Tornado Watch for Houston through 9 PM Wednesday

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.

14 thoughts on “Tornado Watch for Houston through 9 PM Wednesday

  1. Annalie

    Y’all are so amazing to keep the updates coming. I know you have day jobs which makes me appreciate how much you care about Houstonians even more! Thank you!

  2. Blackhawks Fan

    At least this makes more sense than an “ozone watch”.

    I know how to deal with a tornado. I grew up in the Industrial Midwest and had to quickly duck into the basement a couple of times.

    But what do I do if a see an ozone molecule? Call the cops?

  3. Chuck

    Thanks for the no hype update. No rain in The Woodlands yet, but just heard some thunder grumbling. We have an interior closet in the event of the worst.

  4. ehssuut

    Looking at the Tax Day flood, it appears that Brays Bayou struggled with 2 consecutive hours of 2”/hr rain. How likely is that rate to occur?

    1. Matt Lanza

      It’s possible, but this will not be like the Tax Day flood. 2″/hour should be able to be handled by the bayous for 2-3 hours. Grounds are much better suited to absorb water with this event than with the Tax Day one. It’s been fairly dry here lately.

  5. Jodi Wilson

    When should we expect any hail down in Missouri City, just trying to plan so I can make sure my car is in the garage.

    1. Matt Lanza

      Hail isn’t likely, but it’s a low possibility at any time between now and the early part of the overnight. That’s about as specific as anyone can get.

  6. Armando D.

    Thank you for the notice! As if I don’t already have enough trouble calming my dear Fulgencio about not fearing being struck by satellite debris this weekend, now I will have to comfort him about the tornados.

    Stay safe everyone!

  7. Matt

    Watching these squall lines move on the radar today, and they seem to be tracking more northerly faster than they are to the east. I realize they will eventually get here, but do you see a trend of them skirting the northern edge of our area, as opposed to passing directly through the metro area?

    1. Matt Lanza

      This is what we expected yesterday and why we put out a post yesterday afternoon. Figured people would probably be calling this a bust because it didn’t do much in the city during the day. Our main event is this evening and overnight…that’s when we should get the bulk of our rainfall. So everything happening now is what we sort of expected yesterday.

  8. TMR

    A slight request, but would you ever do an “explainer” post about hodographs and how meteorologists predict severe weather?

  9. CityRancher

    At 4:00 pm at our ranch outside of Columbus, TX, we are at 2.17″ of rain since the storm started this morning. We just had a line of strong thunderstorms come through. No winds though, which is good, just rain for our orchard.

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