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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aspectre how much of Antarctic would be land after it had a chance to isostatically rebound?
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Quoting nigel20:

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.
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101aspectre picture of de-iced Antartica

Didn't realize what this area looked like when it was mostly de-iced, Ouch..
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5671
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7819
Eastern Atlantic

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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Wow, didn't see those. Did quite a bit of damage there.


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.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5671
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Eastern East Pacific
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101 aspectre

I've read quite a bit that there was a big rise in sea level 120,000 years ago to as much as 20 feet higher than today. That may be when the west Antarctic octopus population was unified.
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A Slight Risk has been issued here, and I can see why.

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FLOOD STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
1121 AM CDT FRI MAY 11 2012

...THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE FOLLOWING RIVERS IN
ILLINOIS...

ILLINOIS RIVER AT LA SALLE AFFECTING BUREAU AND LA SALLE COUNTIES

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

SAFETY MESSAGE...IF YOU ENCOUNTER A FLOODED ROADWAY...TURN AROUND AND
FIND AN ALTERNATE ROUTE.

&&

ILC011-099-120621-
/O.EXT.KLOT.FL.W.0002.000000T0000Z-120512T1559Z/
/LSLI2.1.ER.120507T2245Z.120509T1630Z.120512T0959 Z.NO/
1121 AM CDT FRI MAY 11 2012

THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR
THE ILLINOIS RIVER AT LA SALLE.
* UNTIL SATURDAY MORNING.
* AT 1045 AM FRIDAY THE STAGE WAS 20.7 FEET.
* FLOOD STAGE IS 20.0 FEET.
* MINOR FLOODING IS OCCURRING AND MINOR FLOODING IS FORECAST.
* FORECAST...THE RIVER WILL CONTINUE TO FALL TO BELOW FLOOD STAGE BY
EARLY SATURDAY.
* IMPACT...AT 21.0 FEET...LOW LYING AGRICULTURAL AREAS FROM 6 MILES
UPSTREAM TO 12 MILES DOWNSTREAM ARE FLOODED.

$$
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Quoting aspectre:
94 BaltimoreBrian: Safety tips for solar eclipses:
Don't look straight at the sun.
Don't pick up strange plants!


Don't drink strange plants such as menthe, cacao, sloe, etc. They can usually be detected by an umbrella or a sword growing out of the crushed ice in which strange plants are normally found.
Do NOT inhale strange plants. Often causes coughing fits, and a desire to drink strange plants.


*snicker*
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52 FatPenguin: The Mystery of the Antarctic Octopus
Could have major implications for Antarctic ice shelf if proven true.


Now that was a great catch.
"Turquet's octopus...living on either side of the Western Antarctic ice sheet share almost identical genes.

...This shouldn't make any sense...the adult octopuses...are known to be territorial creatures which only tend to move under pressure from predators. And the Ross and Weddell seas, the locations for the population study, are 10,000kilometres apart."

ie They're currently separated by a seabed-grounded ice-sheet that makes the shortest ocean route between them ~6200miles.
And sharing nearly identical genes means that there hasn't been much time for natural genetic drift to make the difference greater.
Which makes it likely that there was a MUCH shorter route between the two seas relatively recently.

Which ties in (a coincidentally timely manner) with the concerns expressed in comment42 about the possibility of a relatively rapid basal melting of the Weddell ice-shelf, and the effect that would have on WestAntarcticeIceSheet.



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Are billion dollar disasters adjusted for inflation, population and economic growth?

"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money."

Attributed to the late Senator Everett Dirksen.

It just seems like a billion dollars isn't what it used to be.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
94 BaltimoreBrian: Safety tips for solar eclipses:
Don't look straight at the sun.
Don't pick up strange plants!


Don't drink strange plants such as menthe, cacao, sloe, etc. They can usually be detected by an umbrella or a sword growing out of the crushed ice in which strange plants are normally found.
Do NOT inhale strange plants. Often causes coughing fits, and a desire to drink strange plants
(to relieve the coughy throat, of course).
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Good afternoon Nigel. Already,flood advisories have been issued in PR. I think the Eastern Caribbean has to have a break from the many days of rain and flooding some of the islands have been thru for the past two weeks.

Good afternoon Tropics. Agreed
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Quoting nigel20:

I'm good...how are you pedley?


Sun just came out here. Should help.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5671
Good afternoon Nigel. Already today,flood advisories have been issued in PR. I think the Eastern Caribbean has to have a break from the many days of rain and flooding some of the islands have been thru for the past two weeks.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13995
Safety tips for solar eclipses:

Don't look straight at the sun.

Don't pick up strange plants!

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Quoting hydrus:
Talk about something that does not happen often.


How rare is it for a specific location to have two solar eclipses 80 months apart or less? I agree it must be very rare.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


There's another eclipse in April 2024 in the USA. St. Louis will have two total eclipses of the sun less than 7 years apart.
Talk about something that does not happen often.
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May 10, 2011

May 10, 2012
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7819
Quoting 77. hydrus:
I cant wait for this one , I wont even have to leave my house.

There's an annular eclipse on May 20th. We are going to drive out to West Texas to try to see it.

