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The Rain Won’t Go Away: Texas Having Its Wettest Month In History

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
The intersection at 9th and Lamar in Austin earlier this week after Shoal Creek flooded.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: record-setting rain for Texas; a shark fin ban is in the works; Jordan Spieth is at the Byron Nelson; and more.

This has been the wettest month on record for Texas, and there are still several days left. The Office of the State Climatologist at Texas A&M University said Wednesday that an average of 7.54 inches of rain has already fallen in Texas in May. The previous record was 6.66 inches, which fell in June 2004. John Nielsen-Gammon, who serves as the state climatologist, says continuous storms for the past week to 10 days have contributed to rainfall records in many locales.

The wettest area has been from Dallas-Fort Worth to the Red River, where some places have gotten more than 20 inches of rain. Recent storms have caused widespread flooding and killed at least 15 people in Texas and four others in Oklahoma.

From Jan. 1-May 27, Dallas-Fort Worth has recorded 26.98 inches, way up from 7.32 inches during the same time in 2014, the National Weather Service says.

Update: Here's the latest on Friday's wet weather after several inches of rain fell on Dallas-Fort Worth overnight. This is now the wettest May on record for Dallas-Fort Worth, the National Weather Service reports. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport has recorded 16.07 inches of rain through 6 a.m. Friday, smashing the previous May record of 13.66 inches in 1982.[Associated Press/KERA]

  • Explore the Trinity River. The Trinity River in Dallas has been in the news lately with all of the heavy rain. Lots of folks have been flocking to the river to snap pictures of the rain-choked river. Explore the Trinity River in this interactive project that KERA produced several years ago: Living With The Trinity.

  • Texas appears close to approving a shark fin ban. The Texas Tribune reports: “A measure to ban the trade of shark fins in Texas is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk after clearing the Texas Senate on Wednesday. A Chinese delicacy used in soup, shark fins are harvested in a brutal practice known as finning: catching a shark at sea, cutting off its fin and tossing the live shark back into the water to die. House Bill 1579 by state Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Harlingen, aims to cut down on finning by making it illegal to buy or sell shark fins in Texas. The measure passed the Senate on a 27-4 vote Wednesday, after passing the House last month.” Read more here. [Texas Tribune]

  • Jordan Spieth, Dallas’ very own, is playing at the AT&T Byron Nelson this week. The Dallas Morning News reports he’s opened his $2.3 million Preston Hollow home to players Justin Thomas and Patrick Rodgers and caddie Michael Greller and his wife. “That's the sole reason I got a new house so I can host some funny people this week,” Spieth told reporters. “It's been a lot of fun. … So, we're having a good time. … We do rent places week to week.  The only difference is now when they mess up in the house I get a little upset versus us trying to figure out how we clean it up.” [The Dallas Morning News]

  • A low-speed chase lasted two hours on Interstate 30 from Fort Worth to Arlington. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “The man who led police on a slow two-hour pursuit Wednesday afternoon … with a detour onto Arlington surface streets had a ‘considerable amount of methamphetamine’ in his car, police said late Wednesday. The man, identified as Joe Ben Gonzales, 42, of Fort Worth, was wrestled to the ground by several SWAT officers, an arrest shown live on area TV stations. TV helicopters followed the chase, providing clear images of a white four-door Nissan driving slowly on Interstate 30 with Fort Worth squad cars in pursuit. Before 4 p.m., an armored police SWAT vehicle joined the pursuit. Near Six Flags Over Texas, the vehicle pulled up on the driver’s side of the Nissan and pushed it.” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.