2nd billion-dollar weather disaster of 2012: April 3 severe weather in Texas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:09 PM GMT on May 11, 2012

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The U.S. suffered its second billion-dollar weather disaster of 2012 on April 3, when a massive hailstorm and 21 tornadoes hit the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas region, said insurance company Aon Benfield, in their latest monthly Global Catastrophe Recap Report. They put the damage at $1 billion. The tornado outbreak included one EF-3 twister, which hit Forney, Texas. A severe hailstorm during the outbreak hit the DFW airport, damaging over 100 airplanes, and forcing the temporary closure of the airport. The other billion-dollar weather disaster of 2012 was the March 2 - 3 tornado outbreak in the Midwest and Southeast. NOAA put the total cost of the tornadoes that killed 41 people in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Alabama during the outbreak at $1.5 billion. There were two EF-4 tornadoes, one which devastated Henryville, Indiana, and another that plowed through Crittenden, Kentucky. On average, the U.S. sees 3 - 4 billion-dollar weather disasters each year, with 1 - 2 of these being severe weather/tornado outbreaks. In 2011, we already had five billion-dollar weather-related disasters by the first week of May, so we are well 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 came close, causing an additional $920 million in damage in Australia.


Figure 1. The EF-3 tornado that hit Forney, Texas, on April 3, 2012. Image credit: wunderphotographer ClockworkLemon


Video 1. Dramatic video of semi-trailers being tossed more than 100 feet in the air by the Lancaster, Texas tornado of April 3, 2012.



Canada and Midwest U.S. frost/freeze damage in the hundreds of millions of dollars
Damage to fruit trees in Ontario, Canada due to a series of frosts and freezes over the past six weeks will easily top $100 million dollars, said the Windsor Star this week. About 80% of the Ontario apple crop was wiped out. At the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market yesterday, I talked to a local apple grower who told me that her orchard in Southeast Lower Michigan had suffered at least a 90% loss of its apple crop. She said the story was similar for all the growers of apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, grapes, cherries, and plums in Michigan. "The only year that can compare was 1945," she told me, "and that year wasn't nearly as bad as 2012." Fruit crops in Pennsylvania and New York State have suffered heavy damage as well, and the total damage to agriculture from this year's freezes will likely be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. All of this damage occurred despite the fact that April temperatures across the region were above average. The culprit was the extraordinary "Summer in March" weather in mid-March 2012, which brought a week of 80°F-plus temperature to the region that triggered a record early bloom.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Eastern Pacific Invest 90E.

Hurricane season is coming
It's now mid-May, which means that hurricane season is about to start in the East Pacific. The official start of the East Pacific hurricane season is May 15, and the action is already starting to heat up. The first "Invest" of 2012 in the East Pacific, Invest 90E, is located about 700 miles south of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and is moving westward out to sea, posing no threat to any land areas. The European Center model predicts the possibility of another system getting organized in the East Pacific, closer to the coast of Mexico, during the period Wednesday - Friday (May 16 - 18.)

In the Atlantic, where hurricane season officially starts on June 1, the action may also be about to heat up. For the past several days, the GFS model has been consistently predicting the development of a subtropical storm in the Western Caribbean, or waters near Florida, sometime May 19 - May 21. The European Center model has not been on board with this, but has been predicting a very moist flow of tropical air will develop, bringing heavy rains to Florida May 19 - 20. So, it is possible we will see the Atlantic's first named storm occur in May this year, but the models are very unreliable this far out.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Jeff Masters

Royse City Tornado (ClockworkLemon)
Tornado that hit Royse City 4/3/12
Royse City Tornado
Hail no (rjctx74)
Hail from tornados. April storms 2012
Hail no
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965. Tropicsweatherpr
8:21 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
New Blog!!
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13292
964. aspectre
8:17 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Deleted cuz as it says below, New Blog
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
963. nigel20
8:12 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Look at where 2010 was.



92L and 90E have just reminded me how anxious I am for hurricane season.

Wow! I didn't realise how far ahead 2010 was....luckily most of the storms stayed away from the Caribbean during the peak of 2010's hurricane season
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7459
962. Tropicsweatherpr
8:05 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Good TCHP in the Caribbean.


