These Maps Tell the Story of Two Americas: One Parched, One Soaked

In New York City, a tropical storm delivered record-breaking rains this weekend. Heavy downpours caused devastating flash floods in central Tennessee, tearing apart houses and killing more than 20 people. Yet, California and much of the West remained in the deepest drought in at least two decades, the product of a long-term precipitation shortfall and temperatures that are much hotter than usual.

This divide, a wetter East and a drier West, reflects a broader pattern observed in the United States in recent decades.

Southern California May See Flash Floods After Destructive Wildfires

As California deals with the aftermath of several devastating wildfires, heavy rainfall hitting the charred remains of the terrain could cause floods in the southern part of the state.

Rainfall in Southern California began on Tuesday, flooding some roads, and was forecast to continue through Thursday morning. Some areas of California were expected to see rainfall rates of up to half an inch per hour, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Flash Flood Watch.