2020 Weather Events in Review

Temperature and Rainfall Data for 2020 for the first-order climate sites:


Average Temperature: 72.1 (2nd warmest year ever recorded, 2017 warmest)

Rainfall 44.77 (5.0 below average)


Temperature: 73.5 (warmest year ever recorded)

Rainfall: 60.25 (+5.96)


Temperature: 74.3 (second warmest year ever recorded, warmest was 2017)

Rainfall: 40.47 (-10.29)

College Station:

Temperature: 70.9 (5th warmest year on record, warmest was 2012)

Rainfall: 30.69 (-9.37)

January Events

January 10: EF-1 tornado in western Burleson County southwest of Caldwell. A trailer was thrown 40 yards and a shed destroyed

January 11: a large squall line moves across much of central and eastern TX producing pockets of damaging winds. 70mph recorded in Wehdem in Austin County. Numerous trees down across much of SE TX.


March 4: wind gust of 54kts in Brazos County from a line of thunderstorms.


April 9: numerous trees down across Walker and Montgomery Counties from 60-70mph winds from severe thunderstorms.

April 18: large hail falls over several areas of southeast Texas. 1.50 inches in Katy, 3.50 inches near Huntsville and Trinity. Golfball size hail near Crosby.

April 19: Tornado touch down off HWY 35 near West Columbia. Golfball size hail 3 miles NNE of Katy. Wind damage reported in Tarkington Prairie in Liberty County.

April 22: a devastating and long tracked tornado occurred across portions of Walker, San Jacinto and Polk Counties. 3 fatalities, 30 injuries, and 10 subdivisions impacted. The parent supercell thunderstorms developed near Giddings, TX around 1:30 pm and continued eastward for over 350 miles before dissipating in southwest Mississippi around 10:00 pm producing several tornadoes. The tornado was rated EF-3 with maximum winds of 140mph and a 30 miles track. 291 homes were damaged and 46 destroyed. This was the single deadliest tornado in SE TX since Nov 15, 1987 when 3 persons were killed in Madison County and is only the 8th multiple fatality tornado in SE TX since 1950.

April 28: rainfall of 3.5-5.5 inches fell over portions of western Fort Bend and eastern Wharton Counties in 2 hours from slow moving thunderstorms.

April 29: widespread damaging winds occurred over much of SE TX from a large and fast moving squall. A total of 817, 994 lightning strikes were recorded from 200pm on the 28th to 800am on the 29th or about 800 strikes per minute across Texas. 73mph wind gust at North Jetty, 60mph at Kemah, 61mph at Crystal beach, 71mph at Caldwell, 54mph at Jamaica Beach, 58mph at Texas City.


May 11: strong rip currents resulted in 1 fatality near Surfside in Brazoria County.

May 13: Flash flooding due to heavy rainfall over portions of Jackson County. Numerous roads impassable and some homes flooded in Ganado, TX.

May 14: excessive rainfall of 4-8 inches with a maximum isolated total of 10.35 inches over portions of Jefferson and Orange Counties leads to widespread and extensive flooding.

May 15: slow moving heavy rainfall occurred across portions of Harris and Fort Bend counties during the afternoon and early evening hours. 3.5-5.5 inches fell over portions of Sugar Land in 1-2 hours leading to extensive street flooding. 60-80 apartment units in Pasadena were flooded with 1-2 inches of water.  

May 16: strong rip currents resulted in 1 fatality near Surfside in Brazoria County. This was the second rip current fatality in less than a week.

May 26: Water spout reported near the Bolivar-Galveston Ferry lasting 5 minutes.

May 27: a cluster of severe thunderstorms producing winds of 50-70mph moved across the western and central portions of SE TX. More than 300,000 residents lost power along with numerous downed trees. 71mph at Galveston Island and EF) tornado in Pasadena. Estimated winds of 90mph across portions of Waller County from an EF-1 tornado. 

May 28: A large an long tracked waterspout moved southward along the western shore of Galveston Bay from near Shoreacres to just north of Galveston Island and was filmed by several residences, webcams, and law enforcement.


June 25: heavy rainfall of 4-8 inches with isolated totals of 10 inched from Colorado to northern Fort Bend to western Harris County. Numerous road flooded and impassable.


July 25: Hurricane Hanna makes landfall on the lower TX coast near Port Mansfield with sustained winds of 90mph. High tides occur along much of the upper Texas coast resulting in beach erosion. 


August 27: category 4 hurricane Laura made landfall just east of Cameron, LA with sustained winds of 150mph and a storm surge of up to 18 feet at Grand Chenier. High tides impacted much of the upper TX coast and significant beach erosion. Cameron, LA observation site recorded sustained winds of 93g127mph and Lake Charles gusted to 133mph. Laura was the strongest hurricane to strike the southwest coast of Louisiana since records begin in 1850.


September 5-6: 2 fatalities due to rip currents off Galveston Island over the Labor Day weekend.

September 21-23: tropical storm Beta made landfall near Port O’Connor on 9-21 with sustained winds of 45mph. Prolonged coastal flood event along much of the upper Texas coast with tides 2.0-4.0 feet above normal levels for 2-3 days resulted in significant coastal flooding and beach erosion. Flooding rainfall of 8-12 inches of portions of Galveston, Brazoria, and southern Harris Counties. Clear Creek exceeded its banks along nearly the entire channel. 20-25 homes sustained flood damage in southern Harris and northern Brazoria Counties. 


October 9: Hurricane Delta made landfall near Creola, LA or 12 miles east of the landfall point of Hurricane Laura 6 weeks earlier winds sustained winds of 100mph. Elevated tides and tropical storm force winds affected much of the upper TX coast. Wind gusts of 101mph at Texas Point, 51mph at UofH, 63mph at Anahuac, 48mph at Freeport, 53mph at Galveston, 47mph at Nassau Bay, 74mph at the buoy 20 miles east of Galveston Island. Delta was the 4th tropical system to make landfall in the state of Louisiana…the landfall of hurricane Zeta in late October over SE LA would be the 3rd hurricane to strike Louisiana in 2020.


November 30: The 2020 hurricane season ends with a record 30 named storms, 12 hurricanes, and  6 major hurricanes. A record total of 12 tropical storms made landfall on the US coastline surpassing the previous record of 9 from 1916 (Bertha, Cristobal, Hanna, Fay, Isaias, Laura, Marco, Sally, Beta, Delta, Zeta, Eta (2 FL landfalls)) The US Gulf coast experienced 9 of the 12 landfalls including 5 hurricanes (Hanna, Laura, Sally, Delta, Zeta). The states of TX and LA suffered 7 of the 9 landfalls with only Sally and Eta making landfall east of the Mississippi River. The state of Louisiana experienced the landfall of 5 tropical systems: 2 tropical storms (Cristobal and Marco) and 3 hurricanes (Laura, Delta, Zeta). Laura and Delta made landfall only 12 miles apart roughly 6 weeks apart in southwest Louisiana just east of Cameron. Portions of the state of LA spent a total of 3 weeks within the NHC error cone this hurricane season. The state of LA was under coastal watches or warnings due to a tropical cyclone for a total of 474 hours or 19.75 days.


December 30-31: A powerful storm system brought heavy rainfall of 3.5-5.5 inches from Fort Bend to Waller to western and central Montgomery County leading to minor flooding. Widespread and heavy snow developed on the backside of this system on the 31st with 24 inches reported at Big Bend National Park and a widespread area of 4-8 inches over much of SW/WC and NW TX.

Compiled by Jeff Lindner, Director Hydrologic Operations Division/Meteorologist, Harris County Flood Control District

1224 Days since Hurricane Harvey