Edit: Oops. Should have read back further.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


hey whats up
yeah lot of models are forecasting a storm near us next weekend GFS, GFS ensembles, NAEFS, nogaps, GEFS and a couple others


This year has started out quite wet unlike the last two years that saw the dry season go almost into June before we received any appreciable rain.If nothing else next weekend may see some heavy showers, have to wait and see as usual.
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Quoting PedleyCA:
Link to Pictures of Weimar


Wow, didn't see those. Did quite a bit of damage there.
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Yo Gro!
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Quoting PedleyCA:
What's up Nigel, Good Morning everyone, 64.6 here (10:23PDT)

I'm good...how are you pedley?
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7819
From Wiki:

Simultaneous to the France's development, Tropical Storm Javier was located to the west of Mexico in the Pacific, although its moisture produced an area of thunderstorms that extended to the east toward southeastern Mexico. The interaction between the depression that became Frances and Javier produced three days of heavy rainfall along the Sierra Madre de Chiapas. On September 6, a station named Guadalupe Victoria recorded 15.79 in (401 mm) of rainfall.[5] The highest rainfall total in the country was 44.06 in (1,119 mm) at Escuintla, Chiapas.[6] In the period from 1981 to 2010, this was the highest rainfall total in Chiapas related to a tropical cyclone.[9]

Tropical Depression Eleven of the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season was a slow-moving system which caused some of the worst flooding in Mexico in over 50 years. It killed 636 people according to counts by the Mexican government, caused over 1 billion U.S. dollars in damage, and left over 300,000 people homeless. Torrential rains produced by the storm flooded roadways and broke many dams, which caused over 100 deaths in one town. [3]

The event also sparked political controversy throughout the entire country, due to the citizens claiming that the government was far too slow in launching search efforts for the missing, and rescue efforts for the trapped and dying. This caused president Ernesto Zedillo to try to reduce complaints, and even caused him to yell "shut up" at a bystander. [4]

Many times Tropical Storms and depressions dump more rain than hurricanes.



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Quoting hydrus:
I cant wait for this one , I wont even have to leave my house.

Just one more hour in the day, and it would go right over my house.
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What's up Nigel, Good Morning everyone, 64.6 here (10:23PDT)
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5671
Quoting hydrus:
I cant wait for this one , I wont even have to leave my house.


There's another eclipse in April 2024 in the USA. St. Louis will have two total eclipses of the sun less than 7 years apart.
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Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7819
I can't wait for the August 2017 eclipse KOTG.
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Thanks Dr. Masters....good afternoon all
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Quoting kmanislander:
Good day folks

Long range models are still suggesting that we could see something try to spin up next weekend in the Caribbean. Here is the GEFS surface pressure map for next Sunday showing 1004 mbs in the NW Caribbean.

Something to watch for



hey whats up
yeah lot of models are forecasting a storm near us next weekend GFS, GFS ensembles, NAEFS, nogaps, GEFS and a couple others
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I cant wait for this one , I wont even have to leave my house.
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My take on the Mayan calendar is that they stopped at 2012 because they got writer's cramp. BIG time.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Animation of the eclipse path. Red dot: annular eclipse may 20 /21 2012


Why am i on the east coast?
We never get anything.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9719
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Animation of the eclipse path. Red dot: annular eclipse may 20 /21 2012
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Animation of the eclipse path. Red dot: annular eclipse may 20 /21 2012
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Quoting Patrap:
The Mayan never claimed to say 2012 is the End.

That's media/"Christian" Mumbo Jumbo.


One cycle ends, and another begins.

Of course, many scientists with real understanding of ancient Mayan culture and language have for decades tried to explain that, no, the end of the 13th baktun does not literally mean the end of the world. In fact, they say, not even the Mayans themselves believed such silliness. The end-of-world myth was actually concocted by Christian missionaries. And some experts say that the end of the 13th baktun is actually December 23, not December 21.



And the new site is far from any claim of officialdom on anything.



Indeed. I just always get a kick out of this stuff.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
Good day folks

Long range models are still suggesting that we could see something try to spin up next weekend in the Caribbean. Here is the GEFS surface pressure map for next Sunday showing 1004 mbs in the NW Caribbean.

Something to watch for

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Quoting hydrus:
The world is flat Pat.....and its at the center......I love it when they pick a date for the " end " and it does not happen. Then blame it on a math mistake...he he..

Based on that, to some of these nutjobs that predict the end of the world, 1+2=17.
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Quoting RTSplayer:


well i look at it this way
don't matter what we all think about it
we all find out together 7 months from the day

then we get our answer together
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Quoting Patrap:
The Mayan never claimed to say 2012 is the End.

That's media/"Christian" Mumbo Jumbo.


One cycle ends, and another begins.

Of course, many scientists with real understanding of ancient Mayan culture and language have for decades tried to explain that, no, the end of the 13th baktun does not literally mean the end of the world. In fact, they say, not even the Mayans themselves believed such silliness. The end-of-world myth was actually concocted by Christian missionaries. And some experts say that the end of the 13th baktun is actually December 23, not December 21.



And the new site is far from any claim of officialdom on anything.

The world is flat Pat.....and its at the center......I love it when they pick a date for the " end " and it does not happen. Then blame it on a math mistake...he he..
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Quoting txjac:


Hoping that means that rain will be coming?
Right now the clouds are clearing and the sun coming out.

I want some rain in the evening when I can enjoy it ...last night I heard it but was in bed sleeping.

It means it will be more likely that we get some more rain. The sun coming out is actually a good thing for more rain. The more the sun comes out, the more the atmosphere heats up, which makes it less stable... which is more conductive to storms and rain.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
This hurricane season might go the way of the severe weather season, and the snow season.
One big early event, and then just a few other more minor events.

I wonder if AGW had anything to do with our unusually mild snow and tornado season.
rule nothing out mother nature may have other plans
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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.