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How Hurricane Harvey’s Record-Setting Rainfall Happened

4 Sep 2017, 21:01 UTC
How Hurricane Harvey’s Record-Setting Rainfall Happened
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Stranded vehicles sit where they got stuck in high water from Hurricane Harvey on Dairy Ashford Drive, August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Image credit: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images.It’s incredibly simple and straightforward, and the science doesn’t lie. (And yes, global warming played a role!)“The hurricane flooded me out of a lot of memorabilia, but it can’t flood out the memories.” -Tom DempseyNo hurricane, typhoon, or tropical storm, in all of recorded history, has dropped as much water on a single major city as Hurricane Harvey just did in Houston, TX. The National Weather Service has had to create a new scale to accurately depict how much rain has fallen, as a few locations have crested the three foot mark, as of a week ago, since the Hurricane first made landfall. Things weren’t done even then, as the eye of the storm took up residence right off of the Texas coast, and large swaths of the southwest continued to experience unprecedented, heavy rains all throughout the week. While many weather professionals are calling this a “500-year-storm,” indicating that there’s only a 0.2% of a storm like this happening in a given year, the science of how a storm like this occurs ...

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