Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

The Rain in Texas is Mostly… Well, Everywhere

We’ve posted so many maps of the drought over the past few months here at StateImpact Texas. The drought across the state, the drought compared to the rest of the world, even the drought as seen from space.

So we’re happy today to share a map of a different color. Here’s the rainfall in Texas from Monday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

Map by NOAA

Rainfall in Texas over the last 24 hours

But the rain isn’t necessarily all-around great news.

Houston, where you can see some violet spots, had up to six inches of rain in some parts of town and suffered flooding. A couple of tornadoes even touched down, which the NOAA is investigating. One of them, in Fort Bend, just southwest of Houston, had the distinction of being the first tornado of 2012, with winds up to 95 mph, damaging several homes.

And while every bit of rain counts, the drought is far from over, and real relief may not come until the fall. As state meteorologist George Bomar testified before a state senate committee meeting on the Texas drought today:

“The bottom line appears to be this: The rest of this winter will be quite dry, and there is little to suggest spring will live up to its potential to end our drought.  Even the approaching summer does not appear capable of producing the kinds of rains we need, especially if the hurricane season is as uneventful as last year’s.  We have little reason to expect major relief from drought—especially the “hydrologic” variety—until deep in 2012, if then.”

In other extreme Texas weather news, Midland continues to get more snow than some typical wintry locales. The city has had 19.3 inches of snow fall since the beginning of December, more snowfall than Denver has had since then. And beating a previous record from the 1940′s of 13.9 inches, according to the Midland Reporter Telegram.

Here is a collection of tweets and Facebook updates from the scene in Houston yesterday:


  • Anonymous

    For all you climate change deniers out there in Republican Land Texas, get ready for it. 
    Droughts and floods are exactly what the models have been predicting for years. Now you will begin to see how expensive doing nothing about greenhouse gas emissions can be. Just the beginning.

  • Zeke

    Good job.  That shot of downtown is from TS Allison, unless 6 inches of rain took out the two new courthouses that have been built since then.

  • sons

    There is much more water vapor in the atmosphere and water vapor is a green house gas. Its called a positive feedback when warming causes water vapor that causes more warming and trapping of the sun’s heat on earth.

    The large volumn of water vapor tends to come down to earth in condensed rains, thus floods followed by droughts.

    With no government really addressing curbing green house gas emissions, we are going to find out what happens to earth and us in conditions of very high green house gas levels. We need to work on a “Plan B” to deal with run away heating of earth. Some scientists say far northern latitudes may support life in the final phase of global warming.

    But no one wants to talk about that. Too dire, Too scary – even though the science is settled on effects. So let’s all pretend we don’t see the elephant thundering down upon us. That can actually make us feel better – for a while anyway.

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