Tag: storms

Storms possible near Houston again on Sunday

Posted by Matt Lanza at 11:59 AM

Yesterday’s thunderstorm activity probably came as a bit of a surprise to many of us, not so much because they happened but because of how potent they were. We saw a few reports of hail and wind damage around the region. And some incredible sky pictures.

Our Friday forecast suggested the most activity would be east of US-59 on Saturday, and it was, but I’d be lying if I told you I was expecting the potency that it came with. So why did it happen?

A confluence of factors led to a busy Saturday evening. Storms early in the day in western Louisiana and eastern Texas likely produced some boundaries in the atmosphere, and with winds directing weather in the less common northeast to southwest direction, they ended up moving our way. We probably saw cold air aloft, necessary to help regenerate storms as they moved across southeast Texas. We had sea breeze interaction with some of those boundaries also. There was decent jet stream and upper level support in the northeast flow that helped add extra support. Then, it also hit 94° at IAH, so you had plenty of instability. All these factors came together just right, and we ended up exceeding most people’s expectations, including my own.

So that begs the question: Will we do it again today?

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Storms to return to Southeast Texas today

Posted by Matt Lanza at 11:10 AM

While we’ve mostly gotten off easy here in Southeast Texas the last couple days, areas to our north and east have been pummeled by storms. The maps below show estimated rainfall for Friday into Saturday and Saturday into this morning.

Rainfall estimates since Friday show Northeast Texas and Louisiana have been clobbered. (NWS)

Rainfall estimates since Friday show Northeast Texas and Louisiana have been clobbered. (NWS)

Areas in Northeast Texas saw tremendous rains Friday night, that unfortunately ended up being tragic in Palestine, TX. Yesterday morning and again this morning, the Lake Charles area was particularly hard hit as well, with totals of 6-8″ over a large area leading to widespread street and highway flooding.

So with all this in mind, today is a new day, and some changes will take place atmospherically that should lead to increasing storm chances. Read More…

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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