Date of Award

Fall 2023

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Scott Ollinger

Second Advisor

Jane R. Foster


Climate variables such as temperature, precipitation, and dewpoint are dynamic and important drivers of many ecosystem processes. In the northeastern United States, climate change, including increasing temperatures and changing precipitation regimes, is well documented, yet changes in regional climate patterns have been largely overlooked. A previous study completed a regional climate analysis of the northeastern US using multiple linear regressions that produced coefficients that describe broad-scale spatial climate patterns using monthly climate normals from 1951-1980. Here, we complete a reanalysis of the previous study using the newest monthly climate normals from 1991-2020 to assess how the spatial climate patterns have changed over time. Multiple linear regressions are used to best predict monthly averages of daily temperature (minimum and maximum) and monthly precipitation using latitude, longitude, and elevation as predictor variables. The relationship between minimum temperature and dewpoint was also analyzed with the most recent data. On average, monthly precipitation gradients became weaker across latitude, longitude, and elevation. Monthly temperature patterns (minimum and maximum) became stronger for latitude and weaker for longitude. Elevation patterns became stronger for maximum temperature and weaker for minimum temperature. Weaker relationships suggest more similar climate and stronger relationships suggest more different climate across gradients, each with potential impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem processes.