College of Science

Benjamin Cash, PhD

Key Interests
Seasonal Prediction | Climate | Climate Models | Drought | Infectious Disease | Human Health
Phone: 703-993-5744 | Email:

Research Focus

My research focuses on understanding the causes and predictability of both floods and droughts. I analyze data from observations as well as from multiple climate models, which are complex numerical representations of the climate system. In addition to understanding droughts and floods themselves, I also research how they can act to drive outbreaks of infectious disease.

Current Projects

■ Understanding the origins and future likelihood of the Day Zero Cape Town drought and similar water risks facing major metropolitan regions

■ Understanding the role of El Niño and precipitation extremes in the western United States through the application and analysis of seasonal forecast models

■ Improving predictions of the climate system on timescales of days to weeks through collaboration with NOAA on the Unified Forecast System

■ Improving tools for analyzing Big Data in the Earth Sciences in collaboration with colleagues at CSISS

Select Publications

N. J. Burls et al., The Cape Town “Day Zero” drought and Hadley cell expansion. NPJ Climate and Atmospheric Science, 2, (27), (2019).

B. A. Cash et al., Predictable and unpredictable aspects of US west coast rainfall and El Niño: understanding the 2015/16 event. Journal of Climate, 32(10), 2843-2868 (2019).

B. A. Cash et al., Evaluation of NMME temperature and precipitation bias and forecast skill for South Asia. Climate Dynamics, 1-18 (2017).

P. P. Martinez et al., Cholera forecast for Dhaka, Bangladesh, with the 2015- 2016 El Niño: lessons learned. PloS One, 12(3), e0172355 (2017).


Research Hall | 10401 York River Road, Fairfax VA 22030