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

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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

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Quoting Ameister12:
Large tornado on the ground 5 miles east of Sharon with a lot of debris. Mutual take cover now!
Where did you get that info?
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Large tornado on the ground 5 miles east of Sharon with a lot of debris. Mutual take cover now!
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4938
What a wall cloud. Could support a wedge.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Old tornado has lifted, but a new tornado is forming over Sharon. There is a very low wall cloud.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4938
The storm in the back seems to be strengthening alot, cloud tops now surpassing 50k feet. Vil is also very high.
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On the ground again.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31858
Another tornado on the ground.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Can I haz link to station?

Link
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31858
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Pick your 3 lol.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
New warning for the storm

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
550 PM CDT MON APR 9 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTH CENTRAL WOODWARD COUNTY IN NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA...
DEWEY COUNTY IN NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA...

* UNTIL 630 PM CDT

* AT 546 PM CDT...RADAR AND STORM SPOTTERS OBSERVED A TORNADO NEAR
SHARON. THE TORNADO WAS MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 30 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
VICI...SHARON...CAMARGO...MUTUAL AND CESTOS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

IN ADDITION TO A TORNADO THREAT...THIS STORM LIKELY CONTAINS
DAMAGING HAIL TO THE SIZE OF GRAPEFRUIT.

GET IN...GET DOWN...AND COVER UP. LEAVE MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES.
TAKE COVER NOW IN A STORM SHELTER OR AN INTERIOR ROOM OF A STURDY
BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS.

&&

LAT...LON 3638 9927 3596 9894 3589 9935 3608 9938
3616 9938 3617 9942 3631 9947
TIME...MOT...LOC 2246Z 337DEG 26KT 3629 9934

$$

WR
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7724
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Can I haz link to station?
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31858
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31858
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The tornado is still on the ground!

Rotation actually seems to be re strengthening
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7724
Quoting CybrTeddy:


I hope so, my yard is a crisp brown. Having to mow all the time is a big improvement over having no yard at all - imo. Plus, if the hurricane season really does (god forbid the sanity of the blog) being a repeat of 2006 and 2009, at least hopefully mother nature would give me something good to look at on radar every day.
At least with 06 you had early season development.But with 09......Oh lord.A storm didn't form until august.While I was lurking people were loosing their minds and going mad with bickering and banning.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16679
The tornado is still on the ground!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31858
Quoting yqt1001:
People always claim that the blog goes crazy in years like 2009, but since I've only been lurking/active on this blog since mid-2010 can someone explain what happens in a year like 2009?

I'm assuming the troll levels must be minimal which is nice.
Lots and lots of complaining...
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
People always claim that the blog goes crazy in years like 2009, but since I've only been lurking/active on this blog since mid-2010 can someone explain what happens in a year like 2009?

I'm assuming the troll levels must be minimal which is nice.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The storm north of the current tornado warned storm is going to need a tornado warning soon as well.

Yeah it is getting some rotation... It could end up getting choked off by the storm south of it though
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7724
rotation on the storm north of the tornadic one, precip beginning to be pulled out of the rain core, not sure if a hook will form.
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The storm north of the current tornado warned storm is going to need a tornado warning soon as well.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31858
Hahaha one of the guys from tornado titans got a little to excited and jumped into a barb wire fence. I just want to see what there so excited about. About to be in view. Link
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
It is/was a stovepipe.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31858
Quoting weatherh98:


When using Dr. Masters' blog, please refrain from posting material not relevant to the discussion of tropical weather, or the topic of the blog entry itself. Please do not engage in personal attacks or bickering. Material not conforming to these standards should be flagged with the button and ignored.

have a fantastic day :)


ScottLincoln was not bickering, nor engaging in a personal attack. Skeptic33, a well known poster of wild inaccuracies and false statements in regards to climate science, posted something that had absolutely no evidence to support it. ScottLincoln pointed out that Skeptic33's argument was weak and invalid. He also pointed out that if Skeptic33 wishes to make such claims in the future, he should provide the references that provide the evidence to back up his assertions.

