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Jana Houser

Jana Houser

Jana Houser

Associate Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies


1124 Derby Hall
154 North Oval Mall
Columbus OH 43210

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Areas of Expertise

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


  • 2013 Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Oklahoma
  • 2008 M.S. Meteorology, University of Oklahoma
  • 2004 B.S. Meteorology, Pensylvania State University

Dr. Houser specializes in radar analysis of tornadoes and the supercell thunderstorms that commonly produce them by using state of the art mobile radar observations.  She is currently funded by the National Science Foundation to study the interaction of tornadoes with the ground beneath, addressing the problem of how topography and land cover impact tornado intensity and path.  She has authored or co-authored 19 peer reviewed journal articles related to tornadoes and supercells, most of which have been published by the American Meteorological Society.  Dr Houser is the recipient of the Ohio University Jeanette Graselli Brown Faculty Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Sciences, the University Professor award, the College of Arts and Sciences Award for Outstanding Research in the Physical Sciences, and the Ohio University Honor’s Tutorial College Outstanding Mentor of the Year award.

Current CV:


Interests: I am interested in studying the evolution of rotation in thunderstorms just prior to and during the process of forming a tornado. I also am interested in the storm-scale processes that influence tornado production and behavior. Furthermore, I investigate the role that variations in terrain and land cover, which is a proxy for friction, play in tornado evolution, path, and intensity.  Fundamental questions I seek to answer include: Does the rotation that becomes a tornado begin close to the ground or higher in the storm? What differentiates storms that produce tornadoes from those that do not? Do tornadoes intensity or weaken when they encounter changes in elevation or land cover? Are there localized areas where terrain may impact the likelihood of tornado formation?

Courses Taught:

Geog 5940 – Synoptic Forecasting Lab

Geog 5941 – Synoptic Meteorology

Geog 5942 – Severe Weather Forecasting


Recent Publications:

Houser, J. B., H. B. Bluestein, K. Thiem*, J. Snyder, Z. Wienhoff*, and D. Reif*, 2021: Additional evidence of nondescending tornadogenesis using rapid-scan mobile radar observations. Mon. Wea. Rev., Under review (accepted pending revisions).

Houser, J. B., N. McGinnis*, K. Butler*, H. Bluestein, J. Snyder and M. French, 2020: Statistical and empirical relationships between tornado intensity and both topography and land cover using rapid-scan radar observations and a GIS. Mon. Wea. Rev., 148, 4313-4338.

Bluestein, H. B., K. J. Thiem*, J. C. Snyder, and J. B. Houser, 2019: Tornadogenesis and early tornado evolution in the El Reno, Oklahoma, supercell on 31 May 2013. Mon. Wea. Rev., 147, 2045-2066.

Beveridge, S*., J. B. Houser, and S. Marzola*, 2019: A Statistical Evaluation of Tornado-Production Tendencies of Southernmost Supercells Compared to Adjacent Supercells in a North-South Oriented Line. Electronic J. Severe Storm Meteor., 14, http://www.ejssm.org/ojs/index.php/ejssm/article/view/167.

Bluestein, H. B., Thiem, K*. J., J. C. Snyder, and J. B. Houser, 2018: The multiple-vortex structure of the El Reno, Oklahoma tornado on 31 May 2013. Mon. Wea. Rev., 146, 2483-2502.

Wienhoff, Z. B*., H. B. Bluestein, L. J. Wicker, J. C. Snyder, A. Shapiro, C. L. Potvin, J. B. Houser, and D. W. Reif*, 2018: Applications of a spatially variable advection correction technique for temporal correction of dual-Doppler analyses of tornadic supercells. Mon. Wea. Rev., 146, 2949-2971.

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 astrong cold front in the Southern Plains of the U. S. Mon. Wea. Rev., 145, 3307-3330.