Second US tropical storm in a week drenches Texas
Tropical Storm Harold reached the southeast coast of Texas on Tuesday, causing further heavy rainfall and strong winds in the southern United States.
Some areas in the state have experienced up to 7 inches (17.7 cm) of rain due to the storm.
By late Tuesday afternoon, the storm had been downgraded to a tropical depression, yet the heavy rainfall persisted.
Over 23,000 individuals were left without electricity in Texas on Tuesday night.
The heavy rainfall in Texas occurred right after significant levels of rain led to flooding in parts of the southwestern US.
Cleanup efforts were underway in California and Nevada following the substantial rain brought by Storm Hilary, which resulted in widespread flooding.
Tropical Storm Harold made its landfall on Tuesday morning local time on Padre Island in the Gulf of Mexico, Texas.
Tropical storm warnings were issued from the Rio Grande River to around 250 miles (400 km) north, encompassing the community of Port O’Connor.
The National Weather Service (NWS) cautioned about potential instances of flash flooding.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott mentioned that the state had mobilized emergency resources such as rescue boats, search-and-rescue teams, and units from the state National Guard.
Wind gusts reaching 59 mph were reported near Corpus Christi.
The storm was projected to continue carrying rain, wind, and potentially hail as it moved westward across the arid and hot Texas terrain.
Rain was expected to taper off on Wednesday.
As Texans endure the deluge, weather officials have warned of yet another tropical storm – Franklin – currently some 230 miles east off the coast of the Dominican Republican.
Up to 6in of rain from Franklin is predicted to fall in Puerto Rico from Wednesday.
The impact of climate change on the frequency of storms is still unclear, but we know that increased sea surface temperatures warm the air above and make more energy available to drive hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons. As a result, they are likely to be more intense with more extreme rainfall.
The world has already warmed by about 1.1C since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions.