NWS: TS Harvey's Houston rainfall breaks U.S. record

NWS: TS Harvey's Houston rainfall breaks U.S. record

While the old scale used 13 colors from light green to dark purple to depict precipitation from 0.1 inch to greater than 15 inches, the new one resets that dark purple color to denote 15-20 inches of rain - and tacks on two more lighter shades of purple to denote 20-30 inches and "greater than 30 inches".

The National Weather Service says rain is falling just east of Houston at a rate of 2 inches (5 centimeters) an hour.

If this number is reached, it would set a statewide record, and would also be the heaviest rain to result from a landfalling tropical storm or hurricane on record in USA history. Both of these records are higher than the previous record of 48 inches set in 1978 during tropical cyclone Amelia which hit Medina, Texas.

In addition to the rain, the weather service says a few thunderstorms are possible, but meteorologists say they are not very confident yet on when/where those storms could be favored.

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Another graphic from NWS Eastern Region shows radar information for Harvey from last Thursday, as the giant Category 4 hurricane formed in the Gulf of Mexico, through Monday morning.

That record rainfall is thanks to an unusual situation.

The NWS updated their colour charts on Monday with a lavender layer to indicate areas where greater than 30 inches have already fallen.

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This is the first time the NWS has added new gradations to a graphic in this way.

The weather service warns the storm has been and will continue to be erratic, so residents should stay aware of the latest forecasts.

"That island holds a lot of the records", Schumacher said.

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