Flooding in Texas has taken the lives of at least 19 people and caused a virtual standstill across the state with school closings and road closures. It turns out all that rainfall has also set at least one new record: May 2015 is now the wettest month in state history, with over four days still to go.
Across Texas, the average rainfall in May has measured 7.54 inches, beating the June 2004 record of 6.66 inches, according to figures provided by the Office of the State Climatologist at Texas A&M University. The wettest region, located adjacent to Dallas-Fort Worth area, has received more than 20 inches of rain.
“It has been one continuous storm after another for the past week to 10 days in several regions of the state,” State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said in a statement. “It has rained so much that the ground just can’t soak any more moisture into it, and many creeks and rivers are above flood stage.”
The beginning of El Niño and the flow of wet air from the South have both contributed to the record downpour, according to Nielsen-Gammon. He predicted that the wet weather should change within the next few days.
In some parts of the state, rivers and reservoirs went from 20% to 100% capacity in the past month. Still, a drought remained in other parts of America’s largest contiguous state.