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Weather Blog: Tuesday Thunder

by Gene Norman / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 10:50 PM

For the second time in as many weeks, storms will it Houston on a Tuesday.  This time, though, the severe threat could be closer to the city.  The orange shaded area shows the places with the greatest risk for storms that could bring damaging wind gusts, hail and yes, even isolated tornadoes.  Last Tuesday, this threat area was further north and while a tornado touched down in Kingwood, most of the rest of the Houston area just saw some needed rain.

This time around could be different because a key ingredient missing from last week's storms is present.  For severe storms to hit a larger area, there needs to be an impulse that produces lift through the atmosphere.  In the summer time, heating causes lift, but this time of year, I watch for dips or troughs in the upper-level wind pattern.  As they pass over and area, they tend to lift the air ahead of it.  In addition to lift, I look for areas where upper level winds oppose surface winds.  This pattern introduces spin which can cause storms to rotate and produce tornadoes.  I see both of those patterns evident for Tuesday.

Here's a look at the jet stream wind pattern:

The blue "L" is the trough and the arrows over Southeast Texas are coming from the southwest.  At the surface, we'll see a continuation of the strong southeast winds that have been pumping in Gulf moisture since the weekend. 

Storms should begin firing in the morning and move through town during the day.  Stay alert to this severe weather threat and as always, count on KHOU 11 News to keep you informed with information to keep you and your family safe.

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