National Weather Service has to add new colors so it can map Harvey's rains

WASHINGTON (BY: BILL CHAPPELL, NPR) – The colors the National Weather Service uses to show rainfall on its weather map couldn’t represent the deluge in southeastern Texas — so the NWS added two more purple shades to its map. The old scale topped out at more than 15 inches; the new limit top 30 inches.

The move came as forecasters warn of continued flood dangers and update precipitation totals from what the NWS is calling “unprecedented” rainfall from Tropical Storm Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm late Friday.

In a note about the change, the weather agency said on Monday, “Some perspective on the amount of rainfall that Tropical Storm Harvey has put down across Southeastern Texas and Southwestern Louisiana. We’ve had to update the color charts on our precipitation graphics in order to effectively map it.”

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