Most gauges throughout Bell County recorded 1.5 inches to 1.75 inches of rain overnight from Thursday to Friday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
“Pretty good rain picked up over the last 24 hours,” said Jason Godwyn, a meteorologist with the weather service in the Dallas-Fort Worth office.
August is typically the driest month of the year, according to Godwyn, and while a widespread downpour like Thursday night is uncommon for this time of year, it’s not unheard of.
The forecast for Bell County, as a whole, is for an additional 1.5 inches of rain over the weekend.
“That’s the area average,” Godwyn noted. “Some will see more, some will see less but most people will pick up 1.5 inches before we return to slightly drier weather.”
Heavy rainfall can certainly help drought conditions, however there are other variables that go into drought monitoring, according to Godwyn.
“But if we were to continue to get another inch or 2 inches, and it’s certainly possible over the weekend, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an improvement in drought conditions for most of Bell County,” Godwyn said.
The Thursday evening storm brought lightning that damaged three homes in a nearly treeless south Killeen development. Fire Chief Brian Brank said the houses were the tallest points because there were no tall trees.
“In that area, there are no trees at all, and there’s nothing for the lightning to hit but the tops of homes,” he said.
In heavy downpours, like the one Thursday, 50 to 100 “cloud strikes” could occur. Cloud strikes include “lightning in cloud and cloud to ground,” Godwyn said. The National Weather Service doesn’t record lightning strikes but can track them in real time.
Belton Lake was 87 percent full on Friday. Stillhouse Hollow Lake was reported 80.3 percent full.
Between 5 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Friday, Killeen police responded to nine traffic accident calls, but it’s unclear if they were weather related.
No streets were closed due to flooding, according to a city official.
Staff writer Kyle Blankenship contributed to this report.