Spring just ended with a bang in Houston

In brief: A line of severe storms moved through Houston on Thursday evening bringing heavy rainfall, and instances of damaging winds and tornadoes. We’ll have a full rundown tomorrow, but it has been a wild few hours. The point of this post is to let you know that that’s it for the night. And after some residual showers tomorrow, that’s it for spring storm season in Houston.

Wow, that was strong

Yes it was. We expected some severe weather this afternoon and evening, and forecasted as much this morning. But it’s fair to see we did not quite anticipate the severity of what developed. There are widespread reports of trees downed, damaged fences, and other significant problems associated with straight-line winds and a couple of tornadoes that developed this evening. On the excitable dogs scale from 1 to 10, this was an 11.5.

Damage near Cypress this evening. (Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office)

Electricity remains a significant casualty. In Harris County, as of 7:30 pm CT, 40 percent of customers are without power. These storms actually weakened as they tracked across the region, so the outages are even worse just to the west of Houston, where power is out to 75 percent of customers in Waller County. It is beyond the scope of what we can forecast to predict when the power will come back on, but the storms are clearing the area relatively quickly. Crews should be able to respond to outages beginning this evening, and work overnight.

So what happened? Some of the parameters we look at to gauge severe weather, including instability, convective available potential energy, shear, and helicity all came in at or above expected levels as the storms approached the Houston metro area late this afternoon. This allowed them to bloom and produce destructive storms.

What comes next

The major line of storms has already moved through central Houston, and it is steadily weakening as it as moves toward the coast. If it has stopped raining at your location, that is basically it. We may see a few trailing showers in the next couple of hours, but nothing serious. Tonight looks quiet.

Tomorrow a final low pressure system will pass Houston, and may bring some additional showers to locations along and south of Interstate 10. I don’t expect these to be particularly severe, and they should develop mostly south of where the strong storms were today.

And then? That’s it. Spring is over. High pressure begins building over the area this weekend and we’re unlikely to see significant rain for days, if not weeks. Spring storm season ended with a fiery finale today.

30 thoughts on “Spring just ended with a bang in Houston”

  1. Bless you for this update and reassuring news that the storm is over!

      • I grew up in Oklahoma and I take tornado warnings SERIOUSLY. I was in the downstairs powder room tonight!

          • I’m also from Oklahoma, I shared time hiding and front porch looking, as one does 😂

        • It did remind me of my childhood and early adulthood in Oklahoma. My sis and her family took a beating there a few weeks ago.

  2. I was saying earlier I hope this is not a repeat of the wild rainy day we had last June before the tap shut off for four months. Let’s hope the “few days, if not few weeks” is all it is.

    Was the severity undetected because of ye olden no weather balloon saga? Tell me again why we don’t have anyone among all the big money corporate players to invest in that/sponsor one when government funding won’t?

    Thank you for the update. Be safe, everyone.

  3. Wow. I’ve been through three hurricanes and I’ve never had to shelter in the bathroom before. Montrose definitely was wild tonight – power still out. And I just got my AC fixed. 🫠 the street has some significant damage but I am very lucky.

  4. Wow! It WAS loud – and lights blinked a few times. I’m sorry for all those without electricity,😫 but I hope we aren’t in for an extended hot, dry spell now.🥵

  5. I wonder how many of the dead trees from the recent drought dropped. For months when out with my wife I was pointing out all of the dead pines in Katy, just knowing they were going to fall on power lines, houses, and the like once we got a good storm.

    • I was speaking about this today. I had to drive near the Addicks Reservoir and Barker Cypress area around the time of the storm and I have never seen so much destruction in regards to trees before. Even with living through several hurricanes, every block there were several trees that were down or cracked in half.

      I recall reading an article sometime last year on the impact the drought we had this past summer has on trees. It made me make it a priority deep water my huge pecan tree throughout the summer.

  6. My daughter in law was giving birth to a baby girl when it rolled through.. I said should name her Stormy.

  7. Alexa alert to take cover was way more valuable than space city weather post action report/excuses.

    • Space City Weather doesn’t have the capability of sending out emergency alerts. Anyone living here should know to make sure they have a device capable of getting emergency weather alerts. Eric and Matt tell us what days severe weather is possible, but they are not responsible for alerting us when a severe storm is imminent in our specific areas.

  8. Here, here! I ws wtching Chnnel 2, wethermen, nd they had no iiede what was

  9. This was a serious storm. A giant tree fell on my house and we have a very large view of the sky from my bedroom. A huge limb came crashing through our roof into the middle of my bed. Thank God we were taking cover in the hallway. I had no idea this storm was predicted to be this strong.

    • It was close, but probably not quite one. Matt addressed this in the Friday morning post.

    • Yes, this was definitely a Derecho type event with winds over 120 mph. I have a screen recording of the velocities as it was entering Houston.

  10. Lol summer doesn’t start until June 20th. We are at the peak of storm season. And with the way models are looking, it looks to extend off into summer. -Certified Storm Spotter

  11. Quick question: If I have burglar bars in front of my sliding glass doors, then there’s no way that a tornado can throw something through them, right? I didn’t run to my bathroom yesterday because I felt safe in my living room.

    • If a tornado can throw houses, buildings and semi trucks around like safety pins I would be prepared just in case.

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