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College of Arts & Sciences

Jana Houser

Jana Houser

Assistant Professor

Clippinger 145

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Office Hours

Tuesday 2-4 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. - noon, or by appointment


Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, 2013


  • Observations of formation and evolution of tornadoes
  • Supercell thunderstorms
  • Radar studies
  • Severe weather climatology

I am an atmospheric scientist specializing in the study of supercells and tornadoes. My work is predominately observational, examining case studies of supercell thunderstorms and tornadoes using mobile and fixed location Doppler and polarimetric radar. I am particularly interested in the rapid development and evolution of tornadoes and their nearby storm-scale features, and how topography and friction affect tornadoes.

My past and some current research has focused on examining the evolution of rotation from which tornadoes develop, particularly trying to answer the question of whether tornadoes begin aloft or near the surface, and what the source of tornado-strength rotation is. 

I was recently awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to examine the effect that surface topography and surface land cover type have on tornado formation, intensity, and decay. I have worked for the past few years with several students on the preliminary studies that have provided the foundation for this grant, using mobile rapid-scan and fixed site radar data, coupled with GIS data.

I also am interested in the climatology of severe weather and storm-scale processes associated with tornadoes. Additional research interests include the study of how mesoscale precipitation features and atmospheric instabilities are impacted by local effects in combination with large-scale weather systems.

I am passionate about teaching. I enjoy incorporating non-traditional methods of instruction and learning in my classroom. I like to use an applications-based approach so that students can immediately relate the theory they learn with real-world examples. To my experience, this facilitates greater understanding and satisfies the students’ desire to know why they are learning specific concepts.

Courses Taught

  • GEOG 3010: Meteorology
  • GEOG 4035/5035: Radar Meteorology
  • GEOG 6010: Seminar in Severe Convective Storms
  • GEOG 4930: Field Studies of Convection

Representative Publications

Bluestein, H. B., Z. B. Wienhoff, D. D. Turner, D. W. Reif, J. C. Snyder, K. J. Thiem, and J. B. Houser 2017: A comparison of the fine-scale structures of a prefrontal wind-shift line and a strong cold front in the Southern Plains of the U.S. Monthly Weather Review, In Press.

Houser, J. B., H. B. Bluestein, and J. C. Snyder, 2016: A fine-scale radar examination of the tornadic debris signature and weak reflectivity band associated with a large, violent tornado. Monthly Weather Review 144, 4104-4130.

H. B. Bluestein, M. M. French, J. C. Snyder, and J. B. Houser, 2016: Doppler-radar observations of anticyclonic tornadoes in cyclonically rotating, right-moving supercells. Monthly Weather Review 144, 1591-1616.

R. M. Wakimoto, N. T. Atkins, K. M. Butler, H. B. Bluestein, K. Thiem, J. C. Snyder, J. Houser, K. Kosiba, and J. Wurman, 2016: Aerial Damage Survey of the 2013 El Reno Tornado Combined with Mobile Radar Data. Monthly Weather Review 144, 1749-1776.

Houser, J. B., H. B. Bluestein, and J. C. Snyder, 2015: Rapid-Scan, Polarimetric, Doppler Radar Observations of Tornadogenesis and Tornado Dissipation in a Tornadic Supercell: The “El Reno, Oklahoma” Storm of 24 May 2011. Monthly Weather Review 143, 2685–2710.

Bluestein, H. B., J. C. Snyder, and J. B. Houser, 2015: A multi-scale overview of the El Reno, Oklahoma, tornadic supercell of 31 May 2013. Weather Forecasting, 30, 525-552.

Wakimoto, R., N. T. Atkins, K. M. Butler, H. B. Bluestein, K. Thiem, J. Snyder, and J. Houser, 2015: Photogrammetric Analysis of the 2013 El Reno Tornado Combined with Mobile X-Band Polarimetric Radar Data. Monthly Weather Review 143, 2657-2683.

Bluestein, H. B. J. B. Houser, M. M. French, J. C. Snyder, G. D. Emmitt, I. PopStefanija, C. Baldi, R. T. Bluth, 2014: Observations of the Boundary Layer near Tornadoes and in Supercells Using a Mobile, Collocated, Pulsed Doppler Lidar and Radar. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol. 31, 302-325.

Pazmany, Andrew L. James B. Mead, Howard B. Bluestein, Jeffrey C. Snyder, Jana B. Houser. A. Mobile Rapid-Scanning X-band Polarimetric (RaXPol) Doppler Radar System. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. Volume 30, Issue 7 (July 2013) pp. 1398-1413

Tanamachi, Robin L., Howard B. Bluestein, Jana B. Houser, Stephen J. Frasier, Kery M. Hardwick. Mobile, X-band, Polarimetric Doppler Radar Observations of the 4 May 2007 Greensburg, Kansas, Tornadic Supercell. Monthly Weather Review. Volume 140, Issue 7 (July 2012) pp. 2103-2125

Houser, Jana L. and Howard B. Bluestein. Polarimetric Doppler Radar Observations of Kelvin–Helmholtz Waves in a Winter Storm. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. Volume 68, Issue 8 (August 2011) pp. 1676-1700

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