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Dr. Jana Houser, Assistant Professor
Clippinger 145

Office Hours: Tuesday 2:00-4:00, Friday 10:00-12:00 or by appointment

BS. Penn State University, 2005; MS., Ph.D., U. of Oklahoma, 2013

I am an atmospheric scientist specializing in the study of supercell thunderstorms and tornadoes, primarily through the use of mobile, dual-polarization Doppler radar observations. I am particularly interested in the rapid development and evolution of tornadoes and their nearby storm-scale features. My 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. Additionally, I have studied the physical structure and temporal evolution of polarimetric tornadic debris signatures in order to relate them with tornado processes.  Recently, I have been investigating the link between tornado intensity and the interaction with the surface below, including topography and land cover.  These studies utilize a combination of radar observations, digital elevation model data, and the national land cover dataset, brought together in a GIS framework. Additional research interests include supercell morphology, severe weather events and trends in the Ohio Valley region, the relationship between the rear flank downdraft and tornadogenesis, and the study of how mesoscale precipitation features and atmospheric instabilities are impacted by local effects in combination with large-scale weather systems.


I am also very passionate about teaching. I enjoy incorporating non-traditional methods of instruction and learning such as the flipped classroom and team-based learning into my classrooms. I like to use an applications-based approach so that students can immediately relate the theory they learn with real-world examples.


Courses Taught:
  • Geog 1100: Physical Geography
  • Geog 2970T: Honors Tutorial in Meteorology
  • Geog 3010: Meteorology
  • Geog 4035/5035: Radar Meteorology
  • Geog 4060/5060: Synoptic Meteorology
  • Geog 4070/5070: Mesoscale Meteorology
  • Geog 4930: Independent study: Storm Chasing Field Experience
  • Geog 6400: Graduate Seminar on Supercells and Tornadoes


Representative Publications:

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.  Mon. Wea. Rev., 144, 4104-4130.

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

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. Mon. Wea. Rev. 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. Wea. Forecasting, 30, 525-552.

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, A. L. J. B. Mead, H. B. Bluestein, J. C. Snyder, and J. B. Houser, 2013. A Mobile Rapid-Scanning X-band Polarimetric (RaXPol) Doppler Radar System J. Atmos. and Oceanic Technol. 30, 1398-1413.

Tanamachi, R. L., H. B. Bluestein, J. B. Houser, S. J. Frasier, K. M. Hardwick, 2012. Mobile, X-band, Polarimetric Doppler Radar Observations of the 4 May 2007 Greensburg, Kansas, Tornadic Supercell Mon. Wea. Rev. 140, 2103-2125.

Houser, J. L. and H. B. Bluestein, 2011. Polarimetric Doppler Radar Observations of Kelvin–Helmholtz Waves in a Winter Storm.  J. Atmos, Sci., Volume 68, Issue 8 (August 2011) pp. 1676-1700.


Link to complete CV.