Yvette Richardson


Professor of Meteorology


  • Earth Science

Focus Areas:


  • Richardson was a principal investigator in the International H20 Project (IHOP) in spring 2002 with a focus on convection initiation and boundary layer processes using mobile radar data combined with other remote and in-situ measurements
  • Richardson served as a steering committee member and a principal investigator for the second phase of the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX2) in 2009 and 2010

Yvette Richardson is a professor of meteorology and the associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Her research focuses on understanding the formation and evolution of severe storms through both numerical modeling and observations. In particular, her numerical modeling studies investigate the influence of temporal and spatial variations in environmental shear and/or convective available potential energy on storm strength, rotational properties, and longevity.

Her observational work has focused on understanding storm rotation, in particular tornado genesis and maintenance, using mobile radars to collect fine-scale observations of thunderstorms and tornadoes.

In The Media

"'We’re not launching balloons into tornadoes themselves,' said Richardson. 'We’re sampling regions that the inflow air will pass through en route to the tornado.'"

"Although most climate models do predict that there will be more days per year when the atmosphere will have sufficient instability and wind shear to support tornadoes, that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be more tornadoes, they wrote. There are other factors that affect whether a tornado forms, and climate models don’t capture tornadoes."

"Penn State meteorology professors Paul Markowski and Yvette Richardson explain why tornadoes form, how to stay safe if you're near one and whether climate change is affecting tornado patterns."

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