Two rounds of storms brought hail and gusty winds to Houston today. Both were triggered by a steady-moving upper-level low pressure system that came rolling out of South Texas late last night. Many computer models mistakenly pushed this system to our west, but instead, the system came right at us. That brought torrents of rain and wind gusts to morning rush-hour commuters. After lunch, a second batch of storms flared up as the low pushed toward Louisiana. Because of a pocket of cold air fairly low in the atmosphere, the developing storms generated quite a lot of hail. There were reports in Sharpstown, Bellaire, Humble, Conroe and Liberty from 2 pm through 5 pm. Here's a picture sent in by Mike Spiller in Sharpstown of hail that looks like tiny Easter eggs:
Unlike a cold front, today's upper-level low didn't dry out or cool the atmosphere. That means the pump will be primed for another round of storms as a real cold front moves our way Tuesday. I expect storms tomorrow to erupt during the afternoon. Don't be too surprised if you see some sun in the morning. But all that will do is heat the humid air, making it easier for storms to develop ahead of the front. Take the umbrella and watch for some storms, mainly north and west of town that could pack the kind of punch we saw today.