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

Share this Blog
38
+

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
()

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: 465 - 415

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20Blog Index

Jeffs - Sorry we here in memorial took your rain. Just emptied my guage at 3", ready to refill now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Good evening, Kori.


You too.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20572
I would just like to point out (whine) that so far tonight, there have effectively been two rounds of storms, with a third on the way... and NONE have impacted my area. I've had two storms within 3 miles (at the same time), and I had the other set go poof about 3 miles away. If I find the person with the anti-rain shield... someone will need to bail me out of jail.

That said... there were some unverified reports of a tornadic storm near Katy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
Finally, some signs of activity.

*writes a blog*


Hey, Kori. What's your take on the Caribbean Development hurricane model scenario? Could Florida see flooding, if anything is to develop?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
Finally, some signs of activity.

*writes a blog*


Good evening, Kori.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Finally, some signs of activity.

*writes a blog*
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20572
goes west wv ch15
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aspectre:
120 LargoFl: gee What would the world look like..IF....... [FloodedEarth map]

Near as I can tell, that map shows a "GlobalFlooding" of at least 110metres above presentday sea-level in all areas...
Which is nearly 40metres above that which would occur with a total meltdown of all ice sheets and glaciers -- 72metres would be the highest reasonable estimate -- and at least 30metres above even if one includes extra sea-height along specific coastlines in the NorthernHemisphere due to the change in the gravitational equipotential across Earth's surface.

There ain't no way India would be split from the Eurasian continent, or for Australia to be split in two.


You have to add in heat expansion, but I am not sure that it would be that much.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
120 LargoFl: gee What would the world look like..IF....... [FloodedEarth map]

Near as I can tell, that map shows a "GlobalFlooding" of at least 110metres above presentday sea-level in all areas...
Which is nearly 40metres above that which would occur with a total meltdown of all ice sheets and glaciers -- 72metres would be the highest reasonable estimate -- and at least 30metres above even if one includes extra sea-height along specific coastlines in the NorthernHemisphere due to the change in the gravitational equipotential across Earth's surface.

There ain't no way India would be split from the Eurasian continent, or for Australia to be split in two.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
with the season getting closer a surprize is always possible as the atomsphere sets in motion its summer time patterns things will pick up at a steady pace epac is on its way and atlantic may not be that far behind her


Thanks, I agree. What I think is that all the beneficial heavy rainfall would be good for most of us in the 'Sunshine State' but if it's very heavy and prolonged, there would be a downside to this mostly positive event--the flooding...as we've seen with many drought busters. What's possible is that this huge tropical system would bring incredible amounts of rainfall to us, enough to completely relieve drought conditions, but unfortunately make way for dangerous flooding...like Arlene in Mexico last June. Let's hope it's just a drought-buster.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
here is latest dipiction surface gfsx
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
18z GFS at 189 hours:



That disturbance east of 90E has great potential to become at least a strong tropical storm according to the GFS and ECMWF.


According to the GFS and ECMWF, anything can happen. Still not ruling it out though,
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like a hook might be forming around Pecan Grove/Sugar Land area. There is nothing happening yet, but pay attention, if you are in that area!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricaneben:
What do you think of this whole Caribbean development fuss the models have been constantly throwing out? Do you think this can actually pose a flooding threat to Florida, if it is to occur? We need all the rain, just not the damage and loss of life.
with the season getting closer a surprize is always possible as the atomsphere sets in motion its summer time patterns things will pick up at a steady pace epac is on its way and atlantic may not be that far behind her
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
So what will the next 'Billion Dollar Weather Disaster' be??? and where do the insurance companies get all their money.. I'm only paying a couple thousand a year??????
Have a safe weekend everyone!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
18z GFS at 189 hours:





That disturbance east of 90E has great potential to become at least a strong tropical storm according to the GFS and ECMWF.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Doesn't look like it. We had a pretty good run there for a few days and now nothing. I may have to get my hose out and water the geckos.
you be getting more rains soon enough maybe
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What do you think of this whole Caribbean development fuss the models have been constantly throwing out? Do you think this can actually pose a flooding threat to Florida, if it is to occur? We need all the rain, just not the damage and loss of life.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Why don't we take all of the East Pacific activity, and send it to the Gulf of Mexico?!?!


I'm with you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Catching some light rains here now. The wind is surprisingly calm.

Just got a news flash for a tornado WATCH. Showing possible hail around The Memorial area. Missouri City is about to get hit with another round of thunderstorms.

Still here, Keep.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting etxwx:
We're visiting in Katy, just off I-10 between Fry and Mason Road...starting to herar the thunder and it's raining at bit. Not much going on yet though.


