Hurricane Florence Could Drop 10 Trillion Gallons of Rain on North Carolina

September 13, 2018, 3:13 PM UTC

The biggest threat from Hurricane Florence isn’t the Category 2 hurricane force winds. It’s the rain.

The storm could dump as much as 10 trillion gallons of rain on North Carolina alone, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue of That’s higher than the maximum capacity of Lake Mead, the reservoir that serves water to Arizona, California, and Nevada. (To visualize that, the lake is currently only filled to 38% of its capacity.)

Maue’s prediction is based off of the seven-day rainfall summary from the National Weather Service, factoring in the average and maximum rainfall estimates.

He further notes that the initial estimates from Harvey were much lower than the actual totals. (Harvey ultimately dropped 33 trillion gallons of rain on Southeast Texas and Louisiana.)

South Carolina and Virginia are not going to escape a deluge, either. The storm is expected to stall once it hits land, then slowly move through South Carolina and up into Virginia, losing windspeed, but still soaking the states. (Forecasters say parts of South Carolina could receive up to 20 inches of rain.)

Need to visualize 10 trillion gallons a little differently? That same amount of water could also:

  • Let everyone on earth take 69 10-minute showers
  • Fill 15 million Olympic-sized pools
  • Wash 667 billion loads of laundry