First U.S. billion-dollar disaster of 2012: March 2-3 tornado outbreak

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:17 PM GMT on April 09, 2012

Share this Blog
32
+

The first billion-dollar weather disaster of 2012 for the U.S. was the March 2 - 3 tornado outbreak in the Midwest and Southeast, said NOAA today. They put the total cost of the tornadoes that killed 41 people in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Alabama at 1.5 billion. Global reinsurance company AON Benfield, in their latest monthly Global Catastrophe Recap Report, put the damage at $2 billion. The outbreak spawned two EF-4 tornadoes, one which devastated Henryville, Indiana, and another that plowed through Crittenden, Kentucky. The two other tornado outbreaks of note that occurred in February and March had damages less than $1 billion: the Leap Day tornadoes in Illinois and surrounding states ($475 million), and the Dexter, Michigan tornado EF-3 tornado of March 15 ($275 million.) I expect that the tornadoes that swept through the Dallas, Texas region last week will likely have a damage tally in the hundreds of millions, but fall short of the billion-dollar mark. In 2011, we already had two billion-dollar weather-related disasters by the first week of April, so we are behind last year's pace. NOAA's National Climatic Data Center logged a record fourteen billion-dollar weather disasters in 2011. There has been just one other billion-dollar disaster in the world this year, according to AON Benfield--severe flooding in Australia's New South Wales and Victoria states in late February and early March that caused $1.58 billion in damage. A separate flooding episode in late January and early February caused an additional $920 million in damage in Australia.


Figure 1. A school bus mangled by the EF-4 Henryville, Indiana tornado of March 2, 2012. Image credit: NWS Louisville, Kentucky.



A week for severe severe weather across the Plains and Midwest
Expect severe weather and tornadoes every day this week across the Plains and Midwest U.S., says NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC). A warm, unstable airmass will collide with cold air funneling down from Canada most of the week, creating conditions ripe for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes all week. The main focus of severe weather today will be over Western Oklahoma and portions of the Texas Panhandle, where SPC has issued their lowest highest level of alert, a "Slight Risk."


Figure 2. Severe weather threat for Monday, April 9, 2012.


Video 1. Wunderground tornado expert Dr. Rob Carver alerted me to this remarkable railroad surveillance video recently posted to YouTube that captures a train derailed by a Tornado January 7, 2008 in Harvard, IL. The tornado moved across the Chicago and Northwestern railroad where it blew 12 railroad freight cars off the track. The train was moving at the time the tornado hit it, so as the main engine stopped, the remaining cars on the track continued along it and slammed into the front part of the train. No one was injured, but 500 residents in the nearby unincorporated town of Lawrence were evacuated because of the potential for a hazardous materials situation.

Jeff Masters

tornado damage 3/2/12 (clerese3)
3/2/12 tornado damage to a business I pass on my way to and from work. This was a beautiful brick building.
tornado damage 3/2/12
Franklin Tornado/Mesocyclone (BySurasWeather)
Beginning of Tornado in Franklin, NC. Taken by a local Wal Mart Worker and was uploaded to Weather Channel on March 2, 2012
Franklin Tornado/Mesocyclone
Tornado (JimAtTn)
This picture of a small tornado was taken on Friday March 02, 2012 in southern Lincoln County, Tennessee about 7 miles south of Fayetteville. Photographer: Angela Currey-Echols
Tornado
Lumberton Lightning (TopekaStormChasers)
This pic was taken last night near Lumberton Mississippi
Lumberton Lightning

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 456 - 406

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12Blog Index

Quoting Neapolitan:
Just this once: swampdooogggg is a pretty vile troll who has created dozens of handles and has been banned dozens of times. For instance, be on the lookout for him to edit comments he quotes--and, is some instances, make up entire quotations. He's also bizarrely obsessed with me. So, pretty please with sugar on top, just report and ignore; he'll go away soon enough. Thanks!


He's # 21 on my Iggy list
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Man you must be in a bad mood today to quote me and I didn't even do anything. No it's not the coldest since 2007 but still Damm Cold for 20 to 30 percent of the US to be under freeze warning in APRIL!