Correcting false statements made by others isn't bickering.
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looks like lp supercells, not much precip for softball sized hail.
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Quoting nigel20:

ok...maybe you'll get just that


I hope so, my yard is a crisp brown. Having to mow all the time is a big improvement over having no yard at all - imo. Plus, if the hurricane season really does (god forbid the sanity of the blog) being a repeat of 2006 and 2009, at least hopefully mother nature would give me something good to look at on radar every day.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Today's ratio of large hail to total hail reports is quite impressive so far:

Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
Quoting ScottLincoln:


I still have reservations and want to see more information about this being tested in real world scenarios. But in general, I agree - there are many things that are good ideas that should be implemented even if the required time is long. If the preliminary results continue to hold true, it really could be the competition to unsustainable, internal combustion vehicles that we need. Unfortunately we've seen in practice many times that people en masse prefer the now instead of the better, longer-term.



That is the biggest problem of all...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BahaHurican:
This TCHP comparison is the more interesting one to me for now. Anybody notice the early heat up W of JA and E of Trini?

Now this made me laugh.

yeah...i've notice that as well
Quoting washingtonian115:
Wow that was surprisingly fast how TCHP had built up.Let's hope it never get's to the levels of 2010.

I was surprised as well!
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7967
Confirmed tornado now...

WWUS54 KOUN 092232
SVSOUN
SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
532 PM CDT MON APR 9 2012

OKC153-092300-
/O.CON.KOUN.TO.W.0006.000000T0000Z-120409T2300Z/
WOODWARD OK-
532 PM CDT MON APR 9 2012

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 600 PM CDT FOR SOUTH
CENTRAL WOODWARD COUNTY...

AT 530 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RADAR AND STORM SPOTTERS
WERE TRACKING A TORNADO. THIS TORNADO LOCATED SEVERAL MILES SOUTH OF
WOODWARD...MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 20 MPH.
LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
SHARON AND MUTUAL.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

GET IN...GET DOWN...AND COVER UP. LEAVE MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES.
TAKE COVER NOW IN A STORM SHELTER OR AN INTERIOR ROOM OF A STURDY
BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS.

&&

LAT...LON 3637 9952 3642 9930 3617 9908 3616 9911
3617 9943
TIME...MOT...LOC 2230Z 335DEG 18KT 3636 9938

$$

WR
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7724
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Its warned.
Looking at Tornado Titans cam it is rain rapped if it is on the ground.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
999
WFUS54 KOUN 092225
TOROUN
OKC153-092300-
/O.NEW.KOUN.TO.W.0006.120409T2225Z-120409T2300Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
525 PM CDT MON APR 9 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTH CENTRAL WOODWARD COUNTY IN NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA...

* UNTIL 600 PM CDT

* AT 520 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR WOODWARD...MOVING SOUTH AT 25 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
SHARON AND MUTUAL.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

GET IN...GET DOWN...AND COVER UP. LEAVE MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES.
TAKE COVER NOW IN A STORM SHELTER OR AN INTERIOR ROOM OF A STURDY
BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS.

&&

LAT...LON 3637 9953 3645 9931 3616 9907 3617 9943
TIME...MOT...LOC 2220Z 338DEG 22KT 3636 9940

$$
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4938
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Looks like we're in agreement on this one
Its warned.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Looks like we're in agreement on this one

It is tornado warned now
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7724
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Storm south of Woodward is showing some intense couplets. I think it needs to be tornado warned.
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
There seems to be a hook forming on a storm near Woodward, OK... Some rotation has been indicated but only a severe thunderstorm warning so far.

Looks like we're in agreement on this one
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7724
There seems to be a hook forming on a storm near Woodward, OK... Some rotation has been indicated but only a severe thunderstorm warning so far.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7724
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 159
Storm south of Woodward is showing some intense couplets. I think it needs to be tornado warned.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Quoting Jedkins01:



Well, if you notice in the article, it covers how efficiency has already been improved in testing this idea. I don't see any reason why its not a great idea. It might take a while to implement, but we can't let that be the reason to resist it.


