Early Sunday morning on January 9, 2022, an EF-1 tornado touched down along the Kingwood Diversion Ditch between Hamblen and Kingwood Drive. It damaged trees and homes on both sides of the ditch for several blocks. By early afternoon, tree crews were swarming over the area, making the streets barely passable.
Tornado or Just Strong Winds?
I asked one of the crews if they were sure a tornado caused the damage. They said yes, based on the type of damage they saw. The tops of trees had been twisted off like screw caps. See photos below taken on Sunday afternoon after the storm cleared out.
While some trees were uprooted, the vast majority of the damage involved “topped trees.” Had straight line winds been the cause, you would see more uprooted trees. The damage would have been more widespread. And the trees would have been pushed down in a uniform direction rather than scattered like pick-up sticks.
ABC-13 confirmed the strength of the tornado on its evening news tonight. According to ABC, the tornado came through at approximately 1:30 AM. According to residents I spoke to, the noise was deafening and pets started acting nervous about that time.
Dogs Knew Before You Did
This article from Psychology Today explains that dogs’ hearing is four times more sensitive than humans’. That means they can hear things four times farther away – sooner than we can. Canine hearing also picks up higher pitched sounds. If the noise sounds deafening to you, think how painful it must be for your pooch.
I live near Kingwood High School two miles away. At precisely 1:30, my dog started whimpering, trembling, and tried to jump in bed with me.
Storm Totals Compared to Record and Climate Norm
For the record, the storm that started Saturday afternoon and ended early Sunday morning dumped about 4.96 inches in my rain gage. Jeff Miller, an Elm Grove resident said he had 5.5 inches in his.
These are unusually high amounts for January. The all time record for January 8 was 5.89 inches, set in 1891, 130 years ago! Houston usually receives 3.4 inches for the whole month of January. Plum Grove on the East Fork received 6.88 inches in this storm – more than double the monthly average for the Houston area. Luce Bayou on 321 in Liberty County received an incredible 8.56 inches in the storm. Had either of those locations been the official recording station, this storm would have gone down in history.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/9/2022
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