Hello Climate Matters Mets,
Below is some information about the phenomenal flooding taking place in Houston today, along with some graphics to help you tell the climate story. As always, let us know if you have any questions.
Phenomenal flooding started Sunday night and continues on Monday in and around Houston thanks to torrential rains. In just over 5 hours, at 5:20 a.m. Central time, Houston Intercontinental Airport had already received 8.85 inches of rain, breaking its previous rainfall record for the date (8.16 inches in 1976).
Numerous roads are closed as rain and thunderstorms continue this morning. Houston METRO has suspended all transit services including local bus, Park and Ride and light-rail. Many schools have closed, including the University of Houston. According to the National Weather Service office in Houston, 70 subdivisions in the metro area were flooded by 7 a.m. Central time.
To help residents affected by flooding, the Red Cross has opened shelters around the metro area. Emergency responders have conducted more than 100 water rescues in the City of Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a Monday morning briefing. Residents have been advised to avoid travel unless they are fleeing floodwaters.
While the airport set a rainfall record, other areas have also been deluged as rains sometimes fell at rates up to several inches per hour. Rain gauges and radar estimates indicate up to 16 inches of rain have fallen in parts of the metro area.
Below are some of the more notable 12-hour rain totals from the Harris County Flood Warning System as of 8 a.m. Central time: