AUSTIN (KXAN) – In a remarkable and unusual turn of events, the heaviest rainfall from the remnants of Pacific Hurricane Odile has fallen in the Austin metro area—not in Arizona, New Mexico, or west Texas where it would typically occur. At least,not yet. The remaining circulation from the former major hurricane has moved into southwest New Mexico, and flood-producing rainfall is still possible there.
A steady influx of tropical moisture, and a series of upper level disturbances ejected from the storm, combined with an inflow of moist air from the Gulf of Mexico to produce 6- to 7 inches of rain in parts of Travis County. Torrential downpours produce 4 inches of rain in one hour near Mansfield Dam and over Lake Austin. That rainfall created the flash flood on Bear Creek that swept a Travis County Sheriff’s deputy away at a low water crossing just below the dam. The intense rain also forced the LCRA to open flood gates at Tom Miller Dam, releasing flood waters from Lake Austin.
Some 5- to 7 inches of rain was also reported in parts of Williamson County, from near Jarrell to south of Hutto. In contrast, the remnants of Odile only produced 3- to just over 4 inches of rain in Arizona and southern New Mexico, though more rain is forecast. The storm also produced 3- to 5 inches of rain in far west Texas, causing flash flooding in El Paso.
As the remnants of Hurricane Odile continue to move slowly eastward, rain may continue to develop in Central Texas Friday, and possibly into the weekend.