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 GeorgiaStormz:


if i win u get me GRLEvel2Analyst.
If u win, i give u nothing :)

Just kidding.

About the NHC not wanting to use Alberto, would you?
It takes a lot of work to have a named storm, issue advisories, etc, for a storm an ocean away.




YAWN
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


if i win u get me GRLEvel2Analyst.
If u win, i give u nothing :)

Just kidding.

About the NHC not wanting to use Alberto, would you?
It takes a lot of work to have a named storm, issue advisories, etc, for a storm an ocean away.


that's THEIR JOB! $$$$ GET PAID FOR
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


if i win u get me GRLEvel2Analyst.
If u win, i give u nothing :)

Just kidding.

About the NHC not wanting to use Alberto, would you?
It takes a lot of work to have a named storm, issue advisories, etc, for a storm an ocean away.


That would be pretty ignorant of the NHC if they were to do that.

It's part of their basin of responsibility and if a TC develops there it is their responsibility to warn anyone that may be in the way.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Unfortunately I doubt we'll be getting any aircraft recon info unless Portugal sends one out


Maybe we'll get lucky and get some ship reports.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting Tazmanian:




no monday


if i win u get me GRLEvel2Analyst.
If u win, i give u nothing :)

Just kidding.

About the NHC not wanting to use Alberto, would you?
It takes a lot of work to have a named storm, issue advisories, etc, for a storm an ocean away.
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50 mph.

AL, 92, 2012051218, , BEST, 0, 335N, 305W, 45, 1009, LO, 34, NEQ, 60, 60, 20, 20, 1020, 300, 20, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,

I was beat to it...
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Quoting PedleyCA:


There was one on here last night and several here were interacting with the troll and didn't even figure it out.

Hey pedley. What's up?
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7885
This definitely is shaping up to be one of these Atlantic hurricane seasons with a highly active start and then a quiet rest of season...or maybe not so quiet, but now I'm counting on the E PAC getting the most in terms of total activity. Also, my instincts tell me this year somewhere in the Atlantic, there will be a highly destructive and deadly hurricane...it just takes one.
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18z Best Track:

AL, 92, 2012051218, , BEST, 0, 335N, 305W, 45, 1009, LO
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14076
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:

tomorrow




no monday
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I think the NHC is going to take its time for upgrading 92L until it begins to weaken so that they don't use the name Alberto yet...just like always for this type of storms...

I hate that!
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
T# estimates for 3.5 =
55 KTS
63 MPH
994 mb

Unfortunately I doubt we'll be getting any aircraft recon info unless Portugal sends one out
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7640
How many years have had 2 atlantic may storms?
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Quoting Ameister12:

Shhhhh... Don't jinx it.


There was one on here last night and several here were interacting with the troll and didn't even figure it out.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5702
Im gonna take a break from the 92L Frenzy. Be back in an hour or so.
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850mb

Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7885
Quoting Tazmanian:



he will likey make a new blog on monday

tomorrow
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T# estimates for 3.5 =
55 KTS
63 MPH
994 mb
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
I expect Dr Masters to make a new blog soon.



he will likey make a new blog on monday
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I expect Dr Masters to make a new blog soon.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14076
Quoting WxGeekVA:
Dr. Masters if you happen to be reading this, when will there be a new update from you on 92L and 90/91E? Really interested to see your thoughts on this! TIA!




91E is RIP



there olny 90E and 92L
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12/1745 UTC 33.5N 30.5W ST3.5 92L -- Atlantic

Taz got me to the punch. Very impressive T# numbers.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Not quite, I imagine it'll be shallow warm-core by Late tonight. But if it can't stay as impressive as it was about an hour ago, then we all might be jumping the gun... Don't see that 40% chance in it as of right now(more like 30). It needs to refire convection before im fully onboard.


Yeah convection is weakening a bit and the eye feature is a bit less defined.



It's only been an hour since the last time convection fired though.

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Quoting CybrTeddy:


True, however look at the organization it has obtained with that convection. When it fired, all the convection was displaced off the N of the COC, now it's covering the COC in a CDO.
Which is a tropical characteristic, not sub-tropical, also the windfield is close to the center, which is also tropical... it's basically a non-tropical/tropical hybrid right now, not much of any kind of sub-tropical charcteristics, if the non-tropical characteristics would shift to sub-tropical, then we have ourselves Alberto.
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12/1745 UTC 33.5N 30.5W ST3.5 92L -- Atlantic
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821. hydrus 1:09 PM CDT on May 12, 2012
Deadliest Hurricanes in United States History

The largest loss of life from a hurricane is often caused by storm surge and flooding rather than the winds. Do not underestimate a lower category hurricane! None of the top five deadliest hurricanes in United States history was a Category 5 hurricane at landfall.

Just thought that needed repeating. :)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 682
Dr. Masters if you happen to be reading this, when will there be a new update from you on 92L and 90/91E? Really interested to see your thoughts on this! TIA!
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
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.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
Quoting yqt1001:
NHC claims that 92L is non-tropical. Is there any proof of it being subtropical yet?

Not quite, I imagine it'll be shallow warm-core by Late tonight. But if it can't stay as impressive as it was about an hour ago, then we all might be jumping the gun... Don't see that 40% chance in it as of right now(more like 30). It needs to refire convection before im fully onboard.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
I wanna see 92L refire convection before I say it's gonna happen or not... The convection has slightly weakened since it last fired.


