Jessi Asberry battles wind, rain, calculus and physics in the name of meteorology

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Name: Jessi Asberry Major: Meteorology Year: Junior, transferring from DMACC.

Nicknamed "Weathergirl," Jessi Asberry discovered her passion for meteorology as a young girl. While most kids were watching cartoons, Asberry was absorbed in The Weather Channel. Her love for the atmosphere never faltered, and today she’s a trained Skywarned Storm Spotter for the National Weather Service, and working towards her dream of becoming a meteorologist.

What led to your decision to choose ISU? After doing research, I found out that Iowa State has an outstanding meteorology program. There is a lot of involvement with clubs and learning communities along with strong encouragement from the instructors and peer mentors. They set you up for success and support you every step of the way. After meeting with my adviser, Dave Flory, for the first time, I knew I made the right choice. Iowa State is also close to my hometown of Grinnell. The beautiful campus is just a plus.


Why did you choose to major in meteorology? I chose to major in meteorology for the same reason I have the nickname “Weathergirl:” I love weather. Everything about the atmosphere, especially severe weather, fascinates me. Most people watched cartoons when they were younger, but I watched the Weather Channel. I also love to go storm chasing on my own in the spring and summer, driving through hail, wind, and blinding rain in hopes of seeing a tornado. I’m a trained Skywarn Storm Spotter for the National Weather Service. I’m willing to fight through the difficult calculus and physics to reach my dream and I’m not stopping until I get there.

How does what you’re studying fit into long term career goals? My ultimate career goal is to be a broadcast meteorologist on TV. I don’t just want to report the weather, I want to have a clear understanding of what is happening so I can create a forecast to deliver to the public. I’m a big promoter of relaying severe weather information as quick as possible to help prevent injury and save lives.

What is a weather-related fact that people often get wrong? Lightning actually can strike the same place twice. Taller buildings are more prone to being struck. The Empire State Building is struck at least 25 times a year.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in? I’m involved in Phi Theta Kappa honors society; the Earth, Wind and Fire Learning Community; Women in Science and Engineering transfer learning community; and the Iowa State University chapter of the American Meteorological Society.

What is one course that’s impacted your experience in LAS? I’m in the Earth, Wind, and Fire Learning Community course (MTEOR 112) right now, and I think it is essential to any first-year or transfer student majoring in meteorology or geology. You get the chance to make connections to the faculty and other students. You are also assigned a peer mentor that understands the difficulty of a calculus- and physics-heavy major. Not only is it fun, but first semester students learn more about their future at Iowa State and in the meteorology program. I would highly recommend it to new meteorology or geology majors.

What’s your favorite spot on campus? So far, Jack Trice Stadium. I absolutely love football!

What’s your favorite app? I really like RadarScope. I use it when I’m storm chasing.

What would make the world a better place? When I was a senior in high school, I did a speech about “paying it forward.” I enjoy doing random acts of kindness to spread happiness and positivity to others. If everyone did something kind for another person everyday, no matter how big or small, I believe the world could be a better place.

Are you a student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who would like to be featured here? Email Jess Guess,, and we’ll get started!