Harvey Rain and Flooding Report Part 1

By now everyone knows that the rains caused by Harvey, the once category four hurricane that has been meandering over coastal areas of Texas, are of epic proportions.

So how bad is it?  What meteorological conditions led up to this catastrophic event?  What are the specific issues this area has with regard to all of this rain?

Let’s start with some rain totals.  The ground rain gauge is still the best way to measure rain and the totals are crazy!  As of midnight last night, south Houston recorded 43″ of rain! (it is likely higher now)  To put that into local perspective, Springfield’s normal annual rainfall is just over 45″.

The area experiencing the flooding rain is large as well.  Radar estimates of rain, supplemented with ground reports, tells the story. Note that legend only goes up to 20″ but all of the area in white is guaranteed to be flooding:

 

Ryan Maue at WeatherBell posted this calculation on Twitter:

And this report as of this morning…

In later parts, I will talk more about the weather conditions and layout of the Houston area.