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Satellite Snapshot: Severe Storms Slam Houston

May 17, 2024
Satellite Snapshot: Severe Storms Slam Houston

Phenomena: Lightning, Severe Thunderstorms, Wind

Satellite: GOES-16 (GOES East)

Product: Visible Imagery/Geostationary Lightning Mapper

Time: May 16, 2024 22:00 UTC - May 17, 2024 00:45 UTC

As severe thunderstorms charged across southeastern Texas, NOAA’s GOES East captured the storms from above in this visible imagery, which also shows frequent lighting observed with the satellite’s Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instrument. 

The storms brought wind gusts as high as hurricane-force that swept through the Houston metro, blowing out windows of downtown skyscrapers and toppling transmission towers. At least four people were killed and nearly 1 million homes and businesses remained without power Friday morning from Texas to Louisiana. The National Weather Service also issued a flood watch for the Houston area from heavy rains associated with the storm.

The GOES East geostationary satellite, also known as GOES-16, keeps watch over most of North America, including the contiguous United States and Mexico, as well as Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west coast of Africa. The satellite's high-resolution imagery provides optimal viewing of severe weather events, including thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes.