Archive for the ‘Storms’ Category

Storm Shots
June 3, 2013

Water spout at San Luis Pass Sunday right before the rain hit.


Photo by: Elaine Penick

To see video of this water spout and other pictures click image.


Storm Shots! Tuesday’s Tornadoes
November 9, 2011

      Click image to view a slideshow of other damage from Tuesday’s storms. 

The National Weather Service has completed their surveys of Tuesday’s damage.  The Kingwood tornado has been classified as an EF1 (86-110 mph winds).  Here is what it found.

“A National Weather Service storm survey has determined that Tuesday’s storm produced an EF-1 tornado in Kingwood located in far northeastern Harris County. The approximate track length of this tornado was one mile and its maximum path width was estimated to be 150 yards. The time of the tornado was approximately 1:37 pm.

“This system produced widespread damage: numerous trees snapped or uprooted … four garage doors blown in … and window and roof damage to numerous homes. Most of the damage occurred along Hidden Lakes Drive. The starting point of the track looks to be near the intersection of Willow Terrace Drive and Hidden Lakes Drive.

“A second storm survey was done just north of Texas City at the ISP plant where minor damage occurred around 6 pm. It was estimated an EF-0 tornado did minor damage in the plant with the main damage being 10 empty trailers that were flipped over by the weak tornado. The length of the path was 1/2 mile long and 25 yards wide.”

This picture was taken by Cierra Grace in Crosby, not a tornado but straight line wind damage.

You are always welcome to send your storms shots to:

How Much Rain Is Falling?
June 22, 2011

The streak is over!  Prior to Wednesday morning, Houston went 148 days without a soaking rain (soaking being defined as more than 1/2 inch of rain.) Click the image below to get rain totals around the Houston area.

If you live outside of Harris County, click this link to see how much rain is falling:

Baytown Rain

Latest on the Killer Tornado Outbreak
May 5, 2011

The average lead time is 18 minutes.

  • Warnings were in effect for more than 90 percent of the tornadoes.
  • To date, NOAA estimates the outbreak spawned 305 tornadoes, making this the largest tornado outbreak in history – surpassing the April 3-4, 1974, outbreak with 148 tornadoes. So far, the National Weather Service has surveyed damage from 178 tornadoes and determined that two topped the scale at EF-5, four were EF-4, and 21 were EF-3. Dozens more have been categorized as EF-2 or lower.
  • NOAA estimates there were more than 600 tornadoes during the month of April 2011, shattering previous records. The previous April tornado record was 267, set in 1974. The previous record number of tornadoes during any month was 542, set in May 2003. So far there have been an estimated 881 tornadoes in 2011. The annual tornado record is 1,817, set in 2004. May is historically the most active month for tornadoes.
  • With an estimated 327 deaths, this is the 3rd deadliest tornado outbreak on record, behind 1925 with 747 and 1932 with 332. So far, 2011 is the 13th deadliest year for tornadoes on record with 369. The deadliest year on record is 1925 with 794.

Courtesy: NOAA To view past weather quiz answers, click here:

Past Weather Quiz Answers

The Winter Storm That Was… The Snow That Wasn’t
February 7, 2011

The alarm went off at 2 a.m., I jumped out of bed and ran to the window. The second that I saw there wasn’t any snow I knew I was in for a long day. On the ride to work I soon found we didn’t have snow, but we did have ¼” of ice blanketing Houston. On 610 I counted four single-car accidents. Every few hundred feet on the 59 freeway a car had spun out and hit the guardrail. Police cars and ambulances had their lights flashing warning of the oncoming danger. By 2:30 a.m., 41 calls came into 911 reporting accidents. Freezing rain is the most dangerous kind of winter weather, and a sheet of black ice was waiting for all those who ventured out Friday morning. Early on our broadcast I focused on the ice, below-freezing temperatures and how dangerous that combination was, but it wasn’t until I got an e-mail from 13-year-old Emily Whisenant that I started explaining why it didn’t snow. Emily, like most kids, was hoping for the white stuff, and, when it didn’t fall, she was crushed. What was strange about most of the negative e-mails I received Friday was that they were from kids hoping to make snowmen, snow angels and enjoy Houston covered in white.

So what went wrong? I could make the excuse that Houston is one of the few major cities in the country that doesn’t have its own upper level air analysis. That means forecasters have to rely on weather balloon data from Lake Charles, La., and Corpus Christi, Texas. Lake Charles showed a very warm layer of temperatures above ground, while Corpus Christi showed a deep column of below-freezing temperatures. It turned out our air was much more like Lake Charles than Corpus, and that is one of the reasons why we got the freezing rain but not the snow. But I’m not here to make excuses. I said there was an 80 percent chance we would get snow and even forecasted 1 to 3 inches of it on the ground.

It’s forecasts like this that keep me up at night.  Looking back there isn’t much I would change, but there are some things I would do different.

First, what went right. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch and warning for all of Southeast Texas. These are issued when driving is expected to be treacherous. There were more than 1,000 car accidents because of the ice, and the warnings kept most people at home and safe.

