An Account of
the 1998 First Colony Twister
Click on images to
started as every other day. I woke up
and heard about a slight chance of severe storms. I had a long day
of work and a college class that night so I took a little 35mm Kodak
Cameo with me . . .just in case. The skies offered no shows while I
was at work so I gave up on storms. That late afternoon/evening I
was attending a class at University of Houston in Fort Bend. This
location is about 17 miles from Houston, Texas.
|| While I was in
class I heard the rumble of distant thunder. I just had to take a
look, so I excused myself from class for a moment. Upon leaving the
classroom I found the most beautiful mammatus filled sky I have ever
seen. I watched for a minute or two then returned to class. I told a
good friend of mine that we were in for some storms. My current
situation left me without a car and I could only expect to be picked
up hours from then.
| About 10 minutes
later, the storm made it's presence known. Marble-sized hail
began to shower down. Then it grew dangerous. The hail was pouring
down accompanied by 60 mph or so winds. My classroom was not a safe
space being made of two complete glass walls. I ran to make a quick
phone call and warned my parents of the storm headed for the house.
I had also brought along my weather radio. I turned it on to hear of
the tornado and storm reports pouring in. In a flash I was
back outside observing the hail.
| The hail let off
a little bit and the UH staff began trying to move the students into
the halls. "To late," I thought. The hail stopped and it was
drizzling outside. I cautiously moved out close to the building as
the rest of my peers and professor began class again. Looking toward
the sky that had just attacked us, I saw it.
|| My camera was out
in a flash. The the twister was now a funnel cloud moving
Southeast of me. Little did I know that as I was taking this picture
of the funnel cloud it was spinning over Ruby Tuesdays where my
Brother experienced the high winds of the storm. Cory, my brother,
said that the funnel seemed to be hopping along. You may be
able to see in some of the pictures that there is a rainbow. From
the beginning there was a double rainbow. When the funnel
cloud seemed to move in-between them a third rainbow could be
seen pointing straight up. I took pictures non-stop until I had
one last picture on the roll. . .just in case.
|| This funnel cloud
had just hit First Colony Mall and the Aerodrome Ice Skating
Complex. First Colony Mall had a wall that was torn off. The funnel
picked up A/C units from the Aerodrome and tossed them about.
| At sunset
on the tornadic storm moved away from Sugarland producing
this magnificent view! That one last picture on the roll caught this