Houston Weather: Tornado Watch issued for Houston area until 3 p.m.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A Tornado Watch has been issued for parts of the Houston area until 3 p.m. today.

The watch area includes Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty and Matagorda counties.

A band of heavy showers and thunderstorms will persist through Thursday morning just behind a cold front.

That front is stalling out over Houston, dropping temperatures from near 70 to near 50.

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Houston and other parts of southeast Texas through 3 p.m. Thursday. Widespread rain of one to three inches will be common, but near the stalled front a swath of four to eight inches of rain is expected to fall.

A Tornado Watch is issued by the Storm Prediction Center when conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes. This does not mean tornadoes are imminent, but is designed to alert you about the potential. You’ll want to review and discuss your emergency plans, check supplies and your safe room. You’ll need to be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives. Watch areas are typically large and cover numerous counties or even states.

What kind of flooding can we expect?

Street flooding is most likely, but where the 4-8″ swath of rain falls, some creeks and bayous could reach the top of their banks.

Will any of the storms turn severe?

Severe weather is possible but chances look low overall. If we see a severe storm, the main threats will be damaging wind gusts and large hail. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out close to the coast. There will be a greater threat of tornadoes east of us starting around Beaumont and continuing through much of Louisiana.

When will the rain clear out on New Year’s Eve?

Low pressure will spin up along the front and send one last round of heavy rain through Southeast Texas during the day. As the low pressure accelerates northward toward Dallas, the rain will rapidly clear out during the afternoon. Most Houston neighborhoods should be rain-free by 6 p.m., and it should be dry for all by the stroke of midnight.

How cold will it get behind the cold front?

Temperatures are expected to drop throughout the day. Most of us will experience temperatures in the 40s during the afternoon. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day, temperatures will likely be in the upper 30s and lower 40s with a wind chill factor near freezing.

What can we expect for the start of the new year?

We’ll enjoy cool and dry weather to kick off 2021. It will be cold but sunny Friday (New Year’s Day), Saturday, and Sunday. Temperatures will gradually warm through early next week ahead of a cold front arriving around Wednesday.

You’ll need to know the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning.

A Tornado Warning can be issued when a tornado has been spotted or is indicated by weather radar. Warnings are issued by local National Weather Service offices and means there is imminent danger to life and property. When a warning is issued, you’ll need to move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.

RADAR MAPS:

Southeast Texas
Houston
Harris County
Galveston County
Montgomery/Walker/San Jacinto/Polk/Grimes Counties
Fort Bend/Wharton/Colorado Counties
Brazoria/Matagorda Counties

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