Faculty & Staff


Robert E. Davis

Professor · Ph.D. University of Delaware, 1988.

Contact Information

The climate at any one location is determined by the temporal progression of synoptic-scale weather events. My research focuses on the temporal and spatial variability of these synoptic-scale systems and their impact upon various environmental parameters, such as air-quality and human health. Current research involves examining how weather and climate influence severe cases of respiratory distress, which can be related to both pollutants and aeroallergens as well as short-term changes in weather conditions. I also investigate the linkages between synoptic-scale and smaller spatial scale phenomena. This research has resulted in climatologies of deep-water waves, stability and long-range transport of pollutants, and severe weather. Finally, I am actively involved in the examination of climate change and variability in the context of synoptic-scale circulation.

Recent Publications

Hondula, D.M., Davis, R.E., Rocklöv, J.R. and M.V. Saha (2012).  A Time Series Approach for Evaluating Intra-city Heat-related MortalityJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health, doi: 10.1136/jech-2012-202157.

Davis, R.E., C. Rossier, and K. Enfield (2012).  The Impact of Weather on Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality in New York City, 1975–2002:  A  Retrospective Study. PLoS ONE 7(3):e34091. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0034091.

Hondula, D.M., R.E. Davis, M.J. Leisten, M.V. Saha, L.M. Veazey, and C.R. Wegner (2012).  Fine-scale Spatial Variability of Heat-related Mortality in Philadelphia County, USA, from 1983–2008:  A Case Series Analysis. Environmental Health 11:16. DOI:10.1186/1476-069X-11-16.

Hondula, D.M., R.E. Davis, D.B. Knight, L.J. Sitka, K. Enfield, S.B. Gawtry, P.J. Stenger, M.E. Deaton, C.P. Normile, and T.R. Lee (2012).  A Respiratory Alert Model for the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, USA.  International Journal of Biometeorology, DOI 10.1007/s00484-012- 0537-7.

Angelini, I.M., M. Garstang, R.E. Davis, B.P. Hayden, S. Macko, D. Fitzjarrald, D.R. Legates, S. Greco, and V. Connors (2011).  On the Coupling between Vegetation and the Atmosphere. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 105:243–261.  DOI 10.1007/s00704-010-0377-5.

Hondula, D. and R.E. Davis (2011).  Climatology of Winter Transition Days for the Contiguous United States. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 103:27–37.  DOI 10.1007/s00704-010-0278-7.

Hondula, D.M. and R.E. Davis (2011).  Decline in Wintertime Air Mass Transition Frequencies in the USA. Climate Research 46:121–136. doi: 10.3354/cr00971.

Davis, R.E., C.P. Normile, L. Sitka, D.M. Hondula, D.B. Knight, S.D. Gawtry, and P.J. Stenger (2010).  A Comparison of Trajectory and Air Mass Approaches to Examine Ozone Variability. Atmospheric Environment 44, 64–74, DOI:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.09.038.

Knight, D.B. and R.E. Davis (2009).  Contribution of Tropical Cyclones to Extreme Rainfall Events in the Southeastern United States. Journal of Geophysical Research—Atmospheres, 114, D23102, DOIi:10.1029/2009JD012511,

Hondula, D.M., L. Sitka, R.E. Davis, D.B. Knight, S.D. Gawtry, M.L. Deaton, T.R. Lee, C.P. Normile, and P.J. Stenger (2009).  A Back-Trajectory and Air Mass Climatology for the Northern Shenandoah Valley, USA. International Journal of Climatology, DOI: 10.1002/joc.1896.

Strong, C. and R.E. Davis (2008). Variability in the Position and Strength of Winter Jet Stream Cores Related to Northern Hemisphere Teleconnections. Journal of Climate, 21, 584-592

Strong, C. and R.E. Davis (2007). Winter Jet Stream Trends over the Northern Hemisphere.  Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 133: 2109–2115, DOI: 10.1002/qj.171.

Knight, D.B. and R.E. Davis (2007).  Climatology of Tropical Cyclone Rainfall in the Southeastern United States. Physical Geography, 28, 126-147.


Biometeorology and bioclimatology: specifically interactions between weather/climate and human health, with an emphasis on heat mortality, respiratory morbidity and mortality, and possible linkages between climate and influenza.  I also do some work on climate and viticulture (phenology and wine quality).

Synoptic climatology:  specifically the climatology of large-scale weather systems, their variability and change, particularly in the United States.

Air quality:  linkages between near-surface pollutants and synoptic-scale systems with an emphasis on impacts to human health.


EVSC 1300—Earth's Weather and Climate (each spring semester)

EVSC 3300—Atmosphere and Weather (even-numbered fall semesters)

EVSC 4470—Introduction to Climatological Analysis (irregular)

EVSC 4350—Synoptic Climatology (irregular)

EVSC 4440—Climate Change (even-numbered fall semesters)

EVAT 5410—Atmospheric Dynamics (odd-numbered fall semesters)

EVAT 5300—Environmental Climatology (irregular)

EVCS 7400—Multivariate Statistical Analysis in the Atmospheric Sciences (irregular)

Graduate Students

David Hondula, Ph.D. candidate

Luke Sitka, "Climatology of Springtime Surface Ozone Depletion Events at Alert, Nunavut, Canada from 1992–2007," 2010, Master of Science

David Hondula, "Decadal-Scale Trends in Transition Weather Types and Atmospheric Circulation," 2009, Master of Science

David B. Knight, “The Contribution of Tropical Cyclones to Extreme Rainfall Events in the Southeastern United States," 2009, Master of Science

Courtenay Strong, “Climatology of Northern Hemisphere Jet Streams: 1958–2004,” 2005, Doctor of Philosophy

Nicole Kordziel, “Climatological Comparison of High Ozone Days in Two Eastern North American Urban Corridors, 1980–2000,” 2005, Master of Science (co-adviser with Jose Fuentes)

Oliver Frauenfeld, “Northern Hemisphere Circulation Variability and the Pacific Ocean,” 2003, Doctor of Philosophy