The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on 1 June. But over the past six years, significant storms have been forming earlier than this. So does the hurricane season need to start earlier - and is climate change to blame?
The downpours triggering flooding that destroyed homes and bridges and set off mass evacuations on multiple islands this week are also an example of the more intense rainstorms officials and climate scientists say are occurring more frequently as the planet warms.
Two days before the storm began, Houston's chief elected official warned her constituents to prepare as they would for a major hurricane. Many took heed: Texans who could stocked up on food and water, while nonprofits and government agencies set out to help those who couldn't. But few foresaw the fiasco that was to come.