Coming off one of the worst droughts in state history, parts of the Lone Star state have recently been dealing with more rain than they know what to do with.
The reservoir-filling, gully-washing downpours experienced over the past three days have not only broken records, but dropped more rain in just 72 hours than was seen in all of 2011 in some locations!
"2011 was a very dry year," says AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Adam Douty.
Even factoring in the prolonged dryness, the rain totals, due in part to the remnants of Tropical Storm Norman, were impressive even if they came after such a parched calendar year.
"It was the third wettest day ever in Midland on Friday the 28th," said Douty.
Three-day rainfall totals ranged from 2 to as much as 7 inches over a large chunk of Texas, especially throughout the central and southern parts of the state.
Multi-observational estimated rainfall totals from Friday, Sept. 28, the wettest day of the storm in many areas across west-central Texas. (NOAA)
Many locations, mainly in west-central Texas, recorded less rain through all of last year:
|Location||Rain (9/27-29/2012)||Rain (2011)||Difference|
Nearly as impressive, other areas totaled a significant portion of 2011's total rainfall in just a fraction of the time:
|Location||Rain (9/27-29/2012)||Rain (2011)||% of 2011 Total|
While residents were undoubtedly happy to see the rain, will it be enough to further quell the long-term drought in the region?
A map showing drought conditions across the South. "Severe" or "exceptional" drought is highlighted in red and maroon shades. (U.S. Drought Monitor)
"I think the short-term benefits will be large by filling reservoirs and lakes," says Douty. "But to break a long-term drought, you need to have a pattern shift which would give a prolonged period of near- to above-normal rain."
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 79 percent of Texas remains in drought conditions, with the drought in a quarter of the state ranked as "severe" or "exceptional."
Even ignoring the recent heavy rain, conditions have been improving as much of Texas is averaging near to above normal in rainfall since late spring.
The AccuWeather.com Long Range forecasting team will release their full winter outlook this Wednesday, and as a preview, precipitation does look to remain above normal through at least a part of Texas through early next year.
If that is the case, 2013 could prove to be a better growing season than both 2011 and 2012.
Hurricane Ignacio may enhance showers and stir rough surf for the Hawaiian Islands as it approaches next week.
After Erika brings heavy rain and locally gusty winds from Hispaniola eastern Cuba into Friday night, the system will move toward the Bahamas, the Keys and South Florida this weekend.
As many as seven tropical cyclones were churning throughout the world this past week, while smoke from wildfires across the Pacific Northwest led to poor air quality across the region.
Heat will linger in Eastern Europe for much of the fall season; meanwhile, the British Isles and northwestern Europe can expect a stormy end to the season.
As Hurricane Katrina barreled towards the Gulf Coast, peaking at Category 5 strength while feasting on the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, meteorologists around the country prepared to deliver one of the most crucial and life-saving forecasts in history.
Anchorage, AK (1989)
A total of 9.6 inches of rain -- wettest August on record.
New England (1816)
"Year in which there was no summer", otherwise known to weather historians as "1800 and frozen to death" killing frost once again damages sparse corn corp in northern New England...loss of this and other crops led to severe famine in much of New England that winter...and helped spur western migration in spring of 1817.
New England (1965)
A total of 2.5 inches of snow on top of Mt. Washington set an August record. Vermont had a reading of only 25 degrees, while Nantucket had a chilly 39 degrees. Earliest freeze on record at many stations.