Is there some kind of feud going on here? Or is it school holidays, or something related to being Young?
For the requirement of general information and clarification of known facts:- Neapolitan is a normal person much like some of you will be when ya'll get a bit older. Needless to say we all make mistakes and even get misinterpreted from time to time!
The simple fact is that if weather was predictable then this blog would not exist! We could all just look in out almanacs and dress accordingly?
The thing with weather is that its down to you all to find/predict the truth, whilst of course being impartial observers.
The next cat 5 might be spawned from a change in the flight of a butterflys wing in the Congo and you'd never know it?
So its going to be cold for a while, at least tomorrows going to be interesting.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Lots of rain on tap for Texas.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
The blog needs to drink some Kool-Aid and calm down.
Everybody is arguing, making assumptions, cant wait for the thrill of hurricane season.


We drink too much haterade
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
SOI values for 10 Apr 2012 Average for last 30 days -6.8
Average for last 90 days 2.0
Daily contribution to SOI calculation -8.0
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting swampdooogggg:

A person that can offer absolutely no proof of his/her accusations when asked coupled with 6 lonely comments (2 of those harassing you and me) goes to show a lot about their character. Ignore is a fine choice.


I know! I have a feeling this guy is probably one of those handles he mentions or a banned discruntled blog member.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
The blog needs to drink some Kool-Aid and calm down.
Everybody is arguing, making assumptions, cant wait for the thrill of hurricane season.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9720
Quoting NEFL:


I'm afraid i'm not mistaking. You have circumvented many bans Jeff9641.


how can ya tell haha i cant tell a troll from the back of my hand
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461


tornado outlook


wind outlook


Hail outlook
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Did yall know the woodward tornado was a clockwise tornado....1 and 1000 chance
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


why are you concerned about the cutoff?
The GFS has permanently abandoned the 120kt jet outputk and is sticking with the 70-90 that the spc mentioned in the Day 4-8 Outlook.
With 120 kts, STP would have really been off the charts.


I mean that if this Low wouldn't cut off then we would see a tornado outbreak traverse the US. Instead it looks as if the tornado outbreak will occur in the Southern Plains then weaken as the storm system comes east to just a heavy rain maker with isolated severe wx.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:




I should note I'm not trying to call you out on anything StormTracker2K, just trying to prove that Neap didn't say it wouldn't get cold, it just wouldn't be a deep freeze for the East and Southeast.


Man you must be in a bad mood today to quote me and I didn't even do anything. No it's not the coldest since 2007 but still Damm Cold for 20 to 30 percent of the US to be under freeze warning in APRIL!
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting StormTracker2K:


I didn't say anything! I like Nea and all his post and I know what he said. All I did was say thanks to swampdogg. Also why are you quoting me? We all aren't 100% right all the time including you!

Ok. I was just proving to swampdogggg that Neap never said it would cold, and I just quoted the post Neap quoted. No need to get so defensive...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTracker2K:


That does not look good. If that verifies then we could be looking at some strong tornadoes. My concern though as has been the case is another upper low forecast to cut off and dive SE. so we will see how this all plays out but I agree some of the tornado indicators are off the charts on some of these models this morning.



why are you concerned about the cutoff?
The GFS has permanently abandoned the 120kt jet outputk and is sticking with the 70-90 that the spc mentioned in the Day 4-8 Outlook.
With 120 kts, STP would have really been off the charts.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9720
Quoting NEFL:


It's quite obvious you are a troll and are circumventing a previous ban. Hopefully admin will catch on and remove you. I'm assuming you are an alto ego of Jeff9641 and RastaSteve and StormTracker2k, or quite possibly the same person. That said person takes a model and says its going to happen. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut. During hurricane season that said person posts 10 day models of hurricanes hitting his house in CFL and hypes it every time. Heck he even goes to say he calls the NWS. Who calls the NWS? Just saying bro, all of these names are getting old, go find a new hobby.


What are you talking about? I think you are mistaking.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
It is funny that the fire weather for Florida doesn't look like it covers the Huge fire near the Georgia border.

