National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Widespread Mid-July Rain
15-19 July 2013

Photograph of a park in Lubbock
A typical scene across Lubbock on Wednesday, July 17th as the sun came out around midday. More rain showers followed Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning.

Over the course of five days - from Sunday, July 14th to Thursday, July 18th - a rare westward-moving upper-level storm system slowly moved from Oklahoma, across northwest Texas, and then into New Mexico. This system drew rich moisture from the Gulf of Mexico into West Texas, and produced generous rainfall across most of the South Plains area. Many locations received the most rainfall from one event in several years. Reports of one to three inches of rain were common and a few areas received 4-6+ inches!

The following two images show rainfall measurements from across the area:

radar estimates of total rainfall across the area
Radar-estimated rainfall across the area with a few selected sites labeled. The scale on this image is too small to read. In general, greens are 1 to 2 inches. Magenta to purple is 2 to 3 inches, blues are 4 to 5 inches, and the yellow core near Plainview is about 6 inches (note that the blue swath in the lower-right is not correct). Lubbock and Childress rainfall reports are from NWS gages at the airports. Other reports are courtesy of the West Texas Mesonet. Click on the image to see a larger version.
Here is a more regional view of the rainfall from the event:


radar estimates of total rainfall across the area
Precipitaion analysis, using rain gages and multi-radar estimated rainfall from 7/14 to 7/19.

The satellite image below shows the storm system as it looked around noon on Monday. Note the center of circulation was located over western Oklahoma at that time:

Satellite image of the storm system
GOES visible satellite imagery at 12:45 pm CDT on Monday, 7/15. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The image below shows rainfall totals acros the South Plains area for the month of July 2013. Some areas across the western to northern South Plains saw above average rainfall for the month.

Map of July precipitation across the South Plains area. Click on the image to see a larger version.
July precipitation as recorded by NWS ASOS and Co-Op stations, along with West Texas Mesonet stations. Click on the image to see a larger version.