Extreme rainfall with Harvey will cause catastrophic flooding in East Texas including the Houston area.
Current Rainfall Totals and Flooding Situation in East Texas
Harvey has produced extremely heavy rainfall in parts of East Texas in the past 24 hours. Several rainfall gauges in Brazoria, Fort Bend, Liberty, and Harris Counties have reported in excess of 20 inches in the past 24 hours. These estimates are likely underdone as automated rain gauges are known to “miss” rainfall with higher rainfall rates.
The graphic below shows rain gauge data combined with radar estimated rainfall with an overlay of river gauges. The areas in white show the broader areas of 20+ inches of rain in the past 2 days with the bulk of that rain falling in the past 12 to 24 hours.
The river gauges are shown in all purple (inner and outer circle) mean these locations are already at major flood stage – which means there are significant infrastructure impacts. For the locations where the inner circle is yellow, orange or red and the outer circle is purple, that means the river is forecast to reach major flood stage.
While a large part of the rain has fallen in developed areas of Houston, the outlying areas of Houston have ranch/farm land. The ground is fully saturated and is no longer able to absorb water. Thus all rain is flowing to lower ground…so you may have areas in pastures that under more typically rainfall events stay dry but are now a flowing creek.
We urge livestock owners to check pastures frequently for flooding and consider cutting fences to allow an escape for your livestock. This is a rapidly evolving situation that will only get worse.
Rainfall forecasts this evening through Monday afternoon shows these same areas will receive ANOTHER 5 to 15 inches.
Unfortunately, Harvey will impact this area into this week and 7-Day rainfall forecasts show ANOTHER 20+ inches for the area that is already receiving catastrophic flooding.
This could be a historic event and worse than Tropical Storm Allison in the flooding and impacts.
As a reminder, Texas AgriLife has some good information to help ranchers prepare for and recover from Floods and Hurricanes.
The team at WxIntegrations will continue to provide relevant information and resources to help you better understand and prepare by incorporating weather impacts into your planning and response.
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