The entire eastern seaboard is forecast to see heavy rain today. Areas in red, purple and dark blue will see the most rain. / Weather Prediction Center
Rain is pelting a huge portion of the eastern USA today, which is likely to be one of the wettest days of the year in many locations.
Flood watches and warnings are in effect in 20 eastern states. The Florida Panhandle is hardest hit, with one spot in Pensacola, Fla., picking up more than two feet of rain in the past two days.
That's more rain than fell in the entire year of 2013 in parts of Oklahoma and northwest Texas, according to the National Weather Service.
So, how much rain is falling? About 2 trillion gallons of water will fall today in the eastern USA, according to an estimate from the U.S. Geological Survey. That's figuring roughly 3 inches of rain across 370,000 square miles, which is about the area of the eastern seaboard.
That's enough to take about 48 billion baths. And would fill up about 80 million swimming pools.
It would also fill the Rose Bowl about 24,000 times.
A shout-out to University of Georgia geography and atmospheric science professor Marshall Shepherd for help with this information. He is also a member of NASA's Precipitation Science Team.
Shepherd also makes an important point about flooding, "I still think people overlook it as a hazard. It doesn't capture the imagination, Twitter shares or posts that tornadoes and hurricanes do, yet it is a significant hazard and likely one that will get worse."
He said a forthcoming National Climate Assessment report shows that the top 1% rain events have increased in all regions of the continental U.S. in the past five decades due to climate change.
Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com
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