Qi (Steve) Hu

Qi (Steve) Hu

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications
  • Background
  • Interests
  • Grants
  • Advising
  • Courses Taught

Contact Information

TitleAgricultural Climatologist
Faculty RankProfessor
Address703 South Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln NE
  • office: 402-472-6642
  • fax: 402-472-4915
  • cell: 402-474-3721
VitaeDownload file


Contact Preference

Telephone: 402-472-6642, E-mail: qhu2@unl.edu

Office Hours

anytime with a notice ahead

My Story

Hi, I'm Qi (Steve) Hu, and I'm an atmospheric scientist with a joint appointment in the School of Natural Resources and the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. In training, I received my bachelor's degree in Meteorology in 1982 from Lanzhou University, China, and my master's degree in 1986 and Ph.D. degree in 1992 both in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

Over the years, I have researched problems in a wide range of subjects from the tropics to the polar region. I developed the theory of low-frequency oscillations in radiative-convective systems, such as the tropical atmosphere, and suggested it as a driving mechanism of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). This theory has been tested and remains a cornerstone for the MJO. In high latitude regions, I disclosed the physical processes connecting the Arctic Oscillation with the circulation and precipitation anomalies in mid-latitude North America. In recent years, my research focus has been placed at mechanisms for precipitation variations in the central U.S. from intraseasonal to multidecadal timescales. A series of projects was devoted to understanding those variations by remote forcing such as ENSO and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Local effects, from land-use change and effects on regional circulation, are also being examined. An intriguing result from a recent study is that the massive land-cover change in the Great Plains from the pre-settlement to the 1930s is found playing a key role in the 1930s "Dust Bowl" drought. In addition to these large-scale dynamics problems I also developed a convection parameterization for models and have been searching answers to some questions in initiation of nocturnal convection during the warm season in the Great Plains.

I prefer systems approach to solve problems. With that sentiment, I have expanded my interest and research to hydrology, ecology and human aspects in science. In hydrology, I collaborated with scientists in China and revealed for the first time the forcing processes of the Yangtze River responsible for frequent summer floods in the Poyang Lake (the largest freshwater lake in China) before the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) was built. After the TGD, its roles on Yangtze River-Poyang Lake interactions and the hydrology in the lake basin were further quantified. Meanwhile, working with a team of social scientists, we extended the Theory of Planned Behavior in social psychology to measure the roles of belief, social norm and self-efficacy in farmers' decision-making process with the goal to improve their capability and social support so that using weather and climate information becomes natural in their farming decision-making.

Steve (Qi) Hu

My research results have been summarized in ~90 refereed journal publications and at 20 some invited presentations at various venues.

While plowing in my research, I enjoy my extension work, interacting with agricultural producers in person, working with them in understanding where to find the relevant information on weather and climate for their situation, correctly interpreting the information in the context of their situation, and finding the right ways to use the information in their farming decision-making. It is not easy to change people's mind or habit, yet it is rewarding to influence their intention by showing them scientific facts.

I am also teaching numerous classes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. They include Dynamic Meteorology, Physical Climatology and Climate Change. I am trying to engage students interest in learning by providing additional information and interpretation of a learning subject from various perspectives of different complexity, and excite students curiosity in exploring those or related subjects in greater depth in their own path.

