Hurricane Season begins June 1 annually, and continues to November 30, each year. In Fort Bend County, hurricane damage occurs from a combination of high winds, inland flooding, and tornadoes.
High winds from 74 mph to over 200 mph can easily topple power lines, uproot trees, and knock down buildings as far as 175 miles from coastal areas. If Hurricane Rita had come ashore anywhere from Matagorda Bay to Galveston Bay, Fort Bend County would have surely seen damage from high winds.
Flooding caused by torrential rains is probably the greatest threat that storms pose to inland counties such as Fort Bend. Hurricane Claudette (1979) dumped 45 inches of rain near Alvin, Texas and Tropical Storm Allison dumped 36 inches of rain over parts of Harris County in 2001. More recently, Hurricane Harvey dropped 35 inches of rain in some parts of the County.
Tornadoes are often spawned by hurricanes and can occur well away from the center of a storm. In 2004, Hurricane Francis spawned a record 123 tornadoes.
2019 Hurricane Outlook
The NOAA NWS Climate Prediction Center predicts a “near-normal” hurricane season in 2019. Hurricane season starts June 1st, although the year’s first named storm has already formed and the Texas gulf coast is usually busiest later in the season.
NOAA predicts “a likely range of 9 to 15 named storms” with between 4 and 8 hurricanes, with a few of those possibly becoming “major” hurricanes. This puts us right around the average of 12 named storms and 3 major hurricanes.
Of course, it only takes one hurricane hitting Fort Bend County for us to be negatively impacted. Read through the information below to be sure you’re hurricane smart!
- Avoiding Hurricane Damage [PDF]
- Hurricane Evacuation Routes [PDF]
- Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Names for 2018
- 2018 Hurricane Presentation and Outlook
- Sea Surface Temperature Animation
- CenterPoint Energy Electric Outage Tracker
- Beck Geodetix Video of post-Ike Damage
- Hurricane Ike – One Lab’s Experience
- Urban Forest Hurricane Recovery Program
- Major Atlantic Hurricanes, 1944-2008
- Hurricane Simulation