When it rains it pours.
It's an old saying we often use in our regional vernacular, but one that fits particularly well for heavy rain events experienced across large areas of Texas over the Memorial Day weekend.
The cloudbursts come at a good time with much of the state lingering in extreme drought status in recent months, and, in a few cases, in one stage or another of drought over the past several years.
Hardest hit seems to be a small area in Tom Green County where nearly 10 inches of rain has fallen over the past seven days. Just west of San Antonio in southern Bandera and Real Counties nearly eight inches of rain were recorded in just over a 48 hour period over the holiday weekend.
Medina, Bandera, Real, Frio and Uvalde Counties accumulated between 4-7 inches of rain over the last seven days and appear to be the largest area hit by heavy cloudbursts over the Memorial Day weekend. The rains along the headwaters of the Frio and Nueces Rivers promise substantial benefit to coastal residents in Corpus Christi as Lake Corpus Christi and Choke Canyon reservoir will receive the run-off from these rain events.
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Also benefiting greatly from rain events over the last week are Kerr, Kendall, Gillespie and Blanco Counties with rainfall accumulations ranging between 2-4 inches over wide areas with greater amounts in isolated spots across the region.
Farms and ranches in San Saba, Mills, Brown, Coleman, McCulloch, Concho, Irion, Sterling, Upton, Pecos and Terrell Counties received as much as 5-6 inches of rain over the last week. Scurry, Garza and Kent counties in the Panhandle also received substantial rainfall with up to six inches recorded in some areas.
Rice farmers in the upper Coastal Bend will benefit from heavy rains in Wharton, Matagorda, and Jackson Counties where 4-6 inches of rain was recorded. Heavy rains also fell in Harris County, including parts of Metro Houston, which received as much as six inches of rain over the last week, most of that falling over the long holiday weekend.
Most of Texas received some rain over the last 5-7 days in varying amounts. Most of East Texas received between a quarter-inch to a half-inch of rain with a few scattered areas getting as much as one inch of rain over the last five days. Far West Texas, including El Paso County received less than an inch of rain with most places in the far west region of the state getting less than a quarter-inch of rain.
Coastal areas received varying amounts but generally winds off of the Gulf kept showers away from the coastline. As little as a trace of rain up to a half inch fell across most of coastal Texas from Galveston south to Brownsville.
The Lower Rio Grande Valley received small amounts of rain ranging between a trace in coastal areas up to a half inch in some locations. North of the Valley in Kleberg County up to three inches of rain were recorded and will prove beneficial to ranchers in the cattle-rich region.
While the rains are generally a positive development for most farms and ranches, those that have been harvesting wheat, onions, melons and other select crops may be kept out of their fields for several days. Some hail damage was reported in isolated areas of the state and reports of heavy winds that damaged corn and sorghum in a few areas may cause some crop loss for a limited number of growers. Reports of crop damage continue to filter in from across the hardest hit areas of the state as of this writing.
Forecasters say additional rains are expected for much of the remainder of the week as a stalled low pressure system finally begins to work its way east and south over the next few days. Heavy local rains could occur in areas where pastures are already saturated.
Severe weather caused a number of roadways to flood and resulted in a number of reports of water rescues statewide. A pair of tornadoes touched down in San Patricio and McMullen Counties. Unconfirmed reports indicate one of the twisters damaged a cotton gin near Tilden in McMullen County.