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Houston tornado warning: Harris and Montgomery counties


If you are at home, be sure to quickly get to a safe room or an indoor room away from windows, which could be blown out.

HOUSTON— Tornado warning issued for parts of Harris and Montgomery counties expired at noon.

The tornado warning issued for parts of Colorado, Austin and Waller counties expired at noon.

Tornado warning issued for Harris, Fort Bend, Waller and Austin counties expired at 11:30 a.m.

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What is a tornado warning?

A tornado warning is issued by local NOAA office meteorologists monitoring the weather in the area. NOAA said it issues a warning when a tornado has been reported by observers or indicated by radar and there is a serious threat to life and property in its path. During a tornado warning, you must act immediately to find safe shelter.

What is a tornado watch?

During a tornado watch, tornadoes are possible in and around the watch area, according to NOAA. This means that now is a good time to review your emergency plans. It is important to act quickly if a tornado warning is issued and you see one coming.

What to do during a tornado

If you are at home, be sure to quickly get to a safe room or an indoor room away from windows, which could be blown out.

If you are at work or school, be sure to follow your tornado drill instructions and make your way to your shelter. Again, stay away from windows. NOAA also advises against entering large open rooms such as a cafeteria or gymnasium.

If you are outdoors, seek shelter inside a sturdy building. NOAA said to avoid hangars and storage facilities.

If you are in a vehicle, it is advisable to go to a solid shelter. If you can’t make it to cover, get into your car or abandon it and drive to a low area like a ditch.

What are the signs of a tornado?


Some tornadoes form without any warning, so it’s important to know what to look for. According to NOAA, here are the signs to look for:

  • Strong and persistent rotation in the cloud base.
  • Dust or debris swirling on the ground below the base of a cloud – sometimes tornadoes don’t have a funnel!
  • Hail or heavy rain followed by a dead calm or a rapid and intense rotation of the wind. Many tornadoes are shrouded in heavy precipitation and cannot be seen.
  • Day or Night – Loud, continuous roar or rumble that doesn’t fade in seconds like thunder.
  • Night – Small bright blue-green to white flashes at ground level near a thunderstorm (as opposed to silver flashes in clouds). These medium power lines are broken by a very strong wind, possibly a tornado.
  • Night – Persistent descending from the base of the cloud, illuminated or silhouetted by lightning – especially if visually in contact with the ground or if there is blue-green-white lightning below.

Why doesn’t Harris County have tornado sirens?

Harris County is the second most tornado-prone county in the nation, according to NOAA. So why don’t we have tornado sirens?

Emergency officials believe wireless alerts sent to cellphones are a better way to let people know about all kinds of hazards, including the type of tornadoes we get in Harris County.

Tornadoes in Harris County tend to be smaller and cause less damage and fewer injuries. On average, local tornadoes are not on the ground as long as tornadoes seen in Dallas or Oklahoma.

Additionally, communities near chemical plants use sirens to warn of a Hazmat situation. If tornado sirens were added, emergency officials say people could be confused about the threat that is occurring.

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