What is the forecast skill on the 8,9, and 10 day rain forecasts? More than a week seems kind of humorous given how much temps and rain forecasts change within the 5 day window.

There needs to be a way to Fuzz out the uncertainty and NOT say there is a 20% chance of rain in the evening 10 days from now the same way there is a 20% chance it will rain tomorrow.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
it is soooo cold, and it is supposed to get to the mid 30s in GA this week.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9720
Good morning. The Australian's Update of ENSO that was released today is posted on my blog.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTracker2K:


It's pretty significant when 20 to 30 percent of the US will be near freezing or below tonight. Infact some are in the teens across the Dakota's. You can bet this will cause lots of damage to many crops across the Midwest, mid south, and mid Atlantic.
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Significant Tornado Parameters for Saturday evening.



That does not look good. If that verifies then we could be looking at some strong tornadoes. My concern though as has been the case is another upper low forecast to cut off and dive SE. so we will see how this all plays out but I agree some of the tornado indicators are off the charts on some of these models this morning.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
moring guys just to let you know for the next couple of days I may not be on or if I am it will be in late eveing so before I go I just want to say even with this H season to be in nutural ENSO I think that this season will bring surprises I think it will bring a good amount of activity maybe even seeing between 1-3 storms between mid-may to early June and before you guy get off on me I am not the only one who says that
CFS say it will I know don't trust it it is way too far out yes be could be an indicator of whats to come
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11016
Quoting StormTracker2K:

I hope the Eastern Half of the US is ready for the Deep Freeze that's coming early next week. This could be crippling and maybe the coldest April cold wave since April 2007.


Quoting Neapolitan:
Not very likely. Consider this:

--It's April, so the sun is already more than halfway to the summer solstice. That means far longer days than you'd see in winter, and with the sun at a much higher angle.

--As someone else noted, there's almost a complete absence of snow cover well into Canada; all that open land has a huge modifying effect on Arctic air masses.

--The Great Lakes are themselves ice-free, and warming nicely; that, too, will work to modify any cold masses headed across them.

I've gone back and looked at some of the record cold April weather in the mid-Atlantic; all of them occurred after cold winters with large accumulations of snow extant into April. That's not to say your "deep freeze" won't materialize--but it will take an extraordinarily large and deep Arctic air mass to make it happen.


I should note I'm not trying to call you out on anything StormTracker2K, just trying to prove that Neap didn't say it wouldn't get cold, it just wouldn't be a deep freeze for the East and Southeast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting swampdooogggg:

I have to give you full props man. You called this 10 days ago. You absolutely called this. When Neapolitan kept quoting you telling you that you are wrong and that it would never get that cold. Neapolitan was wrong, and you sir, were congrats. Kudos.

You nailed this forecast. I look forward to many good forecasts from you.


Thanks man!
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Neapoltian said there would not be a significant freeze like it was made out to be, and it is not.


It's pretty significant when 20 to 30 percent of the US will be near freezing or below tonight. Infact some are in the teens across the Dakota's. You can bet this will cause lots of damage to many crops across the Midwest, mid south, and mid Atlantic.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Neapoltian said there would not be a significant freeze like it was made out to be, and it is not.


I ignored swampdog...
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting swampdooogggg:

I have to give you full props man. You called this 10 days ago. You absolutely called this. When Neapolitan kept quoting you telling you that you are wrong and that it would never get that cold. Neapolitan was wrong, and you sir, were congrats. Kudos.

You nailed this forecast. I look forward to many good forecasts from you.

Neapoltian said there would not be a significant freeze like it was made out to be, and it is not.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Significant Tornado Parameters for Saturday evening.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Lots of Freeze Warnings tonight! Hopefully people are taking percautions especially for those who planted early. Also here are the forecasted lows tonight.



Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting trunkmonkey:
There may soon be a new way to predict deadly and destructive tornadoes that could save lives and your home.

Getting ahead of the powerful storms can be tricky, even with the best equipment. But by accident, a geologist has opened the door to predicting the path of storms by looking underground.

