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 RitaEvac:
TX bound!



Quite a few High Pressures there to block it... :-/
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Followup!


In November last year Garett McNamara was said to have surfed a 90 foot wave. Dr. Masters blogged about it.


After much examination of video clips and stills taken of Garett McNamara's wave estimated height was reduced to 78 feet. But it is still a new world record for the highest surfed wave.
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nrtiwlnvragn, why does the Tropical Floaters page has 91E and still it has not been up by atcf?

Link
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EPac is opening up for business. =D
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It's not just the melted ice. It's also thermal expansion of water, and enhanced erosion from enhanced hydrological cycles.

Faster erosion would also fill oceans in with sediment faster than the mountains rose, which is relatively minor, but also further displaces more water, pushing up sea levels even higher.


The death toll in the scenario in post 120 would undoubtedly be around 4 or 5 billion or more, because world population is expected to peak around 9 or 10 billion, and presumably stay near that number indefinitely or until we kill ourselves, seeing as how human nature is to consume and reproduce irresponsibly.

See India and Pakistan, 2 of the most populous nations, and yet also having the highest population growth rate, in spite of massive Emigration.

If this much land was destroyed, we could be sure 1 to 2 billion would die of starvation even at present day populations. Therefore, with a population of 9 to 10 billion, you would expect about half of them to die from starvation.
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the 12Z Euro




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Quoting Doppler22:
Who really thinks Aletta will form from 90E? and who thinks Alberto will form soon?

Myself I think Aletta will form but idk about Alberto.


I don't have my hopes that high about Aletta but it is that time of year and most EPac storms develop in this general area. Right now it is surrounded by bigger blobs of convection so it will need to become the dominant center in that area if it really does want to develop.
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1286
More rain is expected in the Weekend for Puerto Rico.

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
322 PM AST FRI MAY 11 2012

.SYNOPSIS...UNSTABLE ATMOSPHERE...ABUNDANT MOISTURE AND DIURNAL
HEATING...COMBINED TO PRODUCE NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS
ACROSS THE INTERIOR...WESTERN...AND NORTHWESTERN PUERTO RICO.
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO IMPROVE FOR THE WEEKEND.

&&

.DISCUSSION...THE 11/12Z SOUNDING INDICATED THAT THE ATMOSPHERE
WAS UNSTABLE WITH A LIFTED INDEX OF -8 AND CAPE OF ALMOST 4K.
COMBINED WITH DIURNAL HEATING AND SEA BREEZE CONVERGENCE...SHOWERS
AND THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPED...SOME OF WHICH HAD HEAVY DOWNPOURS.
URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOODING WAS OBSERVED IN SOME AREAS AS WELL
AS STRONG THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE WATERS TO THE NORTHWEST OF PUERTO
RICO. THIS ACTIVITY IS EXPECTED TO DIMINISH CONSIDERABLY LATER IN
THE AFTERNOON. FORECAST SOUNDINGS SUGGEST SLIGHTLY BETTER
CONDITIONS FOR SATURDAY AND SUNDAY WITH PRECIPITABLE WATER AND
CAPE DECREASING SLIGHTLY...BUT UPPER LEVEL DIVERGENCE DECREASING
AS WELL. THIS PATTERN OF AFTERNOON CONVECTION IS EXPECTED THROUGH
THE WEEKEND AND POSSIBLY INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK.


&&

.AVIATION...MOSTLY VFR CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED ACROSS THE LOCAL
TERMINAL AFTER 11/21Z. SHRA/TSRA WILL KEEP MVFR/IFR CONDITIONS
ACROSS TJBQ AND TJMZ UNTIL 11/21Z. WIDESPREAD BKN/OVC CEILINGS ARE
EXPECTED ACROSS PUERTO RICO UNTIL 11/23Z BUT MOSTLY ABOVE 4KFT.
SURFACE WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FROM THE EAST SOUTHEAST AT
5 TO 15 KNOTS.


