After months without rain, flash flooding possible

AUSTIN (KXAN) — After more than a month without rain in some areas, and nearly four consecutive months of mostly dry weather, several places in Central Texas could see 5-10 inches of rain over the next few days. If forecast totals prove accurate, life-threatening flooding and flash flooding will be possible.

Rain chances will start to increase dramatically this afternoon and last through at least Sunday morning. The best chances for heavy rainfall are late Friday through late Saturday.

Flash Flood Watch has been issued for Mason, San Saba and Lampasas counties for the potential of flooding rain through 7 a.m. Friday. These watches will be expanded later today to include most everyone in Central Texas.

Even though there is rain in the forecast, all of the counties in Central Texas are still under a burn ban until the soil gets a good soaking.

Floods in October

A convergence of atmospheric events in the month of October has a long history of bringing significant, sometimes catastrophic flooding to Central Texas. The ingredients usually include the same elements that are forecast to come together over the next several days: Low pressure aloft approaching from the southern Rockies, a Pacific moisture tap associated with an active or dissipating tropical storm or hurricane, and a rich flow of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.

Here are our First Warning Weather Diary entries from two of the most catastrophic events in recent years:

  • Oct. 17, 1998: More than 17 inches of rain falls in San Marcos, and a daily rain record of 6.24 inches at Camp Mabry. Historic flooding from San Antonio to Austin, including record floods on the Guadalupe River and Onion Creek. Four deaths in flash floods locally. A tornado touched down in Elgin. Shoal Creek flooded businesses along North Lamar Boulevard.
  • Oct. 30, 2013: Extremely heavy rain began late, stranding motorists in northwest Austin. Record daily rainfall at Camp Mabry with 3.24 inches.
  • Oct. 31, 2013: 10-12 inches of rain caused devastating flooding on Onion Creek, which reached an all-time high of 42 feet. A total of six people died in Central Texas.

Weather Tools

Tune into KXAN News and KXAN.com for weather updates from KXAN’s First Warning Weather Team.

 

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