Tag: tornadoes

During Hurricane Harvey, I think we did a good job making pretty clear that our focus was to be on flooding. And ultimately, the majority of the damage and devastation wrought by Harvey as it moved through our region came via water. But one of the most surprising and occasionally unsettling aspects about Harvey’s impacts on Southeast Texas were the tornadoes. The warnings came fast, they came furious, and a number of them were confirmed.

The fine folks over at U.S. Tornadoes put together a really nice summary of this event, which likely ranks Harvey close to or in the top ten for most prolific tornado-producing tropical systems in the United States.

The Houston National Weather Service forecast office issued over 150 warnings for tornadoes through the storm. During that hellacious Saturday night and Sunday morning, over 30 tornado warnings were issued, most of them overlapping with flash flood warnings. We strongly encouraged people to keep their phone alerts on that night because the frequency of tornadoes was almost shocking (and because of numerous videos of an actual tornado in northwest Harris County late that Saturday afternoon that sort of drove home the point). That, coupled with the flooding likely lead to a long, sleepless night for many in the area. I’ll have some comments about the phone alerting issue at the end of the post.

The early tornadoes

First, let’s recap some of the tornadoes that actually occurred. The NWS Houston office has confirmed nearly 30 tornadoes as of September 14th, all of them either EF-0 or EF-1 strength. Here’s a look at some of the tornadoes.

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Setting the table for today and tonight’s storms

Posted by Matt Lanza at 7:21 AM

Good morning. It’s going to be a busy day across Southeast Texas, especially as we get deeper into it. I’ll update the Facebook page this afternoon if conditions warrant, and look for another post here this evening, once we get just a little more clarity on how things tonight into Wednesday will unfold.

THIS MORNING & AFTERNOON

There should be no serious issues this morning. A few showers will be around, but severe weather should be absent from our area. A few stronger storms could get going east of I-45 by Midday however.

Houston will be in an interesting spot today. The atmosphere is capped at present (meaning there’s basically a “lid” on things that will suppress storms this morning). As the day goes on, that cap will dissipate, and we’ll be able to start generating thunderstorms. What does all this mean in English? It may take some coaxing to get storms going today. That said, once they do get going, it won’t take a lot for them to become strong or severe, so you’ll want to stay on guard today.

Severe weather risk today is highest from Houston to points south and west. (NOAA)

Severe weather risk today is highest from Houston to points south and west. (NOAA)

So bottom line: Scattered showers and hit/miss thunderstorms today. Rain totals should be manageable outside of the heaviest activity. Most folks should see 0.5″ or less during the daytime today, with isolated higher totals in any more stubborn storms (where up to 2″ or so will be possible). Read More…

After taking a look at some the latest model guidance here’s an updated look at what to expect on Tuesday and Wednesday, which likely will be the worst times for storm activity in the greater Houston metro area.

TUESDAY

Right now I anticipate light to moderate rainfall on Tuesday afternoon, with most areas seeing between 0 and 1 inch of rain. There should not be too much trouble with the commute home on Tuesday evening. At some point between 6 p.m. and midnight we’ll see an increase in rain showers. Here’s why:

A low-pressure system will act like a vacuum cleaner to draw exceptionally high levels of moisture (seen here in precipitable water standard deviations) into Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. (Weather Bell)

A low-pressure system will act like a vacuum cleaner to draw exceptionally high levels of moisture (seen here in precipitable water standard deviations) into Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, and points further north. (Weather Bell)

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We’ve got lots to discuss about the week of weather ahead, so let’s get right to it this morning.

TODAY

We’ll see mostly cloudy conditions today as the wind ramps up out of the south, gusting as high as 25 mph. Temperatures will climb into the mid-70s. Rain chances will remain fairly low, however, due to a capping inversion. Expect lows tonight in the upper 60s.

TUESDAY

Those southerly winds will continue throughout Monday night and into Tuesday morning, raising moisture levels in the atmosphere. They will also increase tides along the coast by as much as 3 to 4 feet above normal, and the National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Advisory. We should see increasing coverage of light to moderate rain during the afternoon hours on Tuesday, but the bigger threat comes Tuesday night.

NOAA Severe Weather Outlook for Tuesday and Tuesday night. (NOAA)

NOAA Severe Weather Outlook for Tuesday and especially Tuesday night. (NOAA)

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