beer, contributing distinctive flavors and frothiness. Hops do best at cooler latitudes, and in wetter climates, where soils, day length, temperature, rainfall and terrain all influence regional hop characteristics. Brewing malts are cultivated, mostly, in a cool swath of countries just poleward of 45 degrees north latitude. Mixtures of minerals found in local water supplies impart characteristic flavors and mouth feel to beers brewed there. The geographic combination of variations in yeast, hops, malt and water produce, we argue, a "taste of the place" that one can term the "terroir" of beer. Climate change could, however, modify beer terroir. A warming planet would alter the latitudinal range of future hop and malt cultivation, leading to changes in supplies, quality, and prices.
- Brown, H. E., Comrie, A. C., Drechsler, D., Barker, C. M., Basu, R., Brown, T., Gershunov, A., Reisen, W. K., & Ruddell, D. (2013). Health Effects of Climate Change in the Southwest. In Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States: a Technical Report Prepared for the U.S. National Climate Assessment.(pp 312-339). Southwest Climate Alliance.More infoReview Editor: English, P. Health Effects of Climate Change in the Southwest. Chapter 15, in: Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States: a Technical Report Prepared for the U.S. National Climate Assessment. A report by the Southwest Climate Alliance [Garfin, G., Jardine, A., Merideth, R., Black, M., and Overpeck, J. (eds.)]. 2013, Tucson, AZ: Southwest Climate Alliance.
- Peters, D., Bestelmeyer, B. T., Havstad, K. M., Rango, A., Archer, S. R., Comrie, A. C., Gimblett, H. R., López-Hoffman, L., Sala, O. E., Vivoni, E. R., Brooks, M. L., Brown, J., Monger, H. C., Goldstein, J. H., Okin, G. S., Tweedie, C. E., & Pielke, R. A. (2013). 4.20 - Desertification of Rangelands. In Climate Vulnerability: Understanding and Addressing Threats to Essential Resources(pp 239-258). Academic Press.
- Reisen, W. K., Barker, C. M., Kramer, V. K., Caian, M., Hudspeth, W., Morain, S., Budge, A., Glass, G., Brown, H. E., & Comrie, A. C. (2012). Information and decision support systems. In Environmental Tracking for Public Health Surveillance(p. 369). CRC Press.
- Comrie, A. C. (2021). No Consistent Link Between Dust Storms and Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis). GeoHealth, 5(12), e2021GH000504.More infoDust storms, such as those associated with haboobs and strong regional winds, are frequently assumed to cause increases in cases of Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis). The disease is caused by inhaling arthroconidia of fungi that, after being disturbed from semi-desert subsoil, have become airborne. Fungal arthroconidia can be transported in low-wind conditions as well as in individual dust events, but there is no reliable evidence that all or most dust storms consistently lead to subsequent increases in coccidioidomycosis cases. Following a review of the relevant literature, this study examines the relationship between dust storms and coccidioidomycosis cases to determine if there is a consistent and general association between them. All recorded dust storms from 2006 to 2020 in and near the Phoenix area of Maricopa County, Arizona and the Bakersfield area of Kern County, California were used in a compositing analysis (superposed epoch analysis) of subsequent coccidioidomycosis cases in each area. Analyses of monthly and weekly disease case data showed no statistical differences in the patterns of coccidioidomycosis cases following dust storms versus non-dust storm conditions, for the entire data set as well as for seasonal subsets of the data. This study thoroughly analyzes post-dust storm coccidioidomycosis cases for a large set of dust storms, and it confirms and expands upon previous literature, including a recent study that measured airborne arthroconidia and found no consistent links connecting wind and dust conditions to increases in coccidioidomycosis.
