Harvey May Become the Rainiest Storm in U.S. History—Here's Why

Several factors have combined to make the storm wetter than most, with potentially deadly consequences for the Texas coast.

Forecasters think the storm’s nearly stationary movement and drenching rainfall could, as Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach described it, “basically train a fire hose” on a stretch of the Texas coast.

Harvey could dump as much as 50 inches of rain on parts of coastal Texas from Sunday to Thursday. That would break the record for rainfall from a tropical cyclone in the United States, which was set in 1978 by tropical storm Amelia. That storm came ashore near Brownsville, Texas, in July 1978, moved slowly inland, and dropped 48 inches of rain.

It’s unusual for a hurricane as intense as Harvey—which had peak winds of 130 miles an hour at landfall—to be such a rainmaker.

“Powerful hurricanes are less prone to

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