Dr. Ronald Stewart

Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
Fellow of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Patterson Medal from the Meteorological Service of Canada

470 Wallace Building
(204) 480-1052


Extremes associated with weather and climate are a major concern to us all. They lead to enormous damages and often loss of life, society is becoming more vulnerable to such events, and there is mounting evidence that their occurrence may increase in the future.

The general focal points of my group's research on extremes are storms and their precipitation (mainly winter but not exclusively), droughts, storm-climate interactions, mountain weather and future changes in these features. In regards to storms, we are currently examining the nature of the various forms of winter precipitation across Canada, the coupled interaction between this precipitation and its associated environment, and the structure of winter and summer storms over several regions. In regards to drought, we are examining the evolution of droughts occurring over the Prairies and elsewhere.  In regards to future conditions, we are applying the knowledge being gained within the above topics to consider possible changes in the occurrence of extremes, including over mountainous regions and our Arctic.

We utilize observations and models in our research. In particular, we utilize operational satellite, radar, sounding and surface observations, we carry out field experiments with research radar, precipitation-sampling equipment, as well as other sensors, we develop models of key processes, and we often use large scale model products including those from convection permitting climate models.

Courses: Typically I teach or co-teach the following courses:

GEOG 2300 (Atmospheric Thermodynamics, Clouds and Precipitation)
GEOG 2540 (Weather and Climate)
GEOG 4390  /  GEOG 7010  (Global Climate Change)
GEOG 4780 / GEOG 7780 (Storms - Mesoscale Meteorology)
Published or Accepted Articles (2012-present)

Bonsal, B., Z. Liu, E. Wheaton and R.E. Stewart, 2020: Historical and projected changes to the stages and other characteristics of severe Canadian Prairie droughts. Water, 12, https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/12/12/3370/htm.

Mekis, E., R.E. Stewart, J.M. Theriault, B. Kochtubajda, B.R. Bonsal and Z. Liu, 2020: Near 0°C surface temperature and precipitation type patterns across Canada. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 1741–1761, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-1741-2020.

Almonte, J. and R.E. Stewart, 2019: Precipitation transition regions over the southern Canadian Cordillera during January–April 2010 and under a pseudo-global warming assumption. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 3665–3682, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-3665-2019.

Stewart, R.E., K.K. Szeto, B.R. Bonsal, J.M. Hanesiak, B. Kochtubajda, Y. Li, J.M. Theriault, C.M. DeBeer, B.Y. Tam, Z. Li, Z. Liu, J.A. Bruneau, P. Duplessis, S. Marinier and D. Matte, 2019: Summary and synthesis of Changing Cold Regions Network (CCRN) research in the interior of western Canada: Part I – Projected climate and meteorology. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 3437–3455, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-3437-2019.

Kochtubajda, B., R.E. Stewart, M. Flannigan, B. Bonsal, C. Cuell and C. Mooney, 2019:  An assessment of surface and atmospheric conditions associated with the extreme 2014 wildfire season in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Atmos.-Ocean, 57, 73-90, doi: 10.1080/07055900.2019.1576023.

Thériault, J., I. Hung, P. Vaquer, R.E. Stewart and J. Pomeroy, 2018: Precipitation characteristics and associated weather conditions on the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies during March-April 2015. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 4491-4512.

Berg, H.W.S., R.E. Stewart and P. Joe, 2017: The characteristics of precipitation observed over Cypress Mountain during the SNOW-V10 campaign. Atmos. Res., 197, 356-369.

Kochtubajda, B., C. Mooney and R.E. Stewart, 2017: Characteristics, atmospheric drivers and occurrence patterns of freezing precipitation and ice pellets over the Prairie Provinces and Arctic Territories of Canada: 1964 – 2005. Atmos. Res., 191, 115–127.

Stewart, R.E., D. Betancourt, J.B. Davies, D. Harford, E. Joakim, Y. Klein, R. Lannigan, L. Mortsch, K. Tang and P.H. Whitfield, 2017: A multi-perspective examination of heat waves affecting Metro Vancouver: Now into the future. Natural Hazards. 87, 791-815.

Li, Y., K. Szeto, R.E. Stewart, J. Thériault L. Chen, B. Kochtubajda, A. Liu, S. Boodoo, R. Goodson and C. Mooney, 2016: A numerical study of the June 2013 flood-producing extreme rainstorm over southern Alberta. J. Hydrometeor. doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-15-0176.1

Liu, A., C. Mooney, K. Szeto, J.M. Thériault, B. Kochtubajda, R.E. Stewart, S. Boodoo, R. Goodson, Y. Li and J. Pomeroy, 2016. The June 2013 Alberta catastrophic flooding event: Part 1 – Climatological aspects and hydrometeorological features. Hydrological Processes. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10906.

Kochtubajda, B., R.E. Stewart, S. Boodoo, J. Thériault, Y. Li, A. Liu, C. Mooney, R. Goodson and K. Szeto, 2016: The June 2013 Alberta catastrophic flooding event – Part 2:  Fine-scale precipitation and associated features. Hydrological Processes. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10855.

