Professor of Meteorology, Pennsylvania State University

Jenni L. Evans is a Professor of Meteorology at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Evans’ research encompasses tropical cyclones from genesis to decay, extratropical transition [ET], or landfall. The impacts of climate change on tropical cyclones [TCs] and other organized tropical convective systems are also key components of her research.

Jenni Evans was one of a small group of scientists who developed a new understanding of extratropically transitioning tropical cyclones, systems such as Hurricane Sandy of 2012. These systems can have potentially devastating societal impacts far from their tropical genesis – even in Scandinavia and Japan. Inspired by the need to characterize the structural evolution of ET events, she collaborated on developing a framework for mapping the structural evolution of cyclonic storms, the Cyclone Phase Space (CPS). The CPS is used in operations, including at the US National Hurricane Center.

In her recent research, Dr. Evans has employed a variety of novel statistical methodologies for (1) physically-based partitioning of ensemble forecasts of tropical cyclones; and (2) developing a metric for tropical cyclogenesis activity in climate change simulations. She has explored the relationships between organized convection and TC intensity with sea surface temperature [SST] and the implications of these relationships in a warming climate. The impact of realistic TC boundary layer structures and treatment of sea spray on TC potential intensity and the impacts of convection and topography on development of African Easterly Waves [AEWs] are also current areas of investigation. The tools of her research include observational diagnostics; statistical analyses and modeling of observations, simulations and reanalyses; and dynamical modeling. Her research is richer in many ways because of her students and key colleagues.

Jenni Evans has a strong commitment to science communications. Over the last few years, she has contributed to the development of a growing science communications program across Penn State (such as SciComm month). This has led her into many new experiences, including the NSF-funded NBC Learn series on Natural Hazards.

Dr. Evans is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and served on its Council from 2005 to 2008. She co-chaired the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) 8th Intergovernmental Workshop on Tropical Cyclones (Seoul, Republic of Korea; December 2014) and has served for over a decade as the Lead Meteorologist for the Professional Team assisting the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology. Other current and former professional service include the US Weather Research Program Science Steering Committee, Science Steering Committee for the US THORPEX Pacific Asian Regional Campaign, Advisory Board for the NOAA/NSF Developmental Testbed Center, Editor of Monthly Weather Review and Associate Editor of Weather and Forecasting.


  • –present
    Professor of Meteorology, Pennsylvania State University