At least if you go by the gage at my house. With six days left in the month, the Lake Houston Area has already broken the record for the all time wettest May. The official gage, of course, is at Bush Intercontinental Airport, but the NWS doesn’t release monthly data until the month is over.
This afternoon, my back yard rain gage recorded 17.24 inches for May. The previous record was 14.39 inches set in 1970. (See chart below.) That’s a 20% increase! With more rain on the way tonight and later this week.
Effect on Area Streets
We also recorded 4.11 inches this afternoon in a four-hour period. That’s pushing the limits of storm drains. And predictably, people reported street flooding all over the area.
Flash Flood Watch Till 9PM
A flash flood watch remains in effect for the Houston area until 9pm tonight. The four inches that fells this afternoon in about 4 hours rates as about a 5-year rain. Last weeks 5.5 inches in a little more than 3 hours was a 10-year rain. No wonder we’ve had the wettest May!
It’s important to remember that these statistics are averages. Just because you get a ten-year rain one week does NOT mean you are immune to another for 9.99 more years.
Effect of Five-Year Rain on Bens Branch
Before the recent rehabilitation project on Ben’s Branch, parts of this channel were down to a two-year level of service. Below, you can see how it handled a 5-year rain today. Room to spare. Quite an improvement for a maintenance project!
Overall, ditches and streams in Kingwood seem to be within their banks.
Wider-Area Stream and Lake Report
However, warning signs are popping up all around the Lake Houston Area.
At this hour, Lake Conroe seems under control. Luckily, the highest rainfall totals in the Lake Conroe area today were less than one inch.
But Lake Houston is approaching two feet above normal despite constant releases by the Coast Water Authority.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/24/21 with thanks to Nicole Black-Rudolph and Jennifer Zorn.
1364 Days since Hurricane Harvey