- Brown, H. E., Barrera, R., Comrie, A. C., & Lega, J. C. (2017). Effect of temperature thresholds on modeled Aedes aegypti population dynamics. Journal of Medical Entomology, 54(4), 869–877. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjx041
- Brown, H. E., Cox, J. T., Comrie, A. C., & Barrera, R. (2017). Habitat and density of oviposition opportunity influences Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) flight distance. Journal of Medical Entomology, 54(5), 1385–1389. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjx083
- Butterworth, M. K., Morin, C. W., & Comrie, A. C. (2017). An Analysis of the Potential Impact of Climate Change on Dengue Transmission in the Southeastern United States. Environmental health perspectives, 125(4), 579-585.More infoDengue fever, caused by a mosquito-transmitted virus, is an increasing health concern in the Americas. Meteorological variables such as temperature and precipitation can affect disease distribution and abundance through biophysical impacts on the vector and on the virus. Such tightly coupled links may facilitate further spread of dengue fever under a changing climate. In the southeastern United States, the dengue vector is widely established and exists on the current fringe of dengue transmission.
- Brown, H. E., Young, A., Lega, J., Andreadis, T. G., Schurich, J., & Comrie, A. (2015). Projection of Climate Change Influences on U.S. West Nile Virus Vectors. Earth interactions, 19.More infoWhile estimates of the impact of climate change on health are necessary for health care planners and climate change policy makers, models to produce quantitative estimates remain scarce. We describe a freely available dynamic simulation model parameterized for three West Nile virus vectors, which provides an effective tool for studying vector-borne disease risk due to climate change. The Dynamic Mosquito Simulation Model is parameterized with species specific temperature-dependent development and mortality rates. Using downscaled daily weather data, we estimate mosquito population dynamics under current and projected future climate scenarios for multiple locations across the country. Trends in mosquito abundance were variable by location, however, an extension of the vector activity periods, and by extension disease risk, was almost uniformly observed. Importantly, mid-summer decreases in abundance may be off-set by shorter extrinsic incubation periods resulting in a greater proportion of infective mosquitoes. Quantitative descriptions of the effect of temperature on the virus and mosquito are critical to developing models of future disease risk.
- Comrie, A. C., & McCabe, G. J. (2013). Global air temperature variability independent of sea-surface temperature influences. Progress in Physical Geography, 37(1), 29--35.
- Delgado, S., Ernst, K. C., Pumahuaca, M. L., Yool, S. R., Comrie, A. C., Sterling, C. R., Gilman, R., Naquira, C., & Levy, M. (2013). A country bug in the city: urban infestation by the Chagas disease vector Triatoma infestans in Arequipa, Peru. International Journal of Health Geographics.
- El Vilaly, A. E., Arora, M., Butterworth, M. K., Jarnagin, W., Comrie, A. C., & others, . (2013). Climate, environment and disease: The case of Rift Valley fever. Progress in Physical Geography, 37(2), 259--269.
- Morin, C. W., & Comrie, A. C. (2013). Regional and seasonal response of a West Nile virus vector to climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(39).More infoClimate change will affect the abundance and seasonality of West Nile virus (WNV) vectors, altering the risk of virus transmission to humans. Using downscaled general circulation model output, we calculate a WNV vector's response to climate change across the southern United States using process-based modeling. In the eastern United States, Culex quinquefasciatus response to projected climate change displays a latitudinal and elevational gradient. Projected summer population depressions as a result of increased immature mortality and habitat drying are most severe in the south and almost absent further north; extended spring and fall survival is ubiquitous. Much of California also exhibits a bimodal pattern. Projected onset of mosquito season is delayed in the southwestern United States because of extremely dry and hot spring and summers; however, increased temperature and late summer and fall rains extend the mosquito season. These results are unique in being a broad-scale calculation of the projected impacts of climate change on a WNV vector. The results show that, despite projected widespread future warming, the future seasonal response of C. quinquefasciatus populations across the southern United States will not be homogeneous, and will depend on specific combinations of local and regional conditions.
- Morin, C. W., Comrie, A. C., & Ernst, K. C. (2013). Climate and dengue transmission: evidence and implications. Environmental health perspectives, 121(11-12), 1264-72. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1306556More infoClimate influences dengue ecology by affecting vector dynamics, agent development, and mosquito/human interactions. Although these relationships are known, the impact climate change will have on transmission is unclear. Climate-driven statistical and process-based models are being used to refine our knowledge of these relationships and predict the effects of projected climate change on dengue fever occurrence, but results have been inconsistent.
