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By the numbers: Imelda was fifth wettest tropical storm to hit Lower 48

The system that flooded much of Southeast Texas has led some to compare it to Hurricane Harvey.

Tropical Storm Imelda caused devastating flooding across Southeast Texas after dropping near-records amount of rainfall, leading some to compare it to Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Here’s a look at preliminary numbers of the tropical storm, courtesy of the National Weather Service:

- It’s the fifth wettest tropical cyclone in U.S. history—excluding Hawaii and Alaska.

The top five wettest are:

  1. Harvey, 60.58 inches, 2017
  2. Amelia, 48 inches, 1978
  3. Easy, 45.2 inches
  4. Claudette, 45 inches, 1979
  5. Imelda, 43.15 inches, 2019*
    (*Preliminary numbers)

- It was the fourth wettest tropical cyclone in Texas history.

- Imelda beats Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 for the highest observed precipitation: Allison dropped 39 inches; preliminary numbers from Imelda are 43.15 inches.

- It’s the fifth all-time wettest day ever in Houston with 9.18 inches fallen at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

- It’s the wettest September day on record for Houston, beating Hurricane Ike’s previous record of 7.73 inches in 2008.

- It’s Beaumont’s fifth wettest day on record.

- It’s Beaumont’s third wettest September Day.

- Imelda rivaled Harvey in some areas, but was made far worse because it happened in hours instead of days, like Harvey.

- See the images below for comparison of how expansive the flooding was with Harvey (left) compared to the tiny dot that it was with Imelda (right).

Credit: National Weather Service
These graphics show the comparison of Hurricane Harvey (left) and Tropical Storm Imelda (right).


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