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.
Travel hazards, delays and disruptions associated with rain, ice and snow will continue over the Central states through the balance of the Thanksgiving weekend.
The current reprieve from heavy rain across southern India will not last long with the threat for flooding downpours set to return for the final days of November.
Sandra has weakened to a tropical storm but remains on track to make landfall in western Mexico with flooding rainfall on Saturday.
Heavy thunderstorms will continue to shift northward across central South America with the greatest threat for flooding focusing on northeastern Argentina and eastern Paraguay into Saturday morning.
Several days of heavy rain will bring the potential for significant flooding from the southern Plains to the middle Mississippi Valley into early next week.
Snow and ice storms have taken aim at the Central U.S. this week, while record-setting Sandra strengthened into a major hurricane south of Mexico.
Nation devastated by terrible floods -- 400 people killed.
O'Fallon, MD (1990)
Strong downburst from a thunderstorm caused an apartment to collapse, injuring 25 people.
New England Coast (1898)
Famous "Portland" storm formed off Cape Cod with loss of 200 lives. Many others were lost to the raging sea in 50 small vessels. A total of 27 inches of snow in New London, CT; 15 inches at Waterbury, CT. Peak wind was 72 mph in Boston. Boston received more than a foot of snow.