Tag: severe weather

Tornado Watch for Houston through 9 PM Wednesday

Posted by Matt Lanza at 12:24 PM

Just want to give everyone a quick update this early afternoon.

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for most of the region through 9 PM tonight. This means that the environment over Houston is favorable for severe thunderstorms and possibly tornadoes.

Showers and thunderstorms are focused mostly north and west of Houston this afternoon. With some breaks in the clouds south and east of Houston, the atmosphere is becoming a bit more unstable. For that reason we expect a few more showers and thunderstorms to develop across the region. The environment over Houston is favorable for storms today to become strong or severe if they can get going.

A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for the development of severe storms and possible tornadoes. (NWS)

The main threats are isolated hail and damaging winds (we’ve already had some wind damage reported from a storm up near Lake Livingston earlier). Isolated tornadoes are possible, though we don’t expect things to get too out of control here today.

The rest of the forecast as described by Eric earlier is mostly on track. We’re still toying around with specifics on timing of the heavier rains (which should be tonight). Some of you may not see much rain at all during the day today. But others will see heavy rains at times. We don’t see any reason to change our thinking on flooding concerns: 1-3 inches of rain widespread, with pockets of 3-5″+ and street flooding in spots. Bayous and creeks still look to be able to handle this event fairly well, and we are not too concerned about issues with any of them right now.

Eric will have another update for you later this afternoon.

After our wild Wednesday, we were treated to absolutely gorgeous weather yesterday in Southeast Texas. That will lead to another winner of a day today, albeit warmer. We continue to watch the weekend however, and the chance for both severe weather and heavy rainfall. Here’s the stormy breakdown.

Today

No weather trouble at all today. Expect ample sunshine, warm temperatures, and a breeze. We should make it into at least the middle 80s for high temperatures after a pleasant start this morning. Humidity will gradually work its way back ashore later today and tonight, but the majority of the day should feel pretty comfortable. That said, tree pollen (oak and cedar) remains high despite recent rain, and both grass pollen and mold spores are high also. So if you’re an allergy sufferer (raises hand), we still have a ways to go.

Quick cool thing I wanted to share. Here’s a satellite loop over South Texas this morning from the new GOES-16 satellite that was launched last November. This is experimental and non-operational data, as they’re still doing fine tuning, but check out how many lakes and different bodies of water you can detect on the satellite even at night.

Lakes and other bodies of water show up amazingly clear on a clear overnight in Texas. Experimental, non-operational data. (College of DuPage)

Amazing difference, and it’s like going from a clunky box of a TV to an HD set for meteorologists.

Saturday

The forecast gets a little trickier Saturday. Humidity will continue to flood ashore through the day. I expect we’ll see increasing clouds after a fairly sunny start. The last couple days it’s looked close for perhaps a few storms as early as late Saturday afternoon. Recent model data limits those chances until late evening. So while I think we’ll be dry during the day and early evening Saturday, if you’ll be heading up to the Shell Houston Open or to the Dynamo/Red Bulls match or Whatever Fest east of Downtown, just be aware later in the day in case it does get stormy.

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After record heat, thunderstorms Tuesday

Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:03 PM

After a weekend which has seen two record high temperatures broken in Houston, we turn our attention to thunderstorms and the possibility of severe weather on Tuesday. There’s been some “noise” about that being a possibility, so we want to give you a quick synopsis. Eric will have the latest in the morning.

Cooler Weather to Come

We hit 85° on Saturday, breaking the record of 82° from 1999. We exceeded that Sunday, hitting 86° and breaking the 95 year old record high of 84° from 1922. A weak cold front will push through tonight, and that will end the record warmth. This is evident when you look at dewpoints. The HRRR model below shows the higher dews getting blunted back southward as the front rolls through.

A cold front will wipe out the record heat and humidity overnight, as seen by dropping dewpoints after midnight. (Weather Bell)

 

So tomorrow is a transition day. We’ll see a mix of clouds and sun, maybe a shower, and temperatures peaking in the low 70s. Meanwhile, an area of low pressure will develop in West Texas, bringing places like Lubbock (that hit 91° yesterday) a chance of snow. That becomes our weather-maker for Tuesday, bringing us rain & thunderstorms.

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Houston’s threat for storms kicks off again today

Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:27 AM

It looks like it’s going to be another one of “those” weekends here in Southeast Texas. We’ll have rain, storms, and potentially flooding to contend with, and all the while, we have a good deal of uncertainty still in the forecast. Here’s a short breakdown. I’ll follow it with an FAQ type section at bottom.

First, just a reminder: A Flash Flood Watch is posted for Houston and primarily the counties north and west of the city starting later today and going into Sunday morning.

TODAY

I don’t foresee a lot of issues this morning…if any at all. By mid-afternoon, storms should have started in Central Texas, along I-35 and points east. These will organize and spread east toward our area by late afternoon or evening. Storms this afternoon and evening will have the potential to be strong to severe. The main threats will be hail and damaging wind, and given how saturated the ground is, any sort of strong winds can be more problematic than usual. The tornado threat is low, though it isn’t zero (and as we sadly saw in Tomball the other morning, it doesn’t need to be a high risk or a strong tornado to be tragic, so please heed any warnings if issued). Obviously, our main focus will be flooding.

Simulated forecast radar for today. Storms fire along I-35 this afternoon & move toward Houston this evening. (Weather Bell)

Simulated forecast radar for today. Storms fire along I-35 this afternoon & move toward Houston this evening. (Weather Bell)

TONIGHT

This is where confidence drops and our risks for flooding begin to go up. I expect we will see repeated rounds of showers and thunderstorms around the region. It’s still a bit difficult to say exactly who will see the most persistent storms, but anywhere in the area around Houston (north, west, or even south of the city) stands the potential to see this happen. It’s simply too tough to say where with any specificity. We will update you on this again later today. But the Friday night timeframe is the one we’re most concerned with, namely because we’ll have a substantial amount of atmospheric moisture to work with.

GFS Precipitable Water (PWAT) forecast this evening shows summer-like levels of available moisture. (Weather Bell)

GFS Precipitable Water (PWAT) forecast this evening shows summer-like levels of available moisture. (Weather Bell)

Usually once you get over 2″, you’re talking considerable moisture, which means that any thunderstorms can produce torrential rain. The concern is that a boundary of storms could sit over one area and tap into this moisture. Hopefully this isn’t what occurs, but it’s something we have to watch.

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