Heavy December rains cause substantial flooding in the U.S.
A series of winter storms brought more than 20 inches of rainfall to the Midwest and southeastern United States in December 2015. Unseasonable and severe flooding followed throughout both regions. In the Midwest, rainwater swelled the banks of rivers and tributaries that feed the Mississippi River, leading to flooding in Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi. Alabama, Georgia and other areas in the South were hardest hit by rainstorms that arrived Christmas week. The torrential rains led to massive flooding and declarations of a state of emergency in Alabama and northern Georgia. From space, NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement mission satellites collected data on the amount of rain that fell across the U.S. in December. Watch the video to see an animation of accumulated rainfall created from satellite observations.