- Tamerius, J. D., Shaman, J., Alonso, W. J., Bloom-Feshbach, K., Uejio, C. K., Comrie, A., & Viboud, C. (2013). Environmental predictors of seasonal influenza epidemics across temperate and tropical climates. PLoS pathogens, 9(3), e1003194.
- Scott, C. A., Robbins, P. F., & Comrie, A. C. (2012). The mutual conditioning of humans and pathogens: Implications for integrative geographical scholarship. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 102(5), 977--985.
- Stacy, P. K., Comrie, A. C., & Yool, S. R. (2012). Modeling valley fever incidence in Arizona using a satellite-derived soil moisture proxy. GIScience & Remote Sensing, 49(2), 299--316.
- Uejio, C. K., Kemp, A., & Comrie, A. C. (2012). Climatic controls on West Nile virus and Sindbis virus transmission and outbreaks in South Africa. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 12(2), 117--125.
- Delgado, S., Neyra, R. C., Machaca, V. R., Ju\'arez, J. A., Chu, L. C., Verastegui, M. R., Apaza, G. M., Boc\'angel, C. D., Tustin, A. W., Sterling, C. R., & others, . (2011). A history of Chagas disease transmission, control, and re-emergence in peri-rural La Joya, Peru. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 5(2), e970.
- Tamerius, J. D., Tamerius, J. D., Comrie, A. C., & Comrie, A. C. (2011). Coccidioidomycosis incidence in Arizona predicted by seasonal precipitation.. PLoS ONE (Public Library of Science).More info;Your Role: Senior Author;Full Citation: Tamerius, J.D. and Comrie, A.C., 2011: Coccidioidomycosis incidence in Arizona predicted by seasonal precipitation. PLoS ONE 6(6): e21009. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021009.;Electronic: Yes;Collaborative with graduate student: Yes;
- Comrie, A. C. (2010). Nietzsche’s challenge to physical geography. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 9(1), 34--46.
- Morin, C. W., & Comrie, A. C. (2010). Modeled response of the West Nile virus vector Culex quinquefasciatus to changing climate using the dynamic mosquito simulation model. International journal of biometeorology, 54(5), 517--529.
- Bieda III, S. W., Castro, C. L., Mullen, S. L., Comrie, A. C., & Pytlak, E. (2009). The relationship of transient upper-level troughs to variability of the North American monsoon system.. Journal of Climate, 22(15).
- Comrie, A. (2007). Climate change and human health. Geography Compass, 1(3), 325--339.
- Comrie, A. C., & Glueck, M. F. (2007). Model sensitivity for assessing climatologic effects on the risk of acquiring coccidioidomycosis. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1111(1), 83--95.
- Kolivras, K. N., & Comrie, A. C. (2007). Regionalization and variability of precipitation in Hawaii. Physical Geography, 28(1), 76--96.
- Ray, A. J., Garfin, G. M., Wilder, M., V\'asquez-Le\'on, M., Lenart, M., & Comrie, A. C. (2007). Applications of monsoon research: Opportunities to inform decision making and reduce regional vulnerability.. Journal of Climate, 20(9), 1608-1627.
- Tamerius, J. D., Wise, E. K., Uejio, C. K., McCoy, A. L., & Comrie, A. C. (2007). Climate and human health: synthesizing environmental complexity and uncertainty. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 21(5), 601--613.
- Comrie, A. C. (2005). Climate factors influencing coccidioidomycosis seasonality and outbreaks. Environmental health perspectives, 113(6), 688.
- Park, B. J., Sigel, K., Vaz, V., Komatsu, K., McRill, C., Phelan, M., Colman, T., Comrie, A. C., Warnock, D. W., Galgiani, J. N., & others, . (2005). An epidemic of coccidioidomycosis in Arizona associated with climatic changes, 1998--2001. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 191(11), 1981.
- Wise, E. K., & Comrie, A. C. (2005). Extending the Kolmogorov--Zurbenko filter: application to ozone, particulate matter, and meteorological trends. Journal of the Air \& Waste Management Association, 55(8), 1208--1216.
