Record setting rains that fell on Sunday in Texas and Oklahoma are still wreaking havoc as flooding continues in the region. The storms dumped enough water that the rivers and creek banks were not able to contain all of the wet weather flow. Runoff peaked as late as Monday in these areas causing the National Weather Service to advise of continued flooding threats.
With help from the recent burst of storms, this May has already seen more rain than ever before for several cities in the southern plains states as they record the wettest Mays with more rain on the way before June arrives. Meteorologist Forrest Mitchell of the National Weather Service describes the cause of the widespread, heavy rains as meeting of several factors. An active southern jet stream is bringing an abundance of moisture out of the Gulf of Mexico which then meets the cooler air temperatures and releases the rain. The prolonged warming of the Pacific Ocean seat surface temperatures generally result in the cooler land surface air. Oklahoma CIty has seen 27.37 inches of rain this year compared to only 4.29 inches at this time in 2014. This weekend alone, Oklahoma City beat its previous monthly rainfall record of 14.5 inches with 18.2 The moisture reaches nearly two feet below the surface of the soil which is good news for the drought stricken state but also means that any more rainfall will likely result in even more devastating flooding.
The Blanco River in San Marcos, Texas rose more than twenty-six feet in one hour to forty feet during the storms. That is more than twice as high as its flood stage. Many dams have been breached and workers are continuing to reinforce those that have not.