Looks like you guys have another round coming through shortly. You be safe out there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
440. etxwx
We're visiting in Katy, just off I-10 between Fry and Mason Road...starting to hear the thunder and it's raining at bit. Not much going on yet though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
everyone starting to checkout
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good night fellow bloggers
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Was there a tornado in houston?
Looks like a debris ball on TDWR


Nothing confirmed yet. That debris ball was right near me. I have not experienced any hail or strong winds or downburst but there has been frequent lightning and brief heavy rains. Looks like another band coming in from the West. Will be quite an eventful night for the Central and Southern Houston area.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good Night All - Stay Safe - Sleep Well
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Was their a tornado in houston?
Looks like a debris ball on TDWR


I have not heard of any reports of a tornado here. Just getting severe thunderstorm warnings, at this time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Was there a tornado in houston?
Looks like a debris ball on TDWR
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9727
Looks like we have some more building around the Katy area.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like the main cell is downtown Houston right now. The inflow is slowing down some, from my area.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
you know what i mean most are nothing once over the water till they get closer where then if given the chance could form into something



I know, I just found that term humorous. Quick play on words.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26130
Quoting Grothar:


Doesn't look like it. We had a pretty good run there for a few days and now nothing. I may have to get my hose out and water the geckos.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Doesn't look like it. We had a pretty good run there for a few days and now nothing. I may have to get my hose out and water the geckos.


As you can tell by my avatar, when it gets too dry they will claim the water hose! After that, you have to ask permission to use it!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i like to call em sleeper cells if i may


You should send that one into the NHC. They might use it.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26130
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:
Grothar, you getting any more rain soon?


Doesn't look like it. We had a pretty good run there for a few days and now nothing. I may have to get my hose out and water the geckos.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26130
Quoting fireflymom:
I live in the Missouri City tx area close to Brazoria co.



I have been through a few times several years ago. .... Did they ever put it on the map? ;-) They had to open the beltway for anyone to get there. Joking.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nigel20:

Hey Keeper. What's up?
nothing just chillin bro
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting texascoastres:
Good night all, be safe

Same to you Texas
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I live in the Missouri City tx area close to Brazoria co.
Quoting DavidHOUTX:


You know it! I was just about to say how nice it is to see all of us in this area on here at this moment. It is great how something like weather can bring together neighbors times like this

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Grothar, you getting any more rain soon?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Invest 90E is consolidating gradually while it appears Invest 91E may be struggling with some dry air.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Why don't we take all of the East Pacific activity, and send it to the Gulf of Mexico?!?!


Those are mine and you can't have them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good night all, be safe
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
113 BaltimoreBrian How much of Antarctica would be land after it had a chance to isostatically rebound?

Simplfying to the "spherical cow" level:
30,000,000cu.kilometres of ice DIVIDED over 14,000,000sq.kilometres of area EQUALS an average depth of ~2.14kilometres.
If I remember correctly... at ~1kilometre down, the density of glacial ice becomes close to that of water at 4degreesCelsius and StandardPressure, 1gigaton per cubic-kilometre, then increases as the column above gets higher.

Assuming that a ~2.14kilometre-column of ice has the same density as water at 4degreesC...
assuming the average density of rock at the top of the asthenosphere is ~3.3times that of water...
such that the asthenosphere will rise 0.3kilometres for every kilometre of ice-melt...
then Antarctica will rise ~643metres on average...
but the the sea-level will rise ~66metres on average...
SO on average, the new Antarctic coastline should rise ~577metres(1760feet) more than the sea-level to meet the new sea-level.
ie
Most of the whitish-blue area below will be above sea-level (higher resolution)

The silhouette of GreenhouseAntarctica would more closely resemble presentday SouthAmerica than it would the (green&yellow) presentday Antarctic-land areas above sea-level.

And even more closely, because there is also the change in gravitational equipotential to consider.
Presentday Antarctica has so much ice piled on top of it that the ice's gravity also draws a LARGE volume of seawater toward it. When the ice-sheet melts, most of that extra seawater will go to the NorthernHemisphere... because it has the most continental mass.
Most of the seawater initially drawn to the NorthernHemisphere will stay there even after isostatic-rebound is completed*... a few tens-of-thousands of years after the ice-sheets have melted.


* The lithosphere rock is structurally solid, and the asthenosphere rock/magma is MUCH more difficult to shape-change than most fluids, so the rebound will take much longer than the ice-melt.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Good night Largofl
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
111 PedleyCA [page3comment]101 aspectre picture of de-iced Antartica
Didn't realize what this area looked like when it was mostly de-iced, Ouch
...

Not exactly. It shows the presentday borders of Antarctic-land areas above sea-level.
Antarctic ice sheet...covers...14,000,000sq.kilometres and contains 30,000,000cu.kilometres of ice.
The continents sit on the crust atop the stony upper mantle (lithosphere) floating upon the extremely-viscous-but-still-malleable*rock of the asthenosphere.
Link
When you take the cargo off of a ship, the ship floats higher.
Similarly, when the ice-sheet melts off of the Antarctic continent, Antarctica will float higher.

But because of the lithosphere, the higher-floating Antarctica would be closer to you laying on a waterbed with a big block of ice on your chest, then having the ice melt off. The resulting water would sit on the top of the mattress, surrounding you.
For Antarctica, the water would spread across the oceans, adding additional weight to the seabed, causing the lithosphere to press downward on the asthenosphere. That extra downward pressure exerted onto the asthenosphere would also lift Antarctica a wee bit higher.

With a rising sea and a rising Antarctica, there are three more factors that have to be factored into arriving at what the Antarctic coast would look like if the icesheet melted.
The first being
113 BaltimoreBrian How much of Antarctica would be land after it had a chance to isostatically rebound?

Which I'll post next, because the forum editing-program doesn't like lengthy essays.

* ie Kinda like molding clay or hand-warmed wax -- but MUCH more difficult to shape-change.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860

Viewing: 465 - 415

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20Blog 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.