Selected Publications

Wang, J., Chen, X., Gao, M., Hu, Q., Liu, J. 2022. Changes in nonlinearity and stability of streamflow recession characteristics under climate warming in a large glaciated basin of the Tibetan Plateau. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 26: 3901-3920. Online
Hu, S. and G. Limpert (2021). Lift in the Vertical Shear of Southerly Jet Embedded in a Uniform Westerly Flow. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 147, 1584-1605.Online
Kalin, A., Alavez, J., van den Broeke, M., Oglesby, R., Hu, Q. S. (2021) Evaluating land surface schemes for the Central U.S.: A comparison of WRF coupled to CLM4.0, Noah-MP, and the Bucket Hydrology. Journal of Climate, American Meteorological Society.
Li, X., Q. Hu, R. Wang, D. Zhang, and Q. Zhang, 2021: Influences of the timing of extreme precipitation on floods in the Poyang Lake basin, China. Hydrology Research, 52, 26-42. https://doi.org/10.2166/nh.2021.078. Online
Wang, J., X. Chen, J. Liu, and Q. Hu, 2021: Changes of precipitation–runoff relationship induced by climate variation in a large glaciated basin of the Tibetan Plateau. Journal of Geophys. Res. - Atmos., 126, e2020JD034367. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JD034367. Online
Wang, X., G. Yin, Z. Hu, D. He, Q. Cui, X. Feng, Z. Teng, Q. Hu, J. Li, and Q. Zhou, 2021: Dynamical variations of the global COVID-19 pandemic based on a SEICR disease model: A new approach of Yi Hua Jie Mu. GeoHealth, 5, https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GH000455.Online
Huang, R., Chen, X., Hu, S. 2019. Changes in vegetation and surface water balance at basin-scale in central China with rising atmospheric CO2. Climatic Change. 155(3): 437-454.Online
Li, X., Hu, S. 2019. Spatiotemporal changes in extreme precipitation and its dependence on topography over the Poyang Lake basin, China. Advances in Meteorology. pp. 15.Online
Amuti, T., Luo, G., Yin, G., Hu, S., Walter-Shea, E. (2018). Evaluation of a process-based agro-ecosystem model (Agro-IBIS) for maize in Xinjiang, Northwest China. Agronomy, 8.
Chen, X., Wang, S., Hu, Z.Y., Zhou, Q., Hu, S. (2018). Spatiotemporal characteristics of seasonal precipitation and their relationships with ENSO in Central Asia during 1901-2013. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 28, 1341-1368.
Hu, Q., Tang, Z., Shulski, M., Umphlett, N., Abdel Monem, T., Uhlarik, F. (2018). An examination of Midwestern US cities’ preparedness for climate change and extreme hazards. Natural Hazards.
Hu, S., Torres, J., Van Den Broeke, M. (2018). Land-cover change and the “Dust Bowl” drought in the U.S. Great Plains. J. Climate.
Hu, S., Torres, J., Van Den Broeke, M. (2018). Land-cover change and the “Dust Bowl” drought in the U.S. Great Plains. J. Climate.
Qiu, N., Chen, X., Hu, S., Liu, J., Huang, R., Gao, M. (2018). Hydro-stochastic interpolation coupling with Budyko approach for spatial prediction of mean annual runoff. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 22, 2891-2901.
Hu, Q. S., Veres, M. 2016. Atmospheric responses to North Atlantic SST anomalies in idealized experiments. Part II: North American precipitation. Journal of Climate. 29: 659-671.Online
Qian, W., Cheng, Y., Jiang, M., Hu, Q. 2015. An Anomaly-Based Method for Identifying Signals of Spring and Autumn Low-Temperature Events in the Yangtze River Valley, China. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. 54: 1216-1232. Online
Veres, M.C., and Q. Hu, 2015: Atmospheric responses to North Atlantic SST anomalies in idealized experiments. Part I: Northern Hemispheric circulation. J. Climate, 28, 6204-6220.Online
Wu, Q., and Q. Hu, 2015: Atmospheric circulation processes contributing to a multidecadal variation in reconstructed and modeled Indian monsoon precipitation. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 120, 532-551.Online
Veres, M.C., and Q. Hu, 2013: AMO-forced regional processes affecting summertime precipitation variations in the Central United States. J. Climate, 26, 276-290.Online
Guo, H., Q. Hu, Q. Zhang, and S. Feng, 2012: Effects of the Three Gorges Dam on Yangtze River flow and river interaction with the Poyang Lake, China: 2003-2008. J. Hydrology, v. 416-417, 19-27.Online
Hu, Q., and S. Feng, 2012: AMO- and ENSO-driven summertime circulation and precipitation variations in North America. J. Climate, 25, 6477-6495.Online
Hu, Q., S. Feng, and R.J. Oglesby, 2011: Variations in North American summer precipitation driven by the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. J. Climate, 24, 5555-5570.Online
Hu Q. and S. Feng, 2008. Variation of North American summer monsoon regimes and the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation. J. Climate 21: 2371-2383.Online
Hu, Q., L.M. PytlikZillig, G.D. Lynne, K.G. Hubbard, W.J. Waltman, M.J. Hayes, A.J. Tomkins, and D.A. Wilhite. 2006. Improving farmers' forecast use from understanding their beliefs, social norms, and perceived obstacles. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol.
Hu, Q., and D.A. Randall, 1995: Low-frequency oscillations in radiative-convective systems, Part II: An idealized model. J. Atmos. Sci. 52, 478-490.Online