"We were looking for earthquakes," said Dr. Michael Hamburger at Indiana University.

Tornadoes and weather are typically not part of Hamburger's work, until he saw news reports that a powerful tornado had devastated Harrisburg, Illinois. The geologist and a team of IU students are part of an ambitious project to blanket earthquake-prone areas with micro seismographs, some right in the path of the tornado.

"We discovered some strange, unusual signals that we couldn't initially explain," Hamburger said.

It turns out, six of the new micro seismographs were picking up signals, not from the ground, but from the sky.

"A large pressure front actually puts pressure on one side of the ground and, as it moves past, the other side of the ground," he said.

In other words, as powerful storms approach, the ground below is being pushed down and from side-to-side. Hamburger's equipment picked up the ground movement about 45 minutes before the tornado hit the area.

Could this be a new severe weather warning tool? Not yet.

"We have started the conversation with some meteorologists. There is a small group of particular characters that inhabit this," Hamburger said.

In essence, Hamburger and his team have accidentally stumbled onto a new scientific field and are helping create new tools for meteorologists to see into a storm from the ground up.

The equipment is going to earthquake-prone areas first and barometers are going to be added to the new sites when funding for the project is decided by Congress.

The micro seismographs will next be installed in southern Indiana and Illinois. It is expected to be three years before Indianapolis is covered.


Sounds kinda fringe to me, but hey, if they have an idea of something that can give 3X the best warning time they have now, and that warning saves lives, then they should at least try it out.

Good morning everyone.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Good Morning folks,looks like winter temps are not over yet for some people..........................URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LINCOLN IL
344 AM CDT TUE APR 10 2012

...WIDESPREAD FREEZING TEMPERATURES LIKELY EARLY WEDNESDAY
MORNING...

ILZ027>031-036>038-040>057-061>063-066>068-071>07 3-102030-
/O.UPG.KILX.FZ.A.0002.120411T0800Z-120411T1300Z/
/O.NEW.KILX.FZ.W.0002.120411T0800Z-120411T1300Z/
KNOX-STARK-PEORIA-MARSHALL-WOODFORD-FULTON-TAZEWE LL-MCLEAN-
SCHUYLER-MASON-LOGAN-DE WITT-PIATT-CHAMPAIGN-VERMILION-CASS-
MENARD-SCOTT-MORGAN-SANGAMON-CHRISTIAN-MACON-MOUL TRIE-DOUGLAS-
COLES-EDGAR-SHELBY-CUMBERLAND-CLARK-EFFINGHAM-JAS PER-CRAWFORD-
CLAY-RICHLAND-LAWRENCE-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...GALESBURG...PEORIA...BLOOMINGTON...
NORMAL...HAVANA...LINCOLN...CHAMPAIGN...URBANA... DANVILLE...
JACKSONVILLE...SPRINGFIELD...TAYLORVILLE...DECATU R...CHARLESTON...
MATTOON...SHELBYVILLE...EFFINGHAM...FLORA...LAWRE NCEVILLE
344 AM CDT TUE APR 10 2012

...FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO 8 AM CDT WEDNESDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LINCOLN HAS ISSUED A FREEZE
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO 8 AM CDT WEDNESDAY. THE
FREEZE WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* TEMPERATURE...EXPECT LOWS TONIGHT TO RANGE FROM 29 TO 32
DEGREES.

* IMPACTS...THE COLD TEMPERATURES MAY DAMAGE SENSITIVE OUTDOOR
PLANTS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FREEZE WARNING MEANS SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE IMMINENT OR
HIGHLY LIKELY. THESE CONDITIONS MAY KILL CROPS AND OTHER SENSITIVE
VEGETATION. IF POSSIBLE...BRING PLANTS INDOORS...OR COVER THOSE
THAT WILL REMAIN OUTSIDE OVERNIGHT.

&&

$$

CHURCHILL
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36880
There may soon be a new way to predict deadly and destructive tornadoes that could save lives and your home.

Getting ahead of the powerful storms can be tricky, even with the best equipment. But by accident, a geologist has opened the door to predicting the path of storms by looking underground.

