Tornadoes are not a big surprise to most of us in Texas. Every year, Texas sees 137 tornadoes on average. Most of these happen out in west Texas or in north Texas where there aren't many people in the path of the storm. Believe it or not, Houston had a tornado outbreak of its own almost 20 years ago.
On November 21, 1992, a total of 6 tornadoes made their way into the Houston metropolitan area. At one point during the day, 4 tornadoes were on the ground at the same time in Harris County! The most damaging tornado was an EF-4 that formed on the eastern side of the city, followed by an EF-3 to the south of Lake Houston. An EF-2 formed near downtown Houston while the remaining two were EF-1 tornadoes that formed near Katy and Pecan Grove.
The reason for this sudden severe weather event was the arrival of a powerful cold front attached to a low pressure system that was centered near Victoria. The low pressure system helped to bring in additional moisture ahead of the cold front, fueling the formation of supercells. All of the tornadic activity happened just ahead of a squall line that formed right along the front.
Whenever there is a drastic change in air masses, along with the necessary ingredients, severe weather can form at any time of the year in any location. Always keep an eye on the weather so you can be prepared in case this happens in your area.
Have a weather question? Email Ploehn@kbtx.com and it will be answered in a future blog!