“The record for total rainfall from a tropical system has been BROKEN!” the National Weather Service tweeted Tuesday morning. The previous record for wettest tropical system in the continental United States was 48 inches. Harvey had already hit 49.20, and the rain was still coming.

“Many textbooks have the 60-inch mark as a once-in-a-million-year recurrence interval,” as the Washington Post Weather Gang reported Sunday.

We’re seeing these staggering rainfall totals because this tropical storm hovered in place for days over southeast Texas, sweeping in vast quantities of moisture from the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico. And the latest science points a finger at climate change for this.

“The kind of stalled weather pattern that is drenching Houston is precisely the sort of pattern we expect because of climate change,” climatologist Michael Mann explained in an email to ThinkProgress. Earlier this year, Mann co-authored a study explaining how human-caused warming is changing our atmosphere’s circulation, including the jet stream, in a way that leads to “increase in persistent weather extremes” during the summer.

“I agree with Mike [Mann] that the weak steering currents over the south-central US coincident with Harvey are consistent with our expectations for a warmer world, which of course includes effects of a very warm Arctic,” Jennifer Francis, a climate scientist at Rutgers University, told ThinkProgress.

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