Record breaking rainfall: Extensive flooding ongoing in the southern Plains

Record breaking rainfall: Extensive flooding ongoing in the southern Plains

The ongoing heavy rainfall all over the southern Plains has caused severe, long-lasting, flooding. Cars and homes have been swamped and at least one person has been reported dead. 

Late Monday night into Tuesday (May 18/19), 75.94 mm (2.99 inches) of rain fell in only 45 minutes in San Angelo Regional Airport, Texas causing the city's airport to shut down. The rainfall was more than the average rainfall for the entire month of May, their wettest month on average. 

The North Concho River in Texas rose over 5.18 m (17 feet) in only 3.5 hours. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), this was the highest crest since September 20, 1974.

This Monday (May 18) was the ninth wettest calendar day, overall, and the single wettest day since September 9, 1980. Last year at this time, San Angelo recorded the driest year with only 21.6 mm (0.85 inches) of precipitation. In contrast, this year the city had almost 304.8 mm (12 inches) of precipitation.

The streets of downtown Little Rock, Arkansas experienced major flooding today, May 20.

Accidents were reported on several highways around the city, and one driver had to be rescued from a car, according to This year's month of May is already the wettest May on record with 355.6 mm (14 inches) of rain recorded in Fort Smith by the NWS.

Some homes had to be evacuated in the Wichita, Kansas due to extensive flooding, while near Cole, Oklahoma, one person died when a car was swept away by the floodwaters.

According to the NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC), over 30 tornadoes were reported from late May 19 through early morning May 20 in north Texas and southern Oklahoma.

SPC is forecasting a risk of severe thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon (May 20) and evening from West Texas across the lower Mississippi Valley and into the western Tennessee Valley. The greatest risk will be across parts of southwestern and central Texas. Large hail and damaging winds will be the main threats. 

Featured image credit: @txtchx1999


Bill H 6 years ago

Back in 1987 I was at Ft. Sill (by Lawton), Oklahoma and things were "normal". In the mid-2000 the drought had started. I was back at Ft. Sill and was amazed over how low most of the lakes had become. Now it seems all the lakes are back full and now there is flooding. How times change.

Post a comment

Your name: *

Your email address: *

Comment text: *

The image that appears on your comment is your Gravatar