Oh, what a relief it was to hear the chorus of raindrop plunks Monday afternoon as heavy rain soaked the Austin metro area, still thirsty for precipitation after a teasingly small dose of rain earlier this month.
More rain is expected Wednesday and the chances for scattered showers persists through the week and weekend, according to the latest National Weather Service forecast. But cumulative rainfall totals over the next few days may only amount to about a quarter-inch.
"Wednesday should be quieter with isolated to scattered showers and storms still a possibility, but more of the 'garden variety,' which is basically all you can ask for when in a drought," the weather service said in a bulletin Tuesday.
Although Monday's storms generated some impressive weather statistics, the most welcome set of numbers will likely arrive Thursday. That's when the U.S. Drought Monitor will release drought data for Texas that should illustrate the effects of a tropical cyclone that rolled into the Rio Grande Valley last week and the cold front that brought storms to Central and North Texas.
In the meantime, here are some of the most notable weather stats for Austin this week:
3.73 inches of rain in Austin on Monday
Austin's main weather station at Camp Mabry recorded as much as 3.73 inches on Monday, setting a daily rainfall record for Aug. 22 and eclipsing the previous record of 1.25 inches set in 2020.
Not only was Monday the rainiest day in Austin this year, it also was the city's rainiest day in more than three years. The last time Austin got close to getting this much rain was May 4, 2018, when the city got 3.67 inches. The wettest August day ever in Austin was on Aug. 9, 1994, when the city got 5.68 inches of rain.
4.96 inches in the Allandale neighborhood of Austin.
3.07 inches about a mile west of Georgetown in central Williamson County.
2.94 inches about 8 miles west of Dripping Springs in northern Hays County.
2.55 inches about 8 miles east-northeast of Blanco in southern Blanco County.
2.47 inches about 10 miles south-southwest of Elgin in northern Bastrop County.
1.2 inches in Dale in northeastern Caldwell County.
1.17 inches on Lake LBJ at RM 1431 in Burnet County.
43,000 gallons of water a second flowing into Lady Bird Lake
The gauges monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey on Monday recorded flooding and high water flow on Shoal Creek, which runs through Central Austin and empties into Lady Bird Lake downtown. At 5:25 p.m. Monday, sensors showed that Shoal Creek discharged as much as 5,750 cubic feet of water per second into Lady Bird Lake — that's about 43,000 gallons of water a second.
4.73 inches of rain in Austin for August
Last month, Austin recorded only trace amounts of rainfall, which worsened the city's rainfall deficit for the year. Before Monday, the city's main weather station at Camp Mabry had logged only 13.1 inches of rainfall since Jan. 1, a total that was about 9 inches below normal for this point in the year. The inch of rain earlier this month and Monday's downpours helped Austin shrink that deficit to about 5.4 inches.
Austin will have a high temperature of 90 degrees Wednesday
Although the National Weather Service outlook includes rain chances all week, ranging from 40% on Wednesday to 20% on Saturday, the best news for some might be the extended break from triple-digit temperatures.
Even though Wednesday's projected high of 90 degrees is the lowest maximum temperature in this week's forecast, high temperatures for the rest of the week are expected to stay in the lower 90s, which would put them several degrees below normal for this time of year.
Austin has recorded 68 days of 100-degree weather so far this year.
26% of Texas in the most severe level of drought
About 97% of the state is experiencing drought — from "abnormally dry," the lowest level, to the most severe "exceptional drought," according to the latest data released last Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor, a joint effort of the National Drought Mitigation Center, the U.S. Agriculture Department and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Drought monitor data indicate that at least 22.7 million Texans live in drought-stricken areas and that 2022 to date is the state's second-driest year in the past 128 years.
Central Texas has been an area classified as having exceptional drought. Exceptional drought — typified by crop loss and extreme sensitivity to fire danger — has dropped from 29% of Texas to about 26.5% last week. New data to be released Thursday could show more improvement after a tropical cyclone dumped beneficial rain in South Texas last week.
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Austin just had its rainiest day of 2022. The stats don't end there