I still have reservations and want to see more information about this being tested in real world scenarios. But in general, I agree - there are many things that are good ideas that should be implemented even if the required time is long. If the preliminary results continue to hold true, it really could be the competition to unsustainable, internal combustion vehicles that we need. Unfortunately we've seen in practice many times that people en masse prefer the now instead of the better, longer-term.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nigel20:
April 8, 2011 TCHP

april 8, 2012 TCHP

Wow that was surprisingly fast how TCHP had built up.Let's hope it never get's to the levels of 2010.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16679
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
515 PM CDT MON APR 9 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN MAJOR COUNTY IN NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA...
EXTREME SOUTH CENTRAL WOODS COUNTY IN NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA...
WOODWARD COUNTY IN NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA...

* UNTIL 615 PM CDT

* AT 511 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED
SEVERAL SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING LARGE
DESTRUCTIVE HAIL UP TO BASEBALL SIZE AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS
OF 60 MPH. THE LARGEST STORMS WERE LOCATED NEAR WOODWARD AND 15
MILES NORTHEAST OF WOODWARD...BOTH MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 20 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
WOODWARD...MOORELAND AND QUINLAN.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

MOVE INSIDE A STURDY BUILDING UNTIL THE STORM HAS PASSED.

EXTREMELY LARGE HAIL IS LIKELY WHICH MAY CAUSE INJURY AND DAMAGE
TO PROPERTY. TAKE SHELTER IN A STURDY BUILDING AWAY FROM WINDOWS.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 159
HEAD ON.APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD.HEAD ON.APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD.(You can find you HEAD ON at your local Walgreens,CVS and RiteAid.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16679
New Mesoscale Discussion out. Watch possible.

Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 51 Comments: 1727

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0480
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0503 PM CDT MON APR 09 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...SERN NM...WEST TX

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE

VALID 092203Z - 092330Z

STRONG SUNSHINE HAS CONTRIBUTED GREATLY TO INSTABILITY ACROSS THE
SRN HIGH PLAINS. LATEST DIAGNOSTIC DATA EXHIBITS STEEP LOW LEVEL
LAPSE RATES ACROSS THIS REGION WITH SFC-3KM VALUES ON THE ORDER OF 9
C/KM ACROSS UPSLOPE REGIONS OF W TX INTO SERN NM. AS A
RESULT...CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF CONVECTION HAS EVOLVED OR IS
DEVELOPING ACROSS THE HIGHER TERRAIN AND STORM MOTIONS WOULD SUPPORT
A SLOW SEWD MOVEMENT DURING THE EVENING HOURS. LARGE HAIL IS THE
GREATEST SEVERE THREAT WITH THIS ACTIVITY AND A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM
WATCH MAY BE REQUIRED.

..DARROW.. 04/09/2012
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7724
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Quoting nigel20:
April 8, 2011 TCHP

april 8, 2012 TCHP

This TCHP comparison is the more interesting one to me for now. Anybody notice the early heat up W of JA and E of Trini?

Quoting CybrTeddy:


Nothing compared to the physical injuries one might sustain to themselves while reading WU during lulls in hurricane season.


My advice is HeadOn.
Now this made me laugh.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21864
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Looking at the sky and wondering we'll actually have a good storm season this summer in FL like in 2009.

ok...maybe you'll get just that
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7967
Quoting nigel20:

whats up CybrTeddy?


Looking at the sky and wondering we'll actually have a good storm season this summer in FL like in 2009.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


One unfortunate thing with this technology is it's loss of efficiency in transfer of the power multiple times. I also wonder how well we could construct something like that considering that we already have had plans for electric high-speed rail lines between high-demand locations not get constructed due to infrastructure cost issues.



I believe it is supposed to be probability-based, like chance of tornadoes within a certain range of a point. Similar to the SPC probabilities.



Well, if you notice in the article, it covers how efficiency has already been improved in testing this idea. I don't see any reason why its not a great idea. It might take a while to implement, but we can't let that be the reason to resist it. Long distance space travel will take many, many more years to achieve, but its certainly worth aiming at, regardless of how long it takes to achieve, otherwise it will never be achieved if we fear the amount of time passage needed to accomplish the task effectively.
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Link This link is for the NPR article I found it on.

Link This link goes to the sight were the map is

Seeing what the wind looks like.

I have not had time to read the blog lately so please excuse me if this has been linked to already.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Nothing compared to the physical injuries one might sustain to themselves while reading WU during lulls in hurricane season.


My advice is HeadOn.

whats up CybrTeddy?
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7967

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