- Wise, E. K., & Comrie, A. C. (2005). Meteorologically adjusted urban air quality trends in the Southwestern United States. Atmospheric Environment, 39(16), 2969--2980.
- Abraham, J. S., & Comrie, A. C. (2004). Real-time ozone mapping using a regression-interpolation hybrid approach, applied to Tucson, Arizona. Journal of the Air \& Waste Management Association, 54(8), 914--925.
- Brown, D. P., & Comrie, A. C. (2004). A winter precipitation ‘dipole’in the western United States associated with multidecadal ENSO variability. Geophysical Research Letters, 31(9).
- Comrie, A. C., & Kolivras, K. N. (2004). Climate and infectious disease in the southwestern United States. Progress in Physical Geography, 28, 387-398.
- Comrie, A., Diaz, H., Morehouse, B., & others, . (2003). Climate doesn't stop at the border: US-Mexico climatic regions and causes of variability.. Climate and water: transboundary challenges in the Americas, 291--316.
- Control, C., (CDC, P., & others, . (2003). Increase in coccidioidomycosis--Arizona, 1998-2001.. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 52(6), 109.
- Kolivras, K. N., & Comrie, A. C. (2003). Modeling valley fever (coccidioidomycosis) incidence on the basis of climate conditions. International journal of biometeorology, 47(2), 87--101.
- Brown, D. P., & Comrie, A. C. (2002). Spatial modeling of winter temperature and precipitation in Arizona and New Mexico, USA. Climate Research, 22(2), 115--128.
- Brown, D. P., & Comrie, A. C. (2002). Sub-regional seasonal precipitation linkages to SOI and PDO in the Southwest United States. Atmospheric Science Letters, 3(2-4), 94--102.
- Cavazos, T., Comrie, A. C., & Liverman, D. M. (2002). Intraseasonal variability associated with wet monsoons in southeast Arizona.. Journal of Climate, 15(17).
- Comrie, A. C., & Broyles, B. (2002). Variability and spatial modeling of fine-scale precipitation data for the Sonoran Desert of south-west Arizona. Journal of Arid Environments, 50(4), 573--592.
- Diem, J. E., & Comrie, A. C. (2002). Predictive mapping of air pollution involving sparse spatial observations. Environmental pollution, 119(1), 99--117.
- Ni, F., Cavazos, T., Hughes, M. K., Comrie, A. C., & Funkhouser, G. (2002). Cool-season precipitation in the southwestern USA since AD 1000: comparison of linear and nonlinear techniques for reconstruction. International Journal of Climatology, 22(13), 1645--1662.
- Sheppard, P. R., Comrie, A. C., Packin, G. D., Angersbach, K., & Hughes, M. K. (2002). The climate of the US Southwest. Climate Research, 21(3), 219--238.
- Diem, J. E., & Comrie, A. C. (2001). Air quality, climate, and policy: a case study of ozone pollution in Tucson, Arizona. The Professional Geographer, 53(4), 469--491.
- Diem, J. E., & Comrie, A. C. (2001). Allocating anthropogenic pollutant emissions over space: application to ozone pollution management. Journal of environmental management, 63(4), 425--447.
- Kolivras, K. N., Johnson, P. S., Comrie, A. C., & Yool, S. R. (2001). Environmental variability and coccidioidomycosis (valley fever). Aerobiologia, 17(1), 31--42.
- Wright, W. E., Long, A., Comrie, A., Leavitt, S., Cavazos, T., & Eastoe, C. (2001). Monsoonal moisture sources revealed using temperature, precipitation, and precipitation stable isotope timeseries. Geophysical Research Letters, 28(5), 787--790.
- Yarnal, B., Comrie, A. C., Frakes, B., & Brown, D. P. (2001). Developments and prospects in synoptic climatology. International Journal of Climatology, 21(15), 1923--1950.
- Comrie, A. C. (2000). Mapping a wind-modified urban heat island in Tucson, Arizona (with comments on integrating research and undergraduate learning). Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 81(10), 2417--2431.
