When is the rain going to end? Here’s the sobering reason we can’t answer that question

I have a couple of sobering images for you this morning. First of all, here’s a map of the total rainfall between yesterday and about 6am this morning. As you can see some areas have already received well in excess of 10 inches, and a large chunk of the region has gotten 6+ inches.

Rainfall accumulation between Sunday evening and Monday morning. (NOAA)
Rainfall accumulation between Sunday evening and Monday morning. (NOAA)

I post this image not to scare anyone, but to emphasize the ability of this storm system to rapidly produce rainfall, with hourly rates of 3 inches or more.

Unfortunately the upper-level low pressure system that’s driving much of this activity is very large, and not progressing eastward very quickly. If we zoom out on a radar to look at the whole state, we can see a broad line of showers and thunderstorms extending all of the way to the Big Bend area. These storms are related to the upper-level low.

Texas radar as of 6am CT. (NOAA)
Texas radar as of 6am CT. (NOAA)


Now I am not trying to say this line of storms will just march eastward into Houston over the next two days. It won’t. But given the storm motion and atmospheric moisture in place, we are going to see conditions favorable for very heavy rain at least through Tuesday or Tuesday night, and possible beyond. Last night’s rain, unfortunately, marked just a beginning to what will probably be a multi-day event.

Not all parts of Houston are going to get hammered, but some areas already have been inundated with life-threatening flooding, and we can expect more of the same today and probably Tuesday.

I’ll have more later

Posted at 6:40am CT Monday

7 thoughts on “When is the rain going to end? Here’s the sobering reason we can’t answer that question”

  1. Times like this, I’m very appreciative of your website as a concise, low-drama source of information. Thank you.

  2. Thank you Eric for your expertise on this extreme event. Prayers to all who are greatly affected.

  3. West Gray between Dunlavy and Shepherd flooded. Already some cars stranded in the water. Every year the same, some people think their SUV will make it, despite police guarding access! Eric, I’ll be consulting your website all day, thanks for all the great work you’re doing. May all of you be safe.

  4. Seriously, Eric, do you have a PayPal account or something where we can send donations for your excellent (and, honestly, selfless) work?? I know many thousands of folks would love to contribute. Thank you so much.

  5. Predicting weather is anything but a precise science. I really appreciate your approach. You provide the mitigating circumstances and help the reader feel informed. Much appreciation from Katy. 🙂

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