Nearly a half billion gallons of water fell from the sky!

Posted on Aug-04-2017 at 17:50:00

Severe thunderstorms with heavy rain and strong winds moved through the Phoenix valley during the afternoon hours of August 3rd. One area hit particularly hard included the area in/around Papago Park just N/NE of Phoenix Sky Harbor airport.

Many locations in the area recorded over an inch and a half of rain over a very short period of time. So, that got us thinking, just how much rain fell in that area? Having a love for numbers, time for some math (don't worry, you don't have to do the math)!

Highlighting the area around Papago Park where Maricopa County Flood Control rain gauges recorded over an inch of rain resulted in a "study area" of approximately 10,700 acres (see map below). 

Using the fact that an inch of rain over an acre equals about 27,154 gallons of water and considering the study area on average saw ~1.61 inches of rain, doing some quick math yields a shocking number!

Drum roll, please....

Approximately, 467,781,958 gallons of water fell within about an hour time period in/around Papago Park as severe thunderstorms moved through. That equates to a weight of 3,903,7363,985 pounds (19,518,681 tons)!

For comparison, that would be enough water to fill 708 Olympic sized swimming pools. Or enough to water to fill half of Tempe Town Lake. And again keep in mind all this rain fell in about an hour!

This just goes to show how powerful Mother Nature really is!