Second, school districts and cities did an excellent job making the call a day before to keep kids and workers home, knowing Friday morning would be dangerous.

What went wrong? As Emily simply put it, “It didn’t snow.”

I’ve looked at all of my forecasts I made last week and two things stick out. First, and you can check this out on my webcasts that are posted below, our model, which is exclusive to KPRC Local 2, showed that it would not snow in Houston. It always showed ice. I dismissed this because every other model showed snow falling. Looking back, I should have said this was more of a possibility. Something I’m going to try on our next big weather event is a bust percentage. It’s simple: what were the chances that it wouldn’t snow in Houston? Twenty percent. Somewhere in my presentation I need to say, “What is the chance it won’t snow? What is the chance this forecast busts? Twenty percent. Will this stop e-mails like the one I received from Emily? Probably not, but I will sleep better.

New Hail Record
August 13, 2010


It was in Vivian, South Dakota, that Leslie “Les” Scott heard what sounded like “big bricks” being thrown at his house.  Little did Scott realize that one of those hailstones was the largest to ever fall in the United States, in terms of both diameter and weight.  The hailstone was 8 inches wide and weighed 1 pound, 15 ounces, just a little smaller than a soccer ball.  It was much larger when Scott put it in his freezer, but his home lost power for six hours and that caused some melting.  The smallest hailstone he found was the size of a tennis ball.  There was a lot of roof damage, but no one was hurt.   


To view other weather quiz answers click here:
Past Weather Quiz Answers

July Rain Amounts
July 29, 2010


Click image to view Thursday’s webcast:

Storm Shots!
July 27, 2010


Photo by: Owen Conflenti, Houston

It took Owen two years to get a good lightning shot, but it was worth the wait.  An excellent phot by our morning anchor.

Photo by: Stephanie & Patrick Kennedy, Katy

Strong thunderstorms that brought hail and heavy rain fell on parts of southeast Texas Sunday evening.  The Kennedy’s acted quickly to protect their car from the hail falling by finding two trees to hide under. (This was their home.)

To view other hotshot pictures click here:

Hotshot Photos 2010

Turn Around Don’t Drown
April 21, 2010

How deep is this water?  It could be as little as 1 to 2 inches, but looking at the right and left side of the road, it would seem likely that it is much deeper.  Maybe a foot … how about two feet? Maybe a lot more.  The honest answer is, I don’t know — and if you are ever driving and don’t know how deep the water is, don’t drive through it.  Two feet of water will lift up and move most cars; SUVs and trucks don’t do much better. 

The state of Texas leads the nation in flash flooding deaths and most of those occur in cars at night.  Click the above image to check out the 30 second public service announcement on keeping our families safe when it floods. 


Snow Shots! February 23rd
February 24, 2010

Third time this season it’s snowed in SE Texas. The last time that happened was in 1973.  Here are a few of the pictures that were sent into

Freeze!  It’s a stick up!

Click image to view other pictures from our Local 2 Mornings Facebook Page.

Galveston Tornado
August 31, 2009


Around 9:30 Sunday night, a water spout made landfall in Galveston along the seawall.  It is extremely rare for this to happen.  Once a water spout makes land, it ceases being a water spout and becomes a tornado.

Photo by: 14-year-old Levi Barrie 

Read the details about the damage and injuries the tornado caused.

See pictures of the damage

Watch video of the destruction


Photo by: Kip Martin

This was taken at 1600 ISO, 1/6th sec at F1.4. It was taken at 9:44:29 on a Canon XSi with a Canon 50mm f1.4 lens, near Seawall and 23rd or so.

Storm Shots! Beaumont Tornado
August 19, 2009



About 2:15pm Tuesday a tornado touched down in Beaumont, Texas.  It is estimated that the winds were around 115 mph making it an EF1 tornado.  Read our story here:

Beaumont Tornado

You can send in your storms shots to

To see other pictures from yesterday’s storms click here:

Storm Shots

Sunday Night’s Severe Weather
July 27, 2009


Photo by: Colleen Mygatt, Cypress

249 & Cypresswood


Photo by: Jennifer Rayphole, Jersey Village

Willowbridge Subdivision (West Rd @ Beltway 8)

The McGee_sHail

Photo by: Samantha McGee, Houston

Golf ball sized hail, coincidently Samantha lives on Storm Meadow Drive 


Send in your storm shots to:

Weather Myth – Lightning & Tires
July 21, 2009


I was just watching the national news and the reporter said the reason the people weren’t hurt when their car was struck by lightning was because of the rubber tires.  You would need one mile thick tires to protect you from a lightning strike.  The reason a car is a safe place to be during a thunderstorm is because the metal in the car act as a faraday cage.  Like electricity, lightning will travel only on the outside surface of enclosed metal objects.  The lightning will hit the car but the charge will stay outside, it will not go inside the car.  The exception is a convertible.  The safest place to be during a storm is indoors.     

To view other weather quiz answers click here:

Hear Comes The Rain
July 14, 2009

There isn’t any rain in the forecast today, but these guys made it rain.  Watch it once and then close your eyes and listen to it a second time.  It’s pretty awesome!

Courtesy: Perpetuum Jazzile