Where Were the Strongest Gusts from the East Texas Wind Storm?
On Wednesday afternoon, I'll admit that I was skeptical when I saw the forecast for Thursday. I knew that we were supposed to have a breezy day, but when I saw the revised outlook forecasting winds to gust between 40-50 mph, I had my reservations. This time around, the meteorologists were right on the money. In fact, they may have low-balled the expected winds by a little.
The National Weather Services in Shreveport and in Houston/Galveston did a recap on the maximum wind gusts reported in various counties throughout East and Southeast Texas. In Deep East Texas, the strongest wind gust on Thursday was reported at the A.L. Mangham Airport in Nacogdoches. They recorded a wind gust of 58 mph during the lunch hour yesterday. Livingston had a 56 mph gust around 2:30 Thursday afternoon, and the Angelina County Airport topped out with a 47 mph wind gust at 2:15 pm.
Here are a few more peak wind gusts as documented from several other reporting stations in the area:
- Zavalla 36 mph
- Etoile 32 mph
- Jacksonville 49 mph
- Henderson 48 mph
- San Augustine 33 mph
- Center 38 mph
- Coldspring 52 mph
- Crockett 44 mph
Houston reported several locations that experienced winds gusting to over 60 mph.
The National Weather Service in Shreveport sent out a damage survey crew to Downtown Lufkin on Thursday. They documented the visual damage and took a look at some of the surveillance video of Wednesday's storm as it slammed through the area around 9:30 am. The damage was determined to be from straight line winds and was not tornadic in nature. The buildings in the downtown area channeled those winds into what the meteorologists described as a 'turbulent eddy'. This brief phenomenon brought top winds of 80 mph to parts of downtown Lufkin.