In a bit of a somber post, the state of Texas, especially the eastern 2/3rds of the state, is currently experiencing some of the craziest flooding they have ever seen in the state. It has rained, and rained, and rained, and then it rained some more.
— GPM & TRMM Missions (@NASA_Rain) June 3, 2016
The pattern has been very favorable for heavy rainfall across the state, as atmospheric moisture content has been consistently above normal across much of the state. One of the best measures for just how much moisture is in the atmosphere is precipitable water (PWAT) values. This essentially just measures how much rain would fall if the amount of water vapor in the atmospheric column was rained out on the surface. Research has shown that above normal values tend to be an indicator of significant flooding events across a given region, and Texas has had plenty of that.
There have been days where areas of the state have seen PWAT values in the 90th percentile for this time of year recently, and this has added insult to injury across much of the state. Back in April, Houston received over 16″ of rain in one night. The region had barely gotten over it when another round of rainfall of that magnitude fell slightly north of the April band of rainfall.
This week, the region has been under then influence of a very slow moving, closed mid level low across the western and central portions of the state. This has taken advantage of a moist environment, and the sounding from the Dallas NWS office came within .02″ of breaking the PWAT max for today at that site. This low has created several days of heavy rainfall across the region, and this has really had an impact on all of this.
Rivers across the region are very, very elevated, with many of them approaching record levels as I write this. This has no doubt had a significant impact on the folks across that region. Just check out some of the images on Twitter…
This is one of the neighborhoods in Richmond that were hit hard by all of the flooding. Keep them in your prayers!https://t.co/nyMy5SDwDa
— Connor Cleveland (@ConnorCleve) June 3, 2016
— Chris Jose (@ChrisJoseNBC5) June 3, 2016
Photo of IH 10 over the Brazos River. pic.twitter.com/jy6MnqAvtn
— TxDOT- HOU District (@TxDOTHoustonPIO) May 31, 2016
— Terry W. Virts (@AstroTerry) May 28, 2016
Lets hope those folks can avoid any and all rainfall coming up. Additionally, keep those folks in your thoughts and prayers going forward as they recover and rebuild after this crazy event.