And also east of the Windward Islands.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13292
961. TropicalAnalystwx13
8:02 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Good TCHP in the Caribbean.

Look at where 2010 was.



92L and 90E have just reminded me how anxious I am for hurricane season.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
960. nigel20
8:02 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Good TCHP in the Caribbean.

Yeah, I saw that as well
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7459
959. NCHurricane2009
8:00 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:



Link


Thanks for posting that link...I am bookmarking it now...its a better site for getting the floaters...
Member Since: September 15, 2009 Posts: 391 Comments: 3519
958. HurricaneDean07
7:59 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Good TCHP in the Caribbean.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
957. nigel20
7:58 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7459
956. TropicalAnalystwx13
7:56 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
For the guy that said that disturbance east of 90E will becoming absorbed and that it wouldn't stay a separate entity, he is still wrong. You can see two separate areas of vorticity that are becoming farther and farther apart as 90E slowly moves west-northwest.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
955. nrtiwlnvragn
7:54 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Hmmm...I usually get the floaters from this site:
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/satellite.shtml

I don't see 92L or 90E floaters on that link...but thanks for posting your link...that helps...



Link
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 13 Comments: 10462
954. HurricaneDean07
7:52 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
I could see another blowup of convection, the convection is deceiving if you look at visible you can see the circulation is still steadily moving nne at 3-5 mph, but the convection is running off and dying... This time is when we need to see a blow up of convection if we are going to get a named storm out of this. This was why I was hesitant to be onboard with this, it looked impressive, but I was thinking ahead and wanted to see what was going to happen first.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
953. nigel20
7:52 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
May 12, 2012

Daily SOI: 12.50
30 day avarage: 4.98
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7459
952. NCHurricane2009
7:52 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:



90E Floater


Hmmm...I usually get the floaters from this site:
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/satellite.shtml

I don't see 92L or 90E floaters on that link...but thanks for posting your link...that helps...
Member Since: September 15, 2009 Posts: 391 Comments: 3519
951. WxGeekVA
7:52 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
950. Patrap
7:50 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572
949. trHUrrIXC5MMX
7:48 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting Ameister12:

D of course. Sure they make decisions we might not agree, or might even be completely wrong, but even the smartest people on this blog make mistakes too.


nice way to put it
a 60%
b 30%

c 10%
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14869
948. TropicalAnalystwx13
7:48 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Its pretty apparant 92L is barely alive. Its convection has disinegrated.
Barely 92L

I wouldn't say it is barely alive and that its convection has "disintegrated". It just isn't as intense as it was before.

The next TWO will probably keep 40%.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
947. HurricaneDean07
7:46 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Its pretty apparant 92L is barely alive. Its convection has disinegrated.
Barely 92L
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
946. BobWallace
7:46 PM GMT on May 12, 2012


Quoting Neapolitan:
Poll time. The National Hurricane Center consists of:

A) Uneducated, inexperienced fools who know less about tropical weather than anyone--especially anonymous commenters on an internet weather forum--and therefore miss out on naming obvious tropical cyclones.

B) Ignorant, incompetent morons willing to name any swirl of clouds no matter how unimpressive just so they can justify their jobs (and/or "prove" AGW).

C) Both A and B. Often at the same time.

D) Highly professional meteorologists who have centuries of combined tropical weather education and experience, and as such make the very best decisions they can based on the very best information available.




Based solely on comments made on this site I'd have to choose 'C'. ;o)
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
945. WxGeekVA
7:44 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting Neapolitan:
Poll time. The National Hurricane Center consists of:

A) Uneducated, inexperienced fools who know less about tropical weather than anyone--especially anonymous commenters on an internet weather forum--and therefore miss out on naming obvious tropical cyclones.

B) Ignorant, incompetent morons willing to name any swirl of clouds no matter how unimpressive just so they can justify their jobs (and/or "prove" AGW).

C) Both A and B. Often at the same time.

D) Highly professional meteorologists who have centuries of combined tropical weather education and experience, and as such make the very best decisions they can based on the very best information available.




Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
944. nigel20
7:43 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7459
943. CybrTeddy
7:43 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
933.

E. It's all RIP, everything's RIP.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23012
942. TropicalAnalystwx13
7:42 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting Hurricanes101:


didnt load for me

Yeah, it gives me the same problem. Just keep refreshing until it decides it wants to load.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
941. Ameister12
7:40 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting Neapolitan:
Poll time. The National Hurricane Center consists of:

A) Uneducated, inexperienced fools who know less about tropical weather than anyone--especially anonymous commenters on an internet weather forum--and therefore miss out on naming obvious tropical cyclones.

B) Ignorant, incompetent morons willing to name any swirl of clouds no matter how unimpressive just so they can justify their jobs (and/or "prove" AGW).

C) Both A and B. Often at the same time.

D) Highly professional meteorologists who have centuries of combined tropical weather education and experience, and as such make the very best decisions they can based on the very best information available.



D of course. Sure they make decisions we might not agree with, or might even be completely wrong, but even the smartest people on this blog make mistakes too.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4498
940. Hurricanes101
7:39 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

This one.


didnt load for me
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
939. nigel20
7:39 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting Neapolitan:
Poll time. The National Hurricane Center consists of:

A) Uneducated, inexperienced fools who know less about tropical weather than anyone--especially anonymous commenters on an internet weather forum--and therefore miss out on naming obvious tropical cyclones.

B) Ignorant, incompetent morons willing to name any swirl of clouds no matter how unimpressive just so they can justify their jobs (and/or "prove" AGW).

C) Both A and B. Often at the same time.

D) Highly professional meteorologists who have centuries of combined tropical weather education and experience, and as such make the very best decisions they can based on the very best information available.



Definitely D
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7459
938. TropicalAnalystwx13
7:36 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting Hurricanes101:
What atcf site do you guys use? I have been having a very tough time getting a good atcf site now to keep an eye on information

This one.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
937. WxGeekVA
7:36 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting ncstorm:






Yes it is!


Not at all tropical

Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
936. TropicalAnalystwx13
7:36 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting Neapolitan:
Poll time. The National Hurricane Center consists of:

A) Uneducated, inexperienced fools who know less about tropical weather than anyone--especially anonymous commenters on an internet weather forum--and therefore miss out on naming obvious tropical cyclones.

B) Ignorant, incompetent morons willing to name any swirl of clouds no matter how unimpressive just so they can justify their jobs (and/or "prove" AGW).

C) Both A and B. Often at the same time.

D) Highly professional meteorologists who have centuries of combined tropical weather education and experience, and as such make the very best decisions they can based on the very best information available.



Obviously C. Remember Jose?

No, I'm just joking. It's obviously D.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
935. Hurricanes101
7:36 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting Neapolitan:
Poll time. The National Hurricane Center consists of:

A) Uneducated, inexperienced fools who know less about tropical weather than anyone--especially anonymous commenters on an internet weather forum--and therefore miss out on naming obvious tropical cyclones.

B) Ignorant, incompetent morons willing to name any swirl of clouds no matter how unimpressive just so they can justify their jobs (and/or "prove" AGW).

C) Both A and B. Often at the same time.

D) Highly professional meteorologists who have centuries of combined tropical weather education and experience, and as such make the very best decisions they can based on the very best information available.




The answer is D, but what is your point? Just curious as to why you would post this question now
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
934. Hurricanes101
7:35 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
What atcf site do you guys use? I have been having a very tough time getting a good atcf site now to keep an eye on information
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
933. Neapolitan
7:35 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Poll time. The National Hurricane Center consists of:

A) Uneducated, inexperienced fools who know less about tropical weather than anyone--especially anonymous commenters on an internet weather forum--and therefore miss out on naming obvious tropical cyclones.

B) Ignorant, incompetent morons willing to name any swirl of clouds no matter how unimpressive just so they can justify their jobs (and/or "prove" AGW).

C) Both A and B. Often at the same time.

D) Highly professional meteorologists who have centuries of combined tropical weather education and experience, and as such make the very best decisions they can based on the very best information available.


Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13269
932. TropicalAnalystwx13
7:34 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting Ameister12:
Although 92L isn't as impressive, we still can't give up on it. It still could become our first named storm of 2012.


We'll have to see. It has about 48 hours left for marginally favorable (~20 knots) wind shear before it increases, but Sea Surface Temperatures are already on the decline. Should drop to 18C tomorrow.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
931. Patrap
7:34 PM GMT on May 12, 2012


000
AXNT20 KNHC 121736
TWDAT

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
205 PM EDT SAT MAY 12 2012


ATLANTIC OCEAN...

A 1027 MB HIGH IS CENTERED OFF THE COAST OF NORTH CAROLINA NEAR
35N75W. A COLD FRONT IS OVER THE W ATLANTIC FROM 32N62W TO
27N70W. A PREFRONTAL TROUGH IS ALONG 30N61W 22N63W. SCATTERED
MODERATE TO STRONG CONVECTION IS FROM 21N-31N BETWEEN 60W-64W.
ANOTHER SURFACE TROUGH IS N OF HISPANIOLA ALONG 25N70W 21N72W.
SCATTERED MODERATE CONVECTION IS FROM 21N-24N BETWEEN 70W-72W. A
DEEP 1012 MB LOW IS OVER THE E ATLANTIC CENTERED NEAR 32N30W.
THE UPPER LEVEL CIRCULATION IS OVER A LARGE AREA N OF 16N
BETWEEN 15W-55W. SCATTERED MODERATE CONVECTION IS JUST N OF THE
CENTER FROM 32N-34N BETWEEN 30W-32W. THIS SYSTEM SHOWS SIGNS OF
SUBTROPICAL FORMATION WITH NEAR GALE WINDS NEAR THE CENTER.
EXPECT...OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS FOR THE W ATLANTIC FRONT TO MOVE
E AT 10-15 KT...AND FOR THE DEEP LOW TO MOVE LITTLE.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT
HTTP://WWW.HURRICANES.GOV/MARINE

$$
FORMOSA
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572
930. Patrap
7:33 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572
929. Ameister12
7:31 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Although 92L isn't as impressive, we still can't give up on it. It still could become our first named storm of 2012.

Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4498
928. nrtiwlnvragn
7:28 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Its about freakin' time...LOL! I wonder why there isn't a floater for E-Pac Invest 90E....

I also never thought I'd see the day when there are Special Tropical Weather Outlooks in the E-Pac and in the Atlantic at the same time...especially before May 15...



90E Floater
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 13 Comments: 10462
927. Patrap
7:27 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572
926. TropicalAnalystwx13
7:27 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
Is invest 92L 50 mph?

Yes.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
925. NCHurricane2009
7:27 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
I am also paying a little attention to the blob due N of the Lesser Antilles and E of the Bahamas....anyone else noticed?
Member Since: September 15, 2009 Posts: 391 Comments: 3519
924. Patrap
7:27 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting txjac:
Are you getting much rain Pat?


Thunderstorm rumbling now here Uptown, but has been scattered most of the day.


Almost a tropical feel here,Humid beaucoup as well.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572
923. nrtiwlnvragn
7:26 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
No tropical/subtropical structure yet.






Working its way down though.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 13 Comments: 10462
922. ncstorm
7:25 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
Interesting run Link






Yes it is!
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13451
921. txjac
7:25 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Are you getting much rain Pat?
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2351
920. JrWeathermanFL
7:25 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Is invest 92L 50 mph?
Member Since: July 19, 2011 Posts: 8 Comments: 1634
919. NCHurricane2009
7:24 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
If Subtropical Storm Jerry in 2007 (before it became TS Jerry) and TS Jose in 2011 were declared...I wonder why this isn't getting declared....LOL
Member Since: September 15, 2009 Posts: 391 Comments: 3519
918. trHUrrIXC5MMX
7:24 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
I hope there's something new tonight
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14869
917. Patrap
7:24 PM GMT on May 12, 2012




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572
916. nigel20
7:23 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
The blog in back in 1st gear now that the convection over 92L has wane
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7459
915. Patrap
7:23 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572

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About JeffMasters

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