Texas: From Drought to Flood

By Dan DePodwin, Meteorologist
July 13, 2012; 4:21 AM
Share |
From <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/JasmineBabydoll/media/slideshow?url=pic.twitter.com%2FkHOuiQGx">@JasmineBabydoll</a>: Flood waters out here in Cypress, TX

The rainfall over the past few weeks exemplify the large weather disparities between different portions of the state of Texas. While the southeast part of Texas has been inundated with torrential and sometimes flooding rainfall, the western half of the state remains parched.

Severe to extreme drought continues to negatively impact agriculture in areas of the Panhandle. Since the drought's onset in 2011, billions of dollars have been lost. Meanwhile, a moist flow of air off the Gulf of Mexico, combined with nearly stationary atmospheric disturbances, has promoted extremely wet weather in and around Houston.

Just in the past several days, over 6 inches of rain have fallen in places close to Houston, including Conroe which has been flooded under almost 9 inches of rain.

Unfortunately for drought-stricken areas of western Texas, a large dome of high pressure has allowed dry conditions to persist. Sinking air caused by the high pressure has helped to suppress thunderstorm development. Many locations haven't seen a drop of rain since early in June.

As we move into the rest of the summer, AccuWeather.com meteorologists expect more dry weather for the western portion of the state. This will no doubt allow the drought to worsen. If not for near- to slightly above-normal rainfall in western Texas this past spring, the drought would be far worse.

Summertime is typically the wettest portion of the year in West Texas and the region will need a wet fall and winter to climb out of their rainfall deficit.

Residents of southeast Texas can expect to see more rounds of thunderstorms in the coming week or two, although they may not be as widespread nor as heavy as recent days.


Houston Gets A Month's Rain in Five Days

Storified by Accu Weather · Fri, Jul 13 2012 07:08:40

We've had enough rain in #Houston the drought is over!James Winningham Jr.
Since July 8, Houston Hobby Airport has received 4.86" of rain. The normal July rainfall is 4.66".
undefinedImgur
The data cutoff for the National Weather Service's Drought Monitor maps is Tuesday at 7 a.m. EST. The maps, which are based on analysis of the data, are released each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Darker red areas indicate the worst drought.
High Waters Force Rescues in Southeast TexasBrightcove
Lake is flooding. May need to build an arc if rain in Houston continues. http://pic.twitter.com/ZnkJjA3aKeith Emmons
Houston has rain! REAL rain with thunder! YAY!Steffi Blackman
Week's rain more typical for Houston than drought. Floods are stark reminder of necessity of investing in drainage infrastructure.Wayne Klotz
Anyone missing a beagle in the Cypress Creek Estates area? #pets #lost #Houston #news http://pic.twitter.com/QDUoUSPMBen
We have had massive rain in NW Houston. This is Cypress Creek http://pic.twitter.com/ImuggqsWRoger Weatherby
Lots of river treasures floating down the bayou. 8-9" of rain in some areas upstream and west of Houston. http://pic.twitter.com/8RFNu8K3Randy Samoff
@SamChampion the sky view of NE Houston, Texas 10in rain last 24hrs http://pic.twitter.com/ZIgaTEXbShree Brod
We're at Stablewood Farms subdivision off Huffmeister near Spring Cypress. Most streets impassable. http://pic.twitter.com/aHjuQn7DFord Atkinson
Cypress creek overflowed and we're still supposed to get another 2 ft of rain... #rainonrainonrain #floodproblems http://pic.twitter.com/oaVfc7CMTammy Tanko
Beautiful sky in #houston after today's rain http://pic.twitter.com/gNYRttQ6Maria Isabel Gomez

Comments

Comments left here should adhere to the AccuWeather.com Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News

  • So Hot in Yellowstone That the Park's Road Melted

    July 11, 2014; 12:45 PM ET

    Yellowstone National Park's Firehole Lake Drive was closed Thursday, July 10, as portions of the roadway's asphalt melted amid the summer's recent heat wave in the Northwest.

Daily U.S. Extremes

past 24 hours

  Extreme Location
High N/A
Low N/A
Precip N/A

WeatherWhys®

This Day In Weather History

Richmond, VA (1975)
3.01" of rain fell in evening thunderstorms. This was the second day of 9 straight days in which measurable rain fell. Nearly 8 inches of rain fell in this period. Rainfall in July, 1975 totalled 12.29 inches.

Gulf of Mexico (1979)
Hurricane Bob, 140 miles SSW of New Orleans moved ashore at Grand Isle, LA; New Orleans had 70-mph gusts, trees and power lines went down. Gulfport, MS had 6 inches of rain in 24 hours. Four tornadoes, 2 in SE Louisiana, 1 in Florida and 1 in SE Alabama. A total of 2.16 inches of rain in Baton Rouge, LA in 6 hours.

Medina, TX (1988)
Close to 13 inches of rain; flash flooding killed 2 people.