- Diem, J. E., & Comrie, A. C. (2000). Integrating remote sensing and local vegetation information for a high-resolution biogenic emissions inventory—application to an urbanized, semiarid region. Journal of the Air \& Waste Management Association, 50(11), 1968--1979.
- Comrie, A. C., & Diem, J. E. (1999). Climatology and forecast modeling of ambient carbon monoxide in Phoenix, Arizona. Atmospheric Environment, 33(30), 5023--5036.
- Comrie, A. C. (1998). Mapping the Climatology of Ozone Potential for the US-Mexico Border Region. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1--12.
- Comrie, A. C., & Glenn, E. C. (1998). Principal components-based regionalization of precipitation regimes across the southwest United States and northern Mexico, with an application to monsoon precipitation variability. Climate Research, 10(3), 201--215.
- Diem, J. E., & Comrie, A. C. (1998). Estimating biogenic emissions for urban airshed modeling in Tucson, Arizona. PROC A WASTE MANAGE ASSOC ANNU MEET EXHIB, 6.
- Adams, D. K., & Comrie, A. C. (1997). The north American monsoon. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78(10), 2197--2213.
- Comrie, A. C. (1997). Comparing neural networks and regression models for ozone forecasting. Journal of the Air \& Waste Management Association, 47(6), 653--663.
- Comrie, A. C. (1996). An all-season synoptic climatology of air pollution in the US-Mexico border region. The Professional Geographer, 48(3), 237--251.
- Comrie, A. C. (1994). A synoptic climatology of rural ozone pollution at three forest sites in Pennsylvania. Atmospheric Environment, 28(9), 1601--1614.
- Comrie, A. C. (1994). Tracking Ozone: Air-Mass Trajectories and Pollutant Source Regions Influencing Ozone in Pennsylvania Forests. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 84(4), 635--651.
- Comrie, A. C. (1992). A procedure for removing the synoptic climate signal from environmental data. International journal of climatology, 12(2), 177--183.
- Comrie, A. C. (1992). An enhanced synoptic climatology of ozone using a sequencing technique. Physical Geography, 13(1), 53--65.
- Comrie, A. C., & Yarnal, B. (1992). Relationships between synoptic-scale atmospheric circulation and ozone concentrations in metropolitan Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Atmospheric Environment. Part B. Urban Atmosphere, 26(3), 301--312.
- Simini, M., Skelly, J., Davis, D., Savage, J., & Comrie, A. (1992). Sensitivity of four hardwood species to ambient ozone in north central Pennsylvania. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 22(11), 1789--1799.
- Comrie, A. C. (1990). The climatology of surface ozone in rural areas: a conceptual model. Progress in Physical Geography, 14(3), 295--316.
- Bieda, S., Comrie, A. C., Crimmins, M. A., Byerle, L., & Brost, J. (2014, October). Flash Flood Causing Mechanisms of the North American Monsoon in the Sonoran Desert. 39th Annual Meeting of the National Weather Association. Salt Lake City, UT: National Weather Association.More infoThe relationship of flash flood reports to gulf surges and upper-tropospheric troughs are explored based on the variability of hourly precipitation and lightning data over the southwestern United States from 1996 to 2011. Using a variety of upper-level, mid-level and surface level datasets, chi-square analysis, Student's t-test and Monte Carlo field significance tests are conducted to determine whether the presence of synoptic-scale and mesoscale features provide a significant enhancement to the convective environment. This method is used in 3-hourly normalized time steps to determine the environment that can be expected when inverted troughs, gulf surges, the presence of both features or the absence of both features are expected utilizing precipitation and lightning fields. The National Weather Service Storm Reports are explored for instances of short-term, heavy precipitation flood events, to include flash floods, heavy precipitation, and urban and small stream floods. These reports were found to have a statistically significant relationship when compared against a climatological database of inverted troughs and gulf surges. When inverted troughs and gulf surges are present in the study region, a statistically significant increase of both lightning counts and precipitation totals were found. When neither feature was recorded, a significant downturn of both lightning counts and precipitation were noted. These results point to potential "burst" period mechanisms during the monsoon season, specifically with regards to synoptic-scale disturbances and gulf surges over the study domain.