"We were looking for earthquakes," said Dr. Michael Hamburger at Indiana University.

Tornadoes and weather are typically not part of Hamburger's work, until he saw news reports that a powerful tornado had devastated Harrisburg, Illinois. The geologist and a team of IU students are part of an ambitious project to blanket earthquake-prone areas with micro seismographs, some right in the path of the tornado.

"We discovered some strange, unusual signals that we couldn't initially explain," Hamburger said.

It turns out, six of the new micro seismographs were picking up signals, not from the ground, but from the sky.

"A large pressure front actually puts pressure on one side of the ground and, as it moves past, the other side of the ground," he said.

In other words, as powerful storms approach, the ground below is being pushed down and from side-to-side. Hamburger's equipment picked up the ground movement about 45 minutes before the tornado hit the area.

Could this be a new severe weather warning tool? Not yet.

"We have started the conversation with some meteorologists. There is a small group of particular characters that inhabit this," Hamburger said.

In essence, Hamburger and his team have accidentally stumbled onto a new scientific field and are helping create new tools for meteorologists to see into a storm from the ground up.

The equipment is going to earthquake-prone areas first and barometers are going to be added to the new sites when funding for the project is decided by Congress.

The micro seismographs will next be installed in southern Indiana and Illinois. It is expected to be three years before Indianapolis is covered.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning, everyone! Had beautiful weather here in Louisiana for the past four days that I had off. Hope everyone has a great Tuesday.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Adding to 413.
The el niņo conditions would have to overthrow the negative NAO in place. Can be seen as the half circle of cool waters off the west coast. The models, like the Euro, think the NAO will be there to stay until JJA. You can also see that the el niņo is not predicted to be in place until ASO.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

starting sunday april 15th 30 days from epac start date
i will be posting my full tropical blog
and start to activly watch east pacific for dev of Tropical Cyclones
the epac should run high if in fact the atlantic is to be low
so things should start up in the epac over the next couple of weeks
I see 20 or more storms for epac this season
half of which will become canes
if it plays out that way
as always we watch and see

Honestly, not seeing 20 storms happening this season in the EPAC. The only chance for that is if we were to get a strong or moderate el niņo by June. The EPAC season's peak is inmid July so... The equatorial pacific woul have to warm significantly, and the niņo conditions would have to kick in soon after to have a major impact and pull out 20 storms like 2009. My thoughts are 15-9-4. Bookmark this and see if I'm right...
As for the Atlantic... The season won't terribly be a bust, but not remarkable. 13-6-2.
The WPAC will at last be back to it's cyclone quota of about 30 storms.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A cyclone, first detected southwest of Madeira on October 24, 1842, passed the island on October 26, moving northeast towards the Iberian Peninsula. It struck southern Spain on October 29, and moved inland as far as Madrid. It peaked at 965 mbar (28.5 inHg) as a category 2 hurricane near Madeira on October 26. The storm can be considered a historical precedent for Hurricane Vince of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.[2]

From Wikipedia.

On that note, GN 2 all and 2 all a GN...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
411. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Fiji Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Summary
TROPICAL DISTURBANCE 20F
9:00 AM FST April 10 2012
=====================================

At 21:00 PM UTC, Tropical Disturbance 20F (1009 hPa) located at 19.5S 163.5E is reported as slowly moving. Position FAIR based on multisatellite visible imagery and peripheral surface observations. Sea surface temperature is around 28C.

Low level circulation center is partially exposed with deep convection displaced to the east. Cyclonic circulation extends up to 850 hPA. Tropical disturbance 20 lies to the south of an upper ridge in a moderately sheared environment. Few global models have picked up this system and are moving it southeastward with slight intensification.

Potential for this system to develop into a tropical cyclone in the next 24-36 hours is LOW
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm off to bed as well....good night all?
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7842
night ped see ya later
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Good Night All - Rest Well - Stay Safe
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:



April 8 2011:



April 8 2012:


Thanks tropicsweatherpr...you can see that the TCHP is generally higher in 2012 when compared to last year
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7842
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 456 - 406

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.