In the words of Austin's mysterious cultural narrator, Evil Mopac, Austin transformed from a "drought-pocked landscape" to an "Amazonian jungle" as the city saw its rainiest day in over three years Monday.
More than 3.7 inches of rain fell on the Texas capital, setting a rainfall record for August 22. Four days earlier, the city experienced its first measurable rainfall in 51 days, and more rain is on the near horizon thanks to an ongoing cold front.
Shoal Creek in downtown Austin at 5 p.m. Monday. pic.twitter.com/Q9bFQB7Sia
— Jay Janner (@jayjanner) August 22, 2022
Videos dotted social media during the storm as Shoal Creek swelled from a trickle to a 16-foot force.
The creek hit a major flood stage Monday, rising from six inches to a 16.37-foot crest, the fourth-highest of all time.
Shoal Creek hits major flood stage today.
at 16.37 feet...it's the 4th highest crest all time! pic.twitter.com/aFYTXLRBxa
— Scott Fisher (@ScottFisherFOX7) August 23, 2022
Flowing water soon reached Austin roadways, closing W. 9th Street and North Lamar Boulevard near the Shoal Creek Saloon.
As captured on social media, many drivers remained on the road during the flash flood. Reddit user u/ApeWarz said pickups and regular sedans continued driving through a section of Bee Cave Road that was covered in "at least" 18 inches of flowing water, stopping only to let a giant tree trunk float across the road.
"I turned around and Waze showed me a detour that added only five minutes," the user said. "I spent the last 18 or so hours wondering what goes on in people's heads."
@mwestgate2#ATX finally got the #rain we hoped for…all at once. Shoal Creek has class 5 rapids right now! #austin#weather#storm#waterworld#flashflood♬ I Love a Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbitt
No roads remain closed as of Tuesday, according to ATXFloods. But rain forecasts aren't over for the historically dry and hot month: rainfall could begin again as early as Tuesday afternoon. The National Weather Service predicts at least a 20% chance of rain through Monday in Austin, with overcast skies, scattered storms and cooler temperatures expected through the weekend.
As the next potential storm brews, Austinites have taken advantage of the rare summer cool off.
@travelinthoms Most rain Texas has seen in awhile and my husband is having himself a day #rvlife#texasrain#rvliving#atx#austin#texas#fulltimervliving#fifthwheel#travelcouple#rvcouple#youngcouple♬ Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
Others took to skimboarding at Zilker Park.
Austin was previously experiencing the highest severity of drought, and the U.S. Drought Monitor will update Central Texas' drought levels Thursday.
In the meantime, 10th Street has returned to normal, while Shoal Creek continues to flow at less alarming levels as of Tuesday afternoon.
10th Street near Shoal Creek had dried under partly cloudy skies by Tuesday afternoon. (Austonia)
Shoal Creek remains flowing as of Tuesday afternoon. (Austonia)
And as if a cheerful omen of what's to come, Austin was treated to a double rainbow Monday evening to part the stormy skies.
Austin is going to get the rainfall it desperately needs as showers are expected to bleed over from Monday into Tuesday this week.
The rain is a result of tropical storms moving over from the south and a low-pressure trough settling over Texas. The rain will bring lower temperatures and gusts of wind where storms occur this week and into next.
While the risk of severe weather is low, the National Weather Service has issued a ‘slight’ Flood Watch warning in Central Texas until Tuesday morning. Flash floods warnings could last throughout the rest of week.
According to the NWS, 1-3 inches of rain are expected in Central Texas areas with up to six inches in isolated areas.
While heavy rainfall is expected to drop off starting Wednesday, there is currently a chance of rain through next Thursday.
This summer has been the hottest on record for Austin as May, June and now July have broken the all-time record for warmest average temperature.
The average temperature in July was 90.6 degrees, almost a whole degree above the previous record, which was 89.7 degrees in 2011. With 29 days of triple-digit heat in July, the average high temperature for the month was 103.8 degrees.
July 2022 was the warmest July on record for Austin. This follows Austin's warmest June and May on record this year. Drought conditions have helped play a role in the continued above normal temperatures. pic.twitter.com/jjCTAC0KsD
— NWS Austin/San Antonio (@NWSSanAntonio) August 1, 2022
The streak of high temperatures this summer can be attributed to La Niña, a weather pattern characterized by cooling waters across the central and eastern pacific oceans, resulting in warmer and drier conditions across Central Texas.
Additionally, drought conditions have played a role in the above-average temperatures. Only a trace of precipitation was recorded at Camp Mabry for the month of July, according to the National Weather Service. This is the 4th time in history that Austin didn't receive measurable rain in July.
Get ready for more hot days as August is typically the hottest month of the year.