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Harvey Redesigns Rainfall Maps

As Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath dumped rain on the Houston area in August,
the staff at the National Weather Service (NWS) knew they were watching
history. And as the rain totals were tallied, the agency added not one, but
two new colors to its rainfall map: purple for 20 to 30 inches and light
pink for over 30 inches. “It’s difficult to predict what has never
happened,” says Greg Carbin, who leads the NWS Forecast Operations Branch
in College Park, Maryland. “I hope we don’t have to use it again.” The
total? Nearly 52 inches in a week in Cedar Bayou, Texas, a record in the
continental U.S.

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