From Drought to Deluge

February 21, 2012; 5:56 AM ET
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After yet another weekend filled with drenching rain across much of Texas, the beneficial rain is slowly but surely helping Houston climb out of its current drought.

Before the weekend, the city of Houston was already close to climbing out of drought status thanks to a very wet start that the city hasn't seen in nearly 20 years.

The city will officially know if indeed it is no longer in a drought when the U.S. Drought Monitor releases its latest report Thursday morning.

Saturday's rainfall event in and around the Houston metropolitan area set some records for the greatest one day rainfall total.

Galveston, Texas, reported 2.85 inches of rain Saturday, which broke the previous record for the day of 2.10 inches set back in 1924.

Houston's Hobby Airport picked up 2.56 inches on Saturday that also set a daily record, beating out the old record of 1.62 inches set back on that date in 1963.

The heavy rain from this past weekend has not been a rare sight so far this year. The rainfall received so far this year has helped to alleviate the crushing drought of 2011 that continues to plague much of the Lone Star State.

A look at the latest drought conditions across Texas issued on February 14th. (U.S. Drought Monitor)

Just one year ago, a couple of heavy rain events crossed through Texas during the month of January. Towards the end of the month and the beginning of February, the rain had tapered off and the drought got under way.

It is this drought that makes the rainfall received in Houston this year quite a noticeable change.

So how wet has it been this year in Houston and the surrounding area?

Since the 1st of the year, 11.06 inches of rain have fallen at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport and making it the 6th wettest start to the year since records have been kept.

On the south side of the city, Hobby Airport has received 12.24 inches making this year the 4th wettest start to the year.

About 2 hours up the road in College Station, Texas, 12.08 inches of rainfall have made it the second wettest start to the year.

The next chance for rain across the region may come later this week as a storm system sparks some showers and thunderstorms.


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