&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
SJU 86 77 88 78 / 30 20 30 20
STT 86 77 86 78 / 30 30 20 20
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14557
This will be different soon...
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Who really thinks Aletta will form from 90E? and who thinks Alberto will form soon?

Myself I think Aletta will form but idk about Alberto.
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DR Masters...
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.)

NHC website now displays the eastern Pacific basin
Link

This tells me that the 2012 Pac hurricane season could be like 2009


Or 1992


or RECORD ACTIVE >30 storms
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Trending a little lighter, but several local WFOs think this might be underdone:
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Hi MA.The ECMWF has a strong system as GFS .



And SST's are warm enough to support a strong or moderate hurricane, shear allowing
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
91E...

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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Hi MA.The ECMWF has a strong system as GFS .



Interesting... Especially since it hasn't been supporting the development of Aletta with this current area of interest...
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EURO thinking EPAC, east coast?

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Here is a cool link that shows what percentage of the eclipse you can see from your location...Link
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
The GFS also spins up a stronger East Pac storm 8 days out or so..


Hi MA.The ECMWF has a strong system as GFS .


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Quoting nigel20:

Hey pottery. High pressure is forecasted to build in over the eastern Caribbean on the weekend...this shoulld reduce the wet weather in the said area.

Looking forward to that.
If it comes to pass this far south....
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The GFS also spins up a stronger East Pac storm 8 days out or so..
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Hey Nigel... Just glad school's out for the week!
Also glad we may have a TS in the East Pac soon.

Yeah, we really need a storm to watch
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Here is the climate report from April for Puerto Rico / Virgin Islands. It shows how much it rained in a relativly dry month as April normally is. And the graphic of rainfall speaks for itself.



Link

Puerto Rico...definitely need a break from all this wet weather...so many records broken and we are not even half way into the year
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
POSS T.C.F.A.
INV/90E/XX
MARK
9.5N/105.3W

That really looks to be coming together in that last frame or two
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STRING OF ANTICYCLONES ALONG 10N ADD A TOUCH OF DIVERGENT FLOW
ALOFT OVER ITCZ/MONSOON TROUGH ENHANCING MODERATE TO STRONG
CONVECTION WITHIN 150 NM OF AXIS. ONE PARTICULAR ANTICYCLONE
SITS RIGHT OVER DEVELOPING 1007 MB LOW PRES CENTER NEAR
08.7N104.8W WHERE SST TOP 29 DEGREES CELSIUS...ALBEIT ONLY IN A
SHALLOW TOP LAYER. UNDER THIS FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT...MODEL
GUIDANCE INCREASE ORGANIZATION OF SYSTEM WITH DIFFERENT TRACKS
AND INTENSITIES. FORECAST LEANS TOWARD LESS AGGRESSIVE APPROACH
THAN GFS...BUT DEFINITELY STRONGER THAN UKMET OR NOGAPS...MORE
IN TUNE WITH CMC BRINGING SPINNING WINDS TO 30 KT WITHIN NEXT 48
HRS BEFORE A QUICK DOWNTURN AFTER THE WEEKEND LIKELY DUE TO
SHALLOWNESS OF WARM WATER LAYER AND INCREASING SW WIND SHEAR
FROM UPSTREAM APPROACHING LONGWAVE TROUGH.

Looks like if anything forms it will die fast in the Eastern notyh pacific.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
TX bound!



Lol. That'll change. All the other tropical storms will get with him and say, " Remember Don? Dude! You do NOT wanna go there!" It'll be going to Bermuda next run. Lol.
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Quoting nigel20:

What's up MA?

Hey Nigel... Just glad school's out for the week!
Also glad we may have a TS in the East Pac soon.
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Quoting ncstorm:
GFS Ensemble Members has a storm in the GOM..long long long way out



Yeah, if that pans out I will attempt to eat several large metaphorical hats.
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POSS T.C.F.A.
INV/90E/XX
MARK
9.5N/105.3W
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Quoting PedleyCA:


I saw the article you posted and googled the call letters to that station and then clicked on Houston Community Newspaper and entered the city/state under the weather link and it came up and I clicked picture and those came up and lots of them.


