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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Quoting DavidHOUTX:
Big Hook Echo and rotating wall cloud in Katy, Texas. West of Houston. Cell is heading directly towards Houston.


Two hooks NW of Houston
Link
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39198
12Z Euro

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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39198
Here's a better image that has all three disturbances.

From left to right: 91E, 90E, disturbance (will probably become 92E)

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

In the Central and Eastern Pacific, tropical cyclones with winds in excess of 74 mph are referred to as hurricanes. In the Western Pacific, they are called typhoons.
ah thats right, many thanks
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Big Hook Echo and rotating wall cloud in Katy, Texas. West of Houston. Cell is heading directly towards Houston.
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Quoting LargoFl:
do they call a system in the pacific..thats close to the states..a hurricane? or no? something else?

In the Central and Eastern Pacific, tropical cyclones with winds in excess of 74 mph are referred to as hurricanes. In the Western Pacific, they are called typhoons.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

That's from the other night, but that is 982 mb.
do they call a system in the pacific..thats close to the states..a hurricane? or no? something else?
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Quoting LargoFl:
thunder hopefully this will come true for monday..................

I think it's time to do the rain dance....
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thunder hopefully this will come true for monday..................
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39198
Yikes...I didn't know we had 2 invests in the E-Pac! I was calling the western low pressure 90E when in fact its 91E....I meant to say earlier that I was betting 91E would become Aletta....

Meanwhile...I saw that low in the east Atlantic tracking southward....but since 91L didn't develop...I am being more conservative on that low in the east Atlantic too....
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

That's from the other night, but that is 982 mb.
Ow wow. 982MB thats quite a strong storm.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Is that 990? That is approaching hurricane pressure.

That's from the other night, but that is 982 mb.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:



Is it time to bring out the



image?
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AT LOWER LEVELS...TWO AREAS OF ACTIVE CONVECTION HAVE EVOLVED IN
THE PAST 24 HOURS...WITH LOW TO MID LEVEL CYCLONIC TURNING
INDICATED IN SATELLITE IMAGERY...ONE NEAR 09N105.5W AND A SECOND
NEAR 09N105.5W. COMPUTER MODEL GUIDANCE HAS NOT BEEN IN
AGREEMENT THAT PAST SEVERAL RUNS ON THE EVOLUTION OF THESE TWO
AREAS OF LOW PRESSURE. RECENTLY...THE WESTERN-MOST LOW HAS
MAINTAINED WIDESPREAD CONVECTION AND SOME SHORT BANDS...BUT
CONVECTION HAS DIMINISHED SIGNIFICANTLY IN THE PAST FEW
HOURS...AND DRIER LOW TO MID LEVEL AIR IS SLOWLY REACHING NEAR
THIS FEATURE FROM THE NW. MEANWHILE...THE MORE EASTERN LOW DOES
NOT APPEAR AS WELL ORGANIZED IN SATELLITE IMAGERY...AND A
PARTIAL 1646 UTC ASCAT PASS DID NOT SUGGEST A WELL DEFINED
CENTER WITH SIGNIFICANT WINDS. GLOBAL MODELS SUGGEST SOME
POTENTIAL FOR THIS LOW TO STRENGTHEN AS IT LIFTS N DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS...AND THE GFS HAS BEEN VERY INSISTENT DURING THE
PAST SEVERAL RUNS THIS THIS LOW WILL INTENSIFY. THIS SYSTEM IS
BEING MONITORED FOR POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE DEVELOPMENT...AS
IT PRESENTLY COVERED IN OUR OUR HIGH SEAS FORECAST UNDER AWIPS
HEADER MIAHSFEP2.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


The most vorticity of the three is what may be future 92E.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Is that 990? That is approaching hurricane pressure. (Typical hurricane pressure is at least 988MB in my book for cat1.)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


I like the looks of THAT.....
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Quoting thunderbug91:

The image didn't post... send the link plz

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Quoting LargoFl:
from may 9th..any chance this Could happen?...............

The image didn't post... send the link plz
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Quoting LargoFl:
from may 9th..any chance this Could happen?...............
didnt come out but had a serious low in south florida
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from may 9th..any chance this Could happen?...............
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39198
The.30 day SOI is upto 4.7 today
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I realize this. Invest 91E looks healthy right now, but it has a lot of dry air to the north of it and will be the first to succumb to strong wind shear by the end of the weekend.

Yeah, not paying attention to EPAC conditions.
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Quoting weatherh98:


Get me some more rain largo, i need to hog it all!

