Harvey’s Texas rainfall breaks U.S. record
The rain from Harvey is in a class of its own. The storm has unloaded more than 50 inches of rain east of Houston, the greatest amount ever recorded in the 48 contiguous states from a single storm. And it’s still raining.
John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas state climatologist, said a rain gauge in Mont Belvieu, about 40 miles east of Houston, had registered 51.1 inches of rain by Tuesday afternoon. This total exceeds the previous record of 48 inches set during tropical cyclone Amelia in Medina, on the Texas-Mexico border, in 1978.
All rainfalls totals from this storm are still preliminary and require review. But, if verified, this amount breaks not only the Texas state rainfall record but also the record for the remaining 48 contiguous states.
Hawaii has logged isolated reports of greater amounts at high elevations from tropical systems, but the footprint from Harvey is much larger. It has produced at least three feet of rain over most of the Houston region.
The Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin at Madison determined that many areas of Southeast Texas have received rain that is expected to come around only once every 1,000 years.