Tropical Storm Harvey has broken the all-time record for tropical storm rainfall in the United States, federal scientists said Thursday.
The storm, which made landfall as a major hurricane on Friday, has dumped 49.2 inches of rain in a suburb of Houston, the National Weather Service announced on Tuesday. The weather service warned the total “could potentially increase” as the storm continues.
The record for total rainfall from a tropical system has been BROKEN! Mary’s Creek at Winding Road recorded 49.20″, previous record is 48″. pic.twitter.com/yCjuUOR8p3
— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) August 29, 2017
The previous rainfall record for a tropical storm or hurricane was set in 1978 by Tropical Storm Amelia, which produced 48 inches of rain in parts of Texas.
Harvey remains a tropical storm and rain continues to fall in parts Texas. Some forecasts say rain totals could top 50 inches in parts of the state.
Meteorologists say Harvey is a such a rainmaker because the storm is barely moving and hasn’t pushed inland, allowing it to collect new moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, National Geographic reports.
Lawmakers could consider an emergency aid package for Harvey when they return from their August recess. As many as half a million Texans could be eligible for disaster assistance, the White House predicts.