Austinites remember the big floods – the expanding, treacherous storms that ransack homes and uproot families. But just beyond the memory of those squalls, another form of watery overflow has washed into town its own ruinous legacy: localized flooding. The city’s topographical condition within Texas’ expansive geography makes it a common target for big storms. The Balcones Escarpment, the cliff formation that separates the Hill Country from the state’s coastal plains, acts as a ramp for incoming weather systems arriving from the Gulf of Mexico, producing an orographic lift (when an air mass rapidly changes altitude and creates clouds or precipitation) that can dump torrential rainfall on cities west of the fault.
Source: Austin Chronicle