Matthew Barlow is a Professor in the Environmental, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department at UMass Lowell.

Mathew Barlow

Professor, Graduate Coordinator

College of Sciences
Environmental Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Climate Change Initiative
Olney 301A


Climate Variability and Climate Change

Research Interests

My research interests center around understanding how climate and weather vary, especially in terms of events with high societal impacts like droughts, floods, heatwaves, and severe winter weather, and how they may change in a warming world. I am interested in both global and local impacts, including in the Northeast US, Southwest Asia, and the Middle East.


  • Ph.D.: Metereology, (1999), University of Maryland - Maryland
  • BA: Physics, (1991), Swarthmore College


Mathew Barlow, Ph.D., is a Professor of Climate Science in the Department of Environmental, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His research interests focus on the influence of large-scale climate variability and change on local conditions of importance to society, with an emphasis on drought and precipitation extremes in locations ranging from the Northeast US to the Middle East. His research has been supported by NSF, NOAA, and NASA, and has contributed to more than 60 papers, including in Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He has served as an editor for the Journal of Climate, a US CLIVAR Extremes Working Group co-chair, on the AMS Applied Climatology Committee, and on the AMS Board of Higher Education. He is a Lead Author in Working Group I for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, the extreme precipitation team leader for the 2022 greater Boston climate assessment, and a member of NOAA’s Fourth Drought Task Force (DTF4).

Selected Publications

  • Wright, C.J., Hindley, N.P., Alexander, M.J., Barlow, M., Hoffmann, L., Mitchell, C., Prata, F., Bouillon, M., Carstens, J., Clerbaux, C., Osprey, S.M., Powell, N., Randall, C.E., & J. Yue. (2022). Surface-to-space atmospheric waves from Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption. Nature, in press.
  • Cohen, J., Agel, L., Barlow, M., Garfinkel, C.I. and White, I. (2021). Linking Arctic variability and change with extreme winter weather in the United States. Science, 373, 1116-1121.
  • Douville, H., K. Raghavan, J. Renwick, R. P. Allan, P. A. Arias, M. Barlow, R. Cerezo-Mota, A. Cherchi, T. Y. Gan, J. Gergis, D. Jiang, A. Khan, W. Pokam Mba, D. Rosenfeld, J. Tierney, O. Zolina. (2021). Water Cycle Changes. In: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, et al. (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press.
  • Agel, L., M. Barlow, C. Skinner, F. Colby, and J. Cohen. (2021). Four Distinct Northeast US Heat Wave Circulation Patterns and Associated Mechanisms, Trends, and Electric Usage. npj Clim Atmos Sci, 4, 31.
  • Barlow, M., W.J. Gutowski, J.R. Gyakum, R.W. Katz, Y.K. Lim, R.S. Schumacher, M.F. Wehner, L. Agel, M. Bosilovich, A. Collow, and A. Gershunov. (2019). North American extreme precipitation events and related large-scale meteorological patterns: a review of statistical methods, dynamics, modeling, and trends. Clim. Dyn., 53, 6835-6875.
  • Agel, L., Barlow, M., Feldstein, S. B., & Gutowski, W. J. (2018). Identification of large-scale meteorological patterns associated with extreme precipitation in the US Northeast. Clim. Dyn. 50(5-6), 1819-1839.
  • Barlow, M., B. Zaitchik, S. Paz, E. Black, J. Evans, and A. Hoell. (2016). A Review of Drought in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. J. Climate, 29, 8547–8574.
  • Cohen, J., J.A. Screen, J.C. Furtado, M. Barlow, D. Whittleston, D. Coumou, J. Francis, K. Dethloff, D. Entekhabi, J. Overland & J. Jones. (2014). Recent Arctic amplification and extreme mid-latitude weather. Nature Geosci., 7, 627-637.
  • Funk, C., M. Dettinger, J. Michaelsen, J. Verdin, M. Brown, M. Barlow, and A. Hoell. (2008). Warming of the Indian Ocean threatens eastern and southern African food security but could be mitigated by agricultural developmentProc. Nat. Acad. Sci.
  • Barlow, M., H. Cullen, and B. Lyon. (2002). Drought in Central and Southwest Asia:  La Nina, the warm pool, and Indian Ocean precipitation. J. Climate, 15, 697-700.
  • Barlow, M., S. Nigam, and E. H. Berbery. (2001). ENSO, Pacific decadal variability, and U.S. summertime precipitation, drought, and streamflow. J. Climate, 14, 2105-2128.