Houston Tornado


Audrey Spohn, Author

     Residents in Houston, Texas, recently had a tornado hit. The tornado affected southeast Houston and hit the hardest in areas such as Deer Park and Pasadena. This tornado started on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, and had a path length of 18 miles. The tornado’s maximum windspeed was 140 mph. 

     Most tornadoes form due to unstable temperatures or humidity. When warm humid air near the ground mixes with colder, dryer air above, tornadoes can form.  Thunderstorms also have the potential to create tornadoes. Supercell thunderstorms can rotate updrafts, leading to tornadoes. But, supercell thunderstorms are very uncommon. Tornadoes caused during a thunderstorm can be even more deadly, as low visibility can cause people to not see tornadoes as they are approaching. Houston occasionally gets tornadoes, but only a few are severe.

     The tornado in Houston caused severe damage to power lines, vehicles, and buildings including a nursing home, and was rated an EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which means that this tornado was severe. There were no reports of injuries or deaths, but over 200,000 people were left without power. Multiple schools were damaged, and about 25,000 kids had no school on Wednesday in Deer Park and Pasadena. 

     Three shelters were opened on Fairmont Parkway by the Red Cross to help people affected by this disaster by giving them overnight shelter and helping to assess the damage done by this tornado. Usually, people in Red Cross shelters are only meant to stay there for 12 to 72 hours. Right now, some power has been restored, but there are still thousands left without any power.