Apr 18, 2016

Torrential rain and flash flooding inundate Houston area

Houston, TX
by
Sean Sublette
,
WxShift
Cars turning traffic back on Beltway 8 near Hardy Toll Road. Photo: @DougMillerKHOU, Twitter
Cars turning traffic back on Beltway 8 near Hardy Toll Road. Photo: @DougMillerKHOU, Twitter

Phenomenal flooding has gripped the Houston area, thanks to rain falling at rates up to several inches an hour. Between midnight and 5:20 a.m. Central time, Houston Intercontinental Airport received 8.85 inches of rain, breaking its previous rainfall record for the date (8.16 inches in 1976) in just five hours...

The rain was the result of a slow moving front sitting over eastern Texas, combined with a deep flow of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico...

While no attribution of this event is immediately available, this deluge is in line with a trend of increased downpours due to climate change not just in Houston but across the U.S. Nationwide, the number of days with 3 inches or more of rain has increased since 1950. Houston alone has seen a 167 percent increase in heavy downpours since the 1950s, according to a Climate Central analysis