DegreeMajorInstitutionYear Awarded
Doctorate of PhilosophyAtmospheric ScienceColorado State University1992
Master of ScienceAtmospheric ScienceColorado State University1986
Bachelor of ScienceMeteorologyLanzhou University, China1982





TitleAwarded byYear Awarded
Oversea Science Advisor of the Chinese Academy of SciencesChinese Academy of Sciences2005
Recognition of Junior Faculty for Excellence in ResearchAgricultural Research Division, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska2002


SNR Program Areas

  • Applied Climate and Spatial Science

Areas of Interest/Expertise

  • Regional and Global Climate Variations
  • Convection in the Atmosphere
  • Atmospheric Circulation and Modeling
  • Human Dimensions in Global Change
  • Regional and Global Water Cycle


Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/ 2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/ 2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.

Grant TitleEconomic Impacts of Changes in Snowpack on Irrigate Agriculture in the Western United States
Starting Date11/09/2023


Ending Date07/30/2024
Funding Level$75,000.00
Funding AgencyUSDA - Economic Research Service


Grant TitleEAGER: Elevated Convection in US Great Plains
Starting Date06/01/2019


Ending Date05/31/2021
Funding Level$204,515.00
Funding AgencyNational Science Foundation


Grant TitleMultistate Project NC-1179 (NEB-38-105)
Starting Date02/01/2016


Ending Date09/30/2016
Funding Level$10,000.00
Funding AgencyIANR/USDA


Grant TitleQuantifying the Relative Roles of Progressive Land Use Change, Irrigation, and Remote Forcing in Southern Great Plains Precipitation Variability (AGS-1355916)
Starting Date07/01/2014


Ending Date06/30/2018
Funding Level$446,697.00
Funding AgencyNational Science Foundation


Grant TitleQuantifying the Relative Roles of Local versus Remote Effects on North American Summertime Drought
Starting Date12/20/2013


Ending Date11/05/2014
Funding Level$124,750.00
Funding AgencyNational Aeronautics and Space Administration


Grant TitlePrecipitation Dataset Northern Hemisphere (additional funding)
Starting Date08/01/2012


Ending Date07/31/2013
Funding Level$179,502.00
Funding AgencyNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Grant TitleChanges in Snowfall/Precipitation Ratio in the Contiguous United States
Starting Date03/15/2012


Ending Date07/15/2012
Funding Level$24,922.00
Funding AgencyEnvironmental Protection Agency


Grant TitleUnderstanding and Predicting Tropical and North Atlantic SST Forcing on Variations in Warm Season Precipitation over North America (additional funding)
Starting Date08/01/2011


Ending Date07/31/2012
Funding Level$100,000.00
Funding AgencyNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/CPO


Grant TitleMegadrought-Local vs Remote Causal Factors for Medieval North America
Starting Date05/01/2011


Ending Date04/30/2014
Funding Level$469,398.00
Funding AgencyNational Science Foundation


Grant TitlePrecipitation Dataset Northern Hemisphere (additional funding)
Starting Date08/01/2010


Ending Date07/31/2012
Funding Level$84,999.00
Funding AgencyNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Grant TitleDevelopment of a Northern Hemisphere Gridded Precipitation Dataset Spanning the Past Half Millennium
Starting Date08/01/2010


Ending Date07/31/2011
Funding Level$165,000.00
Funding AgencyNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Grant TitleNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Warm Season Precipatation over North America
Starting Date08/01/2009


Ending Date07/31/2011
Funding Level$97,000.00
Funding AgencyNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Grant TitleUnderstanding and Predicting Tropical and North Atlantic SST Forcing on Variations in Warm Season Precipitation over North America
Starting Date05/01/2009


Ending Date04/30/2012
Funding Level$95,000.00
Funding AgencyNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/CPO



Graduate Programs

Master of Applied Science

Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences
including specializations in

  • Climate Assessment and Impacts

Doctorate of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciences
including specializations in

  • Climate Assessment and Impacts

Courses Taught

Course NumberCourse TitleFall Even YearsFall Odd YearsSpring Even YearsSpring Odd YearsSummer SessionCross Listing
NRES 467/867Global Climate ChangeXAGRO 477/877, GEOG/NRES 467/867