It wasn’t quite 40 days and 40 nights, but the rain that fell in May certainly left North Texas drenched. While the end of the month was greeted with sunshine, most of May saw non-stop thunderstorms, record rainfall, widespread flooding and dozens of tornadoes.
The West Fork of the Trinity River, which feeds lakes in Tarrant County, went from the driest conditions since the 1950s to overflowing.
“None of these rains by themselves have been that extraordinary but it's the fact that they've been stacked one on top of the other that made it so unusual,” said David Marshall, director of engineering and operational support for the Tarrant Regional Water District.
State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon estimates May’s steady rainfall was “a one-in-2,000-year event.”
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Here’s a breakdown:
16.96 inches of rain, the most in May and the third most of any month ever, behind only 16.97 inches in April 1942 and 17.64 inches in April 1922.
24 out of 31 days that it rained at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, the official recording station for the National Weather Service. That ties the record set in April 1941 and breaks the May record of 22 days in 1965.
25.05 inches of rain since March, the second wettest spring ever, behind the 29.01 inches of rain between March 1-May 31 in 1957.
31.63 inches of rain since Jan. 1, the second highest total to start a year since it rained 32.50 inches from Jan. 1-May 31 in 1957.
28.90 inches of rain in Gainesville in May, the most of any area in North Texas.
26.55 feet that Grapevine Lake is above capacity, which is up 28.30 feet from a month ago.
35 trillion gallons of water fell in May, enough to cover the entire state in 8.81 inches of water. It was the wettest month ever for Texas.
21 days with thunder at DFW Airport. Though not an official statistic, it’s the most since 16 days in June 2004.
39 tornadoes in the 46 county area of the National Weather Service Fort Worth office. There have been 57 tornadoes since April.