Victoria, Texas, received 20.28 inches of rain during the month of May, eclipsing the previous record of 14.66 inches in 1993. Nearly 14 inches of rain was measured in Houston between May 11th and June 3rd, marking the second wettest period on record for the city. Preliminary numbers also indicate Port Arthur had its wettest May on record at 15.55 inches.
These record setting rainfall observations have left the soil saturated and river levels high, meaning any additional precipitation could trigger flash flooding.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott activated resources to respond to the anticipated heavy rain and flooding, according to a press release from his office on Friday. This includes boat squads, search and rescue boat teams, helicopters with hoist capability and high-profile vehicles.
“This year’s spring season has brought an unprecedented amount of rain and flash flooding to many of our communities, and I urge Texans throughout the eastern and southern regions of the state to remain alert to changing weather conditions and heed the guidance of their local officials,” Gov. Abbott said in the release.
Flash Flood Watches hoisted for Louisiana
Heavy precipitation will also revisit much of coastal Louisiana this weekend as recent weather model trends have shifted the axis of heaviest rainfall slightly eastward. Flood Watches are now in effect through Sunday evening for most of southern Louisiana, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lake Charles.
“Some storms could produce rainfall rates in excess of 2 inches per hour” both Saturday and Sunday, said a forecaster from the National Weather Service in New Orleans.
Like Texas, this is also an area hit hard by recent rain and flooding and can’t seem to catch a break from the rough weather. Between May 16-22, Lake Charles, Louisiana reported over 21 inches of precipitation, while Baton Rouge saw a staggering 15 inches during the same period. This amount of rain turned streets into rivers, quickly inundating vehicles with water.
Double digit rain totals possible this weekend
Currently, the low pressure responsible for the inevitable soaking is churning over southern Texas. It is perfectly positioned to utilize the warm ocean waters of the Gulf of Mexico, helping to feed bands of rain into the coast.
“By the time the weekend is over, widespread accumulations of 2-6 inches are possible across Southeast Texas and Louisiana, with localized areas into the double digits,” said CNN Meteorologist Michael Guy. Although it’s difficult to predict the exact locations, the greatest flood potential will occur where bands of rain continually move over the same area. This is also referred to as the “training” of storms.
The low pressure will finally move away from the region and dissipate early next week allowing for a drying trend by Tuesday or Wednesday.