Monday, November 21, 2016

Remembering the November 21, 1992 tornado outbreak

Today Space City Weather produced their first installment of Space City Rewind, which looks back at historical weather events in the Houston region. Today's topic was the frightening onslaught of tornadoes across Houston and surrounding counties that occurred exactly 24 yeas ago. Significant damage occurred, but amazingly there were no fatalities.

I remember that day pretty well, because mom and I went to the Sam's Club on Loop 610 south to do some pre-Thanksgiving stocking up and were blissfully unaware of the tornadoes that were streaking across the city as we shopped. We would later learn that one of the most destructive tornadoes missed my cousins, who were living in the Sterling Green subdivision in Channelview at the time, by only a few hundred feet. They were lucky, to say the least; the damage - houses without roofs, etc. - would be visible from their back yard.

The entire article, which (rather wonkily) discusses the atmospheric conditions that caused the tornadoes, the usefulness of then-brand-new Doppler radar in tracking tornadoes, the damage the tornadoes wrought and the aftermath of the disaster, is lengthy but well worth the read. Especially this bottom line:
The takeaway message here is simple: While an outbreak of this magnitude represents an outlier for Southeast Texas, the fact is that it can happen here. Know how to respond to a tornado. Have a plan ready if a tornado is about to bear down on your home. You should also have a method to receive weather warnings at night or when you may be distracted.
All in all, some excellent reporting. You can support them by buying a Space City Weather T-shirt, if you're so inclined!

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