Schubert, S., R. Stewart, H. Wang, M. Barlow, H. Berbery, W. Cai, M. Hoerling, K. Kanikicharla, R. Koster, B. Lyon, A. Mariotti, C. R. Mechoso, O. Müller, B. Rodriguez-Fonseca, R. Seager, S.I. Seneviratne, L. Zhang, T. Zhou, 2016: Global drought: A synthesis of current understanding with a focus on precipitation. J. Climate, 29, 3989-4019.

Szeto, K., J. Brimelow, P. Gysbers and R.E. Stewart, 2015: The 2014 extreme flood in the southeastern Canadian Prairies. [in “Explaining Extremes of 2014 from a Climate Perspective”]. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 96, S20-S24.

Pomeroy, J., R.E. Stewart and P.H. Whitfield, 2015:  The 2013 flood event in the Bow and Oldman River basins: causes, assessment, and damages. Can. Water Res. J. http://dx.doi/org/10.1080/07011784.2015.1089190.

Yusa, A., P. Berry, J. Cheng, N. Ogden, B. Bonsal, R. Stewart and R. Waldick, 2015: Climate change, drought and human health in Canada. Intl. J. Environmental Research and Public Health, 12, 8359-8412.

Skofronick-Jackson, G., D. Hudak, W. Petersen, S.W. Nesbitt, V. Bringi, V. Chandrasekar, K.J. Gleicher, G.-J. Huang, P. Joe, P. Kollias, K.A. Reed, M.R. Schwaller, R.E. Stewart, S. Tanelli, J.R Wang and M. Wolde, 2015: Global Precipitation Measurement Cold Season Precipitation Experiment (GCPEx): For measurement sake let it snow. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 96, 1719-1741.

Brimelow, J., K. Szeto, B. Bonsal, B. Kochtubajda, J. Hanesiak, F. Evans and R. Stewart, 2015: Hydrometeorological aspects of the 2011 Assiniboine River Basin flood. J. Hydrometeor. 16, 1250-1272.

Stewart, R.E., J. Theriault and W. Henson, 2015: On the characteristics of and processes producing winter precipitation types near 0°C. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 96, 623-639.

DeBeer, C.M., H.S. Wheater, W.L. Quinton. S.K. Carey, R.E. Stewart, M.D. MacKay and P. Marsh, 2015: The changing cold regions network: Observation, diagnosis and prediction of environmental change in the Saskatchewan and Mackenzie River Basins, Canada. Science China, 57, 1-16.

Brimelow, J., R.E. Stewart, J. Hanesiak, B. Kochtubajda and B. Bonsal, 2014: Characterization and assessment of the devastating natural hazards across the Canadian Prairie provinces between 2009 and 2011. Nat. Hazards, 73, 761-785.

Fargey, S., J. Hanesiak, R.E. Stewart and M. Wolde, 2014: Aircraft observations of orographic cloud and precipitation features over southern Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. Atmos.-Ocean, 52, 54-76.

Theriault, J.M., K.L. Rasmussen, T. Fisico, R.E. Stewart, P. Joe and G. Isaac, 2014: Weather observations along Whistler Mountain during SNOW-V10. Pure Applied Geoph. 171, 129-155.

Joe, P., B. Scott, C. Doyle, G. Isaac, I. Gultepe, D. Forsyth, S. Cober, E. Campos, I. Heckman, N. Donaldson, D. Hudak, R. Rasmussen, R.E. Stewart, J.M. Thériault, H. Carmichael, M. Bailey and F. Boudala, 2014: The monitoring network of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Pure Applied Geoph., 171, 25-58.

Isaac, G.A., P. Joe, J. Mailhot, M. Bailey, S. Bélair, F. Boudala, M. Brugman, E. Campos, R. Carpenter, S. Cober, B. Denis, C. Doyle, H. Reaves, I. Gultepe, T. Haiden, I. Heckman, L. Huang, J. Milbrandt, R. Mo, R. Rasmussen, T. Smith, R. Stewart, D. Wang and L.J. Wilson, 2014: Science of Nowcasting Olympic Weather for Vancouver 2010 (SNOW-V10):  A World Weather Research Programme project. Pure Applied Geoph., 171, 1-24.

Theriault, J.M., R.E. Stewart and W. Henson, 2012: The impacts of terminal velocity on the trajectory of winter precipitation types. Atmos. Res., 116, 116-129.

Stewart, R.E., B. Bonsal, P. Harder, W. Henson and B. Kochtubajda, 2012: Cold and hot periods associated with dry conditions over the Canadian Prairies. Atmos.-Ocean, 50, 364-372.

Laplante, A., R.E. Stewart and W. Henson, 2012: Characterization of cloud and precipitation features over southern Baffin Island and adjacent areas during STAR. Atmos.-Ocean, 50, 54-69.

Books or book chapters (2012-present)

Wheater. H. et al. including R.E. Stewart, 2013: Water and Agriculture in Canada: Towards Sustainable Management of Water Resources. Council of Canadian Academies. 259 pages.

Stoelinga, M., R.E. Stewart, G. Thompson and J. Theriault, 2012: Microphysical processes within winter orographic cloud and precipitation systems. In ‘Chow, F.K., De Wekker, S.F.J., and B.J. Snyder (eds.): Mountain Weather Research and Forecasting: Recent Progress and Current Challenges’.  Springer, Berlin, 345-408.