Storms leave diverse rainfall statistics across Valley

HARLINGEN — The thunderstorms that chugged across the Valley for several hours Sunday left wildly divergent rainfall totals depending on location.

At Valley International Airport in Harlingen, the official rain gauge read 1.29 inches.

But areas to the west received much more precipitation, said Mike Castillo, senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Brownsville.

About 5 miles southwest of Harlingen, an unofficial volunteer weather observer recorded 4.06 inches of rainfall Sunday. And about a half-mile north of the city, another volunteer recorded 2.45 inches.

The amounts are significant since Harlingen, for the past 30 years, has averaged just 25.18 inches of rain annually.

McAllen Miller International Airport reported 2.91 inches of rain, shattering a record for the date. The previous rainfall record for the day was 1.95 inches set in 1970.

A rare tornado warning was issued for Hidalgo County on Sunday afternoon but there was no official confirmation of a funnel cloud. Castillo said there was one unconfirmed report of a tornado sighting in the Hargill area, and “we did have quite a bit of wind damage reports.”

Castillo said tornado warnings are very rare in the Valley.

“We don’t get the classic-type tornadic thunderstorm like North Texas, Oklahoma or the Central Plains,” he said. “Not that it can’t happen but they’re very small and very short-lived.”

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