Showoff! :p Lol. Nah,good idea. I'm just having one of those running around like crazy days. :)
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Quoting LargoFl:
gee what would the world look like..IF.......


How many meters is this?
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Quoting ncstorm:
GFS Ensemble Members has a storm in the GOM..long long long way out


The GFS is rapidly trying to unseat the CMC for the rep of constantly spinning up random cyclones.

(note: that is just one member of the ensemble run)
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Quoting nigel20:

Hey pottery. High pressure is forecasted to build in over the eastern Caribbean on the weekend...this shoulld reduce the wet weather in the said area.


Here is the climate report from April for Puerto Rico / Virgin Islands. It shows how much it rained in a relativly dry month as April normally is. And the graphic of rainfall speaks for itself.



Link
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TX bound!

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Quoting LargoFl:
gee what would the world look like..IF.......


How much of a rise is that, like 300 feet?
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Quoting nigel20:

The population in Canada and Africa increase dramatically were that to happen
yes I would have to agree with you there,and most probably those already there wouldnt just stand idly by..a real nasty business indeed if it were to ever happen..
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good afternoon everybody... The weekend is almost upon us!

Looks like any support of having Alberto next week vanished today... Oh well... Maybe the GFS will flip again.

Also good to see a pair of invests in the East Pac... Aletta seems to be on the way!

What's up MA?
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Quoting LargoFl:
>

The population in Canada and Africa increase dramatically were that to happen
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8317
Good afternoon everybody... The weekend is almost upon us!

Looks like any support of having Alberto next week vanished today... Oh well... Maybe the GFS will flip again.

Also good to see a pair of invests in the East Pac... Aletta seems to be on the way!
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Quoting LargoFl:
gee what would the world look like..IF.......
imagine IF this ever happened, just imagine the wars for the remaining dry land space..maybe a billion or more would die..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40959


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0786
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0122 PM CDT FRI MAY 11 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...NORTHEAST TX

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH UNLIKELY

VALID 111822Z - 111915Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...20 PERCENT

SUMMARY...SHOWERS AND STORMS ARE INCREASING ACROSS PARTS OF N TX
NEAR AND N OF THE DFW METROPLEX...BUT OVERALL SEVERE POTENTIAL
SHOULD REMAIN LIMITED.

DISCUSSION...WHILE PERSISTENT CLOUD COVER IS OBSERVED...MODEST
HEATING/DESTABILIZATION IS UNDERWAY ACROSS PARTS OF N CENTRAL AND
NERN TX -- WHICH HAS ALLOWED A SLOW INCREASE IN CONVECTIVE COVERAGE
AND INTENSITY TO OCCUR OVER THE PAST HOUR AHEAD OF THE UPPER LOW
WHICH LINGERS ATTM OVER NWRN TX.

SOME ADDITIONAL DESTABILIZATION WILL SUPPORT FURTHER CONVECTIVE
DEVELOPMENT...BUT OVERALL LIMITED CAPE COMBINED WITH MODEST FLOW
ALOFT /DEPICTED BY MODEL FORECASTS AND CONFIRMED BY THE LATEST KFWS
/FORT WORTH/ WSR-88D VWP/ SHOULD MITIGATE SEVERE POTENTIAL IN
GENERAL. WHILE A FEW STRONGER CELLS MAY BECOME CAPABLE OF MARGINAL
HAIL AND GUSTY WINDS...ATTM THREAT DOES NOT APPEAR TO WARRANT WW
CONSIDERATION.

..GOSS/HART.. 05/11/2012
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gee what would the world look like..IF.......
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GFS Ensemble Members has a storm in the GOM..long long long way out

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Quoting LargoFl:
IF all the ice melted......>
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Quoting pottery:

Hi Nigel..
Been raining heavy here all day again.
When does this stuff move to the West like they say it will ????

Looks like a wet week again.

Hey pottery. High pressure is forecasted to build in over the eastern Caribbean on the weekend...this shoulld reduce the wet weather in the said area.
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IF all the ice melted......
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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.