Why flash flooding risk in Central Texas was low Monday

Central Texas is known as "Flash Flood Alley," but thankfully, no floods happened with Monday's rainfall. 

Up until Monday, parts of the Hill Country have been very dry. So dry, that the eastern quarter of Gillespie County is experiencing near record drought conditions. 

Fredericksburg has currently received less than 20 percent of normal rainfall which has led to critical fire conditions earlier in the month.

All that dryness has also provided a buffer for the 1 to 2 inches of rain parts of that area got Monday. 

Even with how hard the rain fell at times, the majority of the rain was still soaked up by the soils and all the dry, stressed vegetation. That means that this time, the flash flooding which Central Texas is unfortunately known for, did not happen.

Flash flooding comes when torrential rain overwhelms an area's ability to soak up all the water. The soil type is a huge factor in how badly the flood risk can be. 

With sandy or loamy soils, like in parts of the Hill Country, the rain must fall faster about an inch per hour for at least an hour. That happened Monday afternoon, but the drought primed soils were so desperate for any water that nearly all of it was absorbed almost immediately.

Plants did their part to help stave off any flood risk as well. Spring is usually a growing season, but the lack of rain has created a desperate situation for much of the vegetation. Trees, grasses and shrubs were just has happy to soak up as much water as they possibly could, further limiting the flooding risk across the area.

It is important to point out that even with the lower risk for flash flooding, it is still possible. The Austin area can see greater flooding threats due to steeper terrain, higher population and less green space to soak up any runoff. 

Low water crossings, streams and ditches can quickly fill with water, so it's important to remember that if your roadway is covered turn around, don't drown. Only 2 feet of moving water is more than enough to wash away a full size pickup truck.