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Washington State University Hydroclimatology Lab


Welcome to the Hydro-climatology Laboratory (HCL) website at Washington State University. Our research primarily focuses on improving fundamental understanding and prediction of water resources and its interactions with climate and human system through development and refinement of coupled numerical and data-driven models, improved model parameterization and uncertainty quantifications, integrated modeling of the interactions among different components of the water cycle, risk and uncertainty analyses in hydrologic design, and statistical analysis of extreme hydro-climatology events including heavy storms, floods, and droughts.

Main Research Areas:

  1. Hydroinformatics: integrate data, information and models to improve understanding and prediction of hydrological systems
  2. Hydrclimatology: characterization of extreme storms, floods and droughts
  3. Stochastic hydrology: Uncertainty analysis, inverse modeling. and data assimilation to quantify and reduce modeling uncertainty.
  4. Surface and subsurface hydrology: characterization of the interactions among water, energy production, land use, and climate change

Our current projects lie within the broad area of stochastic hydrology and hydro-climatology, and specifically include developing and applying:

  1. Complementary modeling frameworks to integrate hydrologic models with data-driven models in order to effectively utilize multiple data sources to reduce prediction bias and uncertainty provide information for model diagnosis and adaptive data sampling.
  2. Novel inverse modeling algorithms to calibrate hydrologic models when there is a high level of uncertainty in model input or forcing data.
  3. Dynamic Bayesian model integration methods to address models structural uncertainty by coupling groundwater and surface water models using adaptive weights that vary based on the dominant hydrologic processes at any given time or location. 
  4. Inverse modeling and uncertainty quantification and propagation methods that can be applied for earth system modeling and integrated modeling assessment.
  5. Multivariate statistical approaches to characterize and predict the spatial and temporal patterns of extreme hydroclimatic events, such as flood and drought. 
  6. Statistical and modeling approaches to characterize and account the non-stationarity nature of climate and extreme precipitation into our hydrologic models, engineering designs and resources management.
  7. Exploratory data and modeling analysis to determine the roles of climate and human activities on flood and drought frequency analysis.
  8. Integrated watershed, climate, and economic modeling to characterize the dynamic interactions among water, energy production, land use, and climate change.
  9. Life cycle analysis of biofuel to study the water footprints of different feedstock used for biofuel

Interested in joining us? Click here for more information.



Yonas Demissie, PhD

Assoicate Professor

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Washington State University
Richland, WA 99354

Email Dr. Demissie 
(509) 372–7344


Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach

State of Washington Water Research Center


Our paper on “Uncertainty propagation in coupled hydrological models using winding stairs and null-space Monte Carlo methods” was published in the Journal of Hydrology (October 2020).

Congratulation to Merhawi Gebreegziabher for successfully defending his PhD dissertation on “Novel approaches to simulate flood inundation from manholes and watersheds”  (July 28, 2020). 

Our paper on “Modeling urban flood inundation and recession impacted by manholes” was published in Water (April 2020).

Congratulation to Emmanuel Rendon Aguilar for successfully defending his MS Thesis on “Estimating stream temperature through nonlinear regression and equilibrium temperature models”  (April 24, 2020). 

Congratulation to Rakib Siddique for successfully defending his MS Thesis on “Identifying flood causing mechanisms in major cities in the United States using information theory and artificial neural network”  (April 22, 2020). 

Congratulation to Md Rubayet Mortuza for successfully defending his PhD dissertation on ” Improved characterizations of design storms and droughts: stochastic, non-stationary and multivariate approaches.”  (Nov 22, 2019). 

Our paper on “A Multi-layer Reservoir Thermal Stratification Module for Earth System Models” was published in the Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems (September 2019)

Yonas Demissie was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor (Aug 16, 2019). 

Yonas Demissie joined the Water Research and Policy Committee of the Alexandria Water Resilience Center of Excellence (May 5, 2019).

Emmanuel Randon Aguilar join ANL as a co-op student for summer to work on a collaborative research project on extreme hydro-climatology (May 15, 2019).  

Md Rubayet Mortuza and Merhawi Gebremichael Joined PNNL for summer internships to work on a collaborative research project on river reach-level hydrogeochemical processes (May 15, 2019).   

Congratulation to Edom Moges for the John Roberson Outstanding Dissertation Award (April 30, 2019)

Our paper on a global storage-area-depth dataset for reservoirs is published in the Water Resources Research (Oct 15, 2018)

Congratulation to Edom Moges for successfully defending his PhD dissertation on July 26, 2018. He has a postdoctoral appointment at UC-Berkeley. We wish him well in his future pursuits! (August 5, 2018)

Emmanuel Randon Aguilar, who will join the HCL this Fall for his PhD study, have won the 2018 WSU-PNNL Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowship. Congratulation Emmanuel and welcome to our lab! (June 5, 2018)

We have launched our new website (May 15, 2018)

Our paper on impacts of climate change and water management on drought is published in the  Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (May 15, 2018)

Congratulation to Joseph Morad for graduating with M.S. degree this past Spring Semester! He is currently at PNNL. We wish him well in his future pursuits! (May 5, 2018)

Our paper on drought risk in Bangladesh is published in the Theoretical and Applied Climatology (Feb 19, 2018)

We have presented our work on linked runoff and rainfall IDF curve to SERDP in Arlington, VA (Feb 6, 2018)

Rakib Ahmed Siddique Joined our HCL in Spring 2018 Semester. Welcome Rakib! (Jan 5, 2018)

We have presented our work, chaired oral and poster sessions on extreme storm and flood risk at AGU Fall 2017 Meeting in New Orleans, LA (Dec 11-15, 2017)

We have presented our work in extreme storm and flood risk at military installations at SERDP Symposium in Washington, DC (Nov 28, 2017)

Our paper on roles of human on drought was published in the  Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (Sep 17, 2017)

Our paper on effects of reservoirs on flood frequency was published in Water Resources Research (Sep 8, 2017)

Kenny Nyirenda (a Fullbright Fellow) joined our HCL in Fall 2017 Semester. Welcome Kenny! (Aug 15, 2017)

Our paper on flood seasonality and temporal shifts in the US was published in the Journal of Hydrometeorology (Jul 3, 2017)

Our paper on impacts of biofuel on hydrology and water quality was published in the Global Change Biology: Bioenergy (Jun 20, 2017)

We have presented our work on the vulnerability of stormwater and Bayesian approach for storm frequency analysis at EWRI Meeting in Sacramento, CA (May 21–25, 2017)

African roots inspire professor’s varied water research (Feb 22, 2017)

Our Proposal on drought frequency in the Yakima Basin was funded by SWWRC under USGS 104b (Jan 15, 2017)