City of Houston breaks annual rainfall record set in 1900
As of 21:00 UTC (16:00 CDT) on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, the City of Houston, Texas recorded a total of 1 884.2 mm (74.18 inches) of rain since the start of the year, setting a new max one-year total rainfall record.
This is still a preliminary report, NWS Houston said, adding that the old record for the City of Houston was 1 850.6 mm (72.86 inches) set in 1900 when the deadliest hurricane in US history destroyed Galveston. NWS keeps records as far back as 1888.
Hurricane "Harvey" dumped nearly 1 016 mm (40 inches) of rain at Bush Airport and accounted for more than half of the city's 2017 rainfall to date.
"When you have tropical storms and hurricanes like we have, like Harvey, which was such a big rainmaker, you're going to have higher rainfall totals," said Nikki Hathaway, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, as reported by Houston Press.
Forecasters are unable to project how much more rain Houston will get this year, but if Houston gets average rainfall in October, November and December, it can expect about 330 mm (13 inches) of additional precipitation. That would bring the yearly total to about 2 184 (86 inches).
While meteorologists caution against conflating individual weather events with climate patterns, the Memorial Day and Tax Day floods of 2015 and 2016 also helped those years see higher than average rainfall. Houston's mean annual rainfall is 1 264.9 mm (49.8 inches), but the city saw 1 778.8 mm (70.03 inches) in 2015 and 1 548.4 mm (60.96 inches) in 2016.
Featured image: Rainfall produced by Hurricane "Harvey" – August 25, 2017. Credit: NASA/JAXA GPM
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