Could you share some of it with us?
LOL
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EPAC sure lit up today, 91E probably has the best chance for development at the moment. GFS also jumped up the intensity on the Caribbean system.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

91E is the organized cyclonic system west of 90E. just makin sure youre not flippin.

I realize this. Invest 91E looks healthy right now, but it has a lot of dry air to the north of it and will be the first to succumb to strong wind shear by the end of the weekend.
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Quoting weatherh98:


Get me some more rain largo, i need to hog it all!
lol
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Quoting LargoFl:


Get me some more rain largo, i need to hog it all!
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

91E is the organized cyclonic system west of 90E. just makin sure youre not flippin.

yes sorry flip 90E and 91E around
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Prediction:
90E wont form
91E will get to Tropical depression status
92E(Forecasted by GFS) Becomes Aletta

We dont get Alberto


Hi 07. Also the ECMWF has future 92E.

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The negative NAO is doing wonders for the atlantic SST's
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I guess I'll be the bullish one here...

90E = Tropical Storm
91E = Nothing
System shown by ECMWF/GFS also a Tropical Storm.
Caribbean disturbance eventually becomes at least an invest.

Iagree 91E just looks good, 90E has the better rotation, its just disorganised. that will change though
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39198
TORNADO WARNING
TXC157-201-120030-
/O.NEW.KHGX.TO.W.0032.120512T0007Z-120512T0030Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
707 PM CDT FRI MAY 11 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LEAGUE CITY HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
EXTREME NORTH CENTRAL FORT BEND COUNTY IN TEXAS...
EXTREME SOUTHWESTERN HARRIS COUNTY IN TEXAS...

* UNTIL 730 PM CDT

* AT 700 PM CDT...TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A WALL CLOUD
NEAR FULSHEAR. A TORNADO MAY DEVELOP AT ANY TIME. DOPPLER RADAR
SHOWED THIS DANGEROUS STORM MOVING EAST AT 15 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
FULSHEAR.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO A BASEMENT OR AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE
LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE
HOME OR OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

&&

LAT...LON 2982 9567 2963 9567 2970 9594 2974 9594
TIME...MOT...LOC 0000Z 271DEG 13KT 2973 9592

$$
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Quoting thunderbug91:


We got 50% Sunday and 40% Monday so far...
hopefully we will get a good thunderstorm or two, we really need the rain
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I guess I'll be the bullish one here...

90E = Tropical Storm
91E = Nothing
System shown by ECMWF/GFS also a Tropical Storm.
Caribbean disturbance eventually becomes at least an invest.

91E is the organized cyclonic system west of 90E. just makin sure youre not flippin.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Forecast for Plant City/East Hillsborough County
Tonight
Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 70s near the coast and in the mid 60s inland. East winds around 10 mph.

Saturday
Partly sunny. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 80s near the coast and around 90 inland. East winds around 15 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.

Saturday Night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 70s near the coast and in the mid 60s inland. East winds around 10 mph.

Sunday
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s near the coast and in the upper 80s inland. Southeast winds around 10 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Sunday Night
Partly cloudy. Lows around 70 near the coast and in the mid 60s inland. East winds around 5 mph becoming southeast after midnight.

Monday
Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 80s near the coast and in the upper 80s inland. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Monday Night
Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows around 70 near the coast and in the mid 60s inland. Chance of rain 20 percent.

Tuesday
Partly cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning...then a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 80s near the coast and in the upper 80s inland. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Tuesday Night
Partly cloudy. Lows around 70 near the coast and in the mid 60s inland.

Wednesday
Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 80s near the coast and in the upper 80s inland. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Wednesday Night
Partly cloudy. Lows around 70 near the coast and in the mid 60s inland.

Thursday
Partly cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 80s near the coast and in the upper 80s inland. Chance of rain 20 percent.

Thursday Night
Partly cloudy. Lows around 70 near the coast and in the mid 60s inland.

Friday
Partly cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 80s near the coast and in the upper 80s inland. Chance of rain 20 percent.

Source: NWS at 3:24 PM EDT on May 11, 2012
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Is that a UFO in the bottom left of this image?



Nope, just the International Space Station doing a fly by today.

spaceweather.com has a great photo of it on their website.
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I guess I'll be the bullish one here...

90E = Tropical Storm
91E = Nothing
System shown by ECMWF/GFS also a Tropical Storm.
Caribbean disturbance eventually becomes at least an invest.
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I say
90E nothing
91E TD
92E Aletta

92L Alberto
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Join tropics chat, I'm inviting anyone to come...if you can.
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Quoting LargoFl:
weather guys are not too hopeful, rain chances everywhere but around tampa bay..gee.............


We got 50% Sunday and 40% Monday so far...
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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.