Summary of Tornadoes
Data from NOAA’s November 1992 Storm Data product, Volume 34, Number 11
Wharton County (1-3)
3 tornadoes. All recorded as F-1 intensity between 1:30 PM and 2:15 PM. 0 injuries. Several barns destroyed by the first two twisters, and a vacant house destroyed by the third.
Kelliwood/West Houston Tornado (4)
F-2 tornado at 2:20 PM. Traveled from the western edge of Westheimer Road near Katy/Fulshear and moved NNE into Kelliwood. Over 100 homes damaged or destroyed and around 11 people were injured. Around a dozen aircraft and hangar destroyed at West Houston Airport as the tornado continued across northwest Harris County. Total path length was around 25 miles.
Pecan Grove Tornado (5)
An F-1 tornado that touched down around 2:40 PM caused roof damage to nearly 80 homes in Pecan Grove near Richmond in Fort Bend County.
Thompsons, Fort Bend County (6)
A barn, outbuildings, and numerous large trees were damaged or destroyed as an F-1 tornado touched down in Thompsons (south of Sugar Land) at 2:45 PM.
Hobby Airport Tornado (7)
This tornado touched down around 3:10 PM, damaging about 6 homes in the northern section of Pearland. It lifted as an F-1 tornado into Harris County damaging numerous roofs of commercial and apartment buildings. It dissipated before making it to Hobby Airport, but was noted by the weather observer there.
Lake Houston Tornado (8)
Around 3:20 PM, another tornado touched down at the northeast tip of Lake Houston and moved northeast into Liberty County. Damage to trees allowed it to be classified as an F-3 tornado. The storm did damage to houses in Tarkington before it ended near Romayor, TX. The tornado traveled 32 miles and injured one person.
East Side/Denver Harbor Tornado (9)
Also at 3:20 PM, an F-2 tornado moved from near Hermann Park across Houston’s near-east side into Denver Harbor. It damaged over 600 buildings and injured 6 people.
Channelview Tornado (10)
The strongest of the tornadoes on November 21 touched down around 3:27 PM near I-10 and Beltway 8, grew to be a mile wide, and caused F-4 damage in Channelview. Around 1,000 homes were damaged or destroyed and 15 people were injured. Several farms and mobile homes were damaged as the tornado lifted into Liberty County, injuring one more person. The tornado finally dissipated after romping for 30 miles.
Polk County Tornado (11)
An F-2 tornado moved through Segno in Polk County around 4:12 PM, damaging barns and trees.
East Harris County Tornado (12)
The same storm that produced the East Side tornado produced another one in far eastern Harris County between I-10 and US-90 at 4:15 PM. The storm continued into Liberty County, where there was minor damage. The tornado was rated an F-1, and it dissipated after about 4 miles.
Texas City Tornado (13)
A brief F-0 tornado occurred in Texas City as the squall line shifted east. Some trees were down and some windows were blown out.
Jasper County Tornado (14)
Around 6 PM, an F-1 tornado occurred near Buna in Jasper County, ripping off some roofs and blowing out some windows.
Sources & Acknowledgments
Special thanks to Lance Wood, the Science and Operations Officer at NWS Houston for taking the time to answer my questions and to provide numerous images that have been shared throughout the story. He was able to dig up some really neat imagery from that event which would have been challenging to find otherwise.
Also a thank you to the staff at the Fondren Library at Rice University for helping me source the Houston Chronicle and Houston Post on microfilm. That resource will be a great help for future Space City Rewind topics.
Key sources used throughout:
Houston Chronicle editions November 21-November 26, 1992, Microfilm Collection, Fondren Library at Rice University
Houston Post editions November 22-November 26, 1992, Microfilm Collection, Fondren Library at Rice University
U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Natural Disaster Survey Report: “The Widespread November 21-23, 1992 Tornado Outbreak: Houston to Raleigh and Gulf Coast to Ohio Valley.” November 1993. Retrieved: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015032484829;view=1up;seq=1
Tim Marshall. Cluster Tornado Outbreak in Houston, Texas. Storm Track, January/February 1993. Retrieved from: http://stormtrack.org/community/threads/1992-11-21-southeast-texas.19612/
Guerrero, Hector and William Read. “Operational use of the WSR-88D during the November 21, 1992 Southeast Texas Tornado Outbreak.” Preprints, 17th Conference on Severe Local Storms 4-8 October 1993, St. Louis, MO
Posted by Matt at 9:30am CT on Monday