True, however look at the organization it has obtained with that convection. When it fired, all the convection was displaced off the N of the COC, now it's covering the COC in a CDO.
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look what i found for 92L and 90E


12/1745 UTC 9.8N 104.7W TOO WEAK 90E -- East Pacific
12/1745 UTC 33.5N 30.5W ST3.5 92L -- Atlantic
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37121
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
I wanna see 92L refire convection before I say it's gonna happen or not... The convection has slightly weakened since it last fired.

It has also jogged Northeast a bit, and into -1C cooler waters, don't know if it'll impact greatly, just though i'd mention that.
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NHC claims that 92L is non-tropical. Is there any proof of it being subtropical yet?
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Quoting Ameister12:
Grace and 92L are too similar. We could expect a renumber possibly tonight, or tomorrow if it 92L keeps stays organized.


Agreed.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
What about Alberto/Beryl/Chris if something else pops up, that might form in the Gulf.
Does anyone still see that happening?

Also another tornado warning in MS/AL.(i couldnt help it)


Report that a tornado touched down earlier from a different cell in Stone County, MS. This new tornado-warned storm has even stronger rotation than the previous one.
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Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7885
828. MahFL
A surface low is heading to N Florida from the GOM.
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I wanna see 92L refire convection before I say it's gonna happen or not... The convection has slightly weakened since it last fired.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
90L goes wild!




thats 90E
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Grace and 92L are too similar. We could expect a renumber possibly tomorrow morning if 92l stays organized.
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What about Alberto/Beryl/Chris if something else pops up, that might form in the Gulf.
Does anyone still see that happening?

Also another tornado warning in MS/AL.(i couldnt help it)
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90E goes wild!

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Blog update! I hope you enjoy and find it informative.
Odd 92L in the Atlantic - Another Grace situation? 5/12/12
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Deadliest Hurricanes in United States History

The largest loss of life from a hurricane is often caused by storm surge and flooding rather than the winds. Do not underestimate a lower category hurricane! None of the top five deadliest hurricanes in United States history was a Category 5 hurricane at landfall.


Deadliest Hurricane to Hit the United States


The Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 was the deadliest hurricane to ever hit the United States and caused between 8000 and 12000 deaths. The storm reached the Texas coast south of Galveston on September 8 as a Category 4 hurricane with a storm surge of 8 to 15 feet. The lack of warning and the high storm surge caused this storm to have the highest death toll of any United States hurricane.


Second Deadliest Hurricane to Hit the United States


The 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane which claimed 2500-3000 lives was the second deadliest hurricane in United States history. Most of the deaths from this hurricane were caused by a lake surge of 6 to 9 feet that inundated areas surrounding Lake Okeechobee.


Third Deadliest Hurricane to Hit the United States


Hurricane Katrina of 2005, the third deadliest hurricane in United States history, killed at least 1500 people. Katrina made landfall in the United States at three different locations. Katrina%u2019s first land fall was near the Miami-Dade / Broward county line in Florida, dropping 10 to 14 inches of rain, just after reaching hurricane status. After crossing Florida it strengthened in the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall near Buras, Louisiana and then made landfall again near the Louisiana / Mississippi border as a Category 3 hurricane. Katrina%u2019s highest storm surge of 25 to 28 feet occurred along the Mississippi coast. Also, this storm dropped 8 to 12 inches of rain inland from the northern Gulf coast and spawned thirty-three tornadoes.

Five Deadliest Hurricanes in U.S. History
Hurricane Year Category Deaths
Great Galveston Hurricane 1900 4 8000-12000
Okeechobee Hurricane 1928 4 2500-3000
Hurricane Katrina 2005 3 1500
Louisiana Hurricane 1893 4 1100-1400
S. Carolina / Georgia 1893 3 1000-2000
Data from NOAA.

Damage from the Great Galveston Hurricane

Damage from the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 was caused by the hurricane and resulting storm surge. This was the greatest natural disaster in terms of loss of life in U.S. history. (top photo) So many people were killed that horse carts were used to transport bodies through the streets of Galveston. The bodies were placed on barges and buried at sea. Others were burned in huge funeral pyres. (bottom photo) Photos and captions from NOAA


Highest Wind Speed at Landfall in US History


Meteorologists use sustained wind speed to determine what category a hurricane is. To the left is a table showing what wind speeds define the different storm categories. The wind speed must last for over one minute to be considered a sustained wind while a gust is the highest winds for a three second period with in the one minute sustained reading. Most of the highest wind speeds at landfall are estimated because of damage to or lack of wind recording insturments.


Hurricane With the Highest Wind Speed at Landfall in United States History


Hurricane Camille of 1969 had the highest wind speed at landfall at an estimated 190 miles per hour when it struck the Mississippi coast. This windspeed at landfall is the highest ever recorded worldwide. Actual maximum sustained winds will never be known because the hurricane destroyed all the wind-recording instruments in the landfall area. Columbia, Mississippi, located 75 miles inland, reported 120 mph sustained winds.


Hurricane With the Second Highest Wind Speed at Landfall in United States History


Hurricane Andrew holds the title of the hurricane with the second highest recorded wind speeds at landfall with winds estimated at 167 miles per hour as it crossed south Florida. Many of the instruments for measuring wind speeds were destroyed by the hurricane which leaves the actual sustained wind speeds unknown.


Hurricane With the Third Highest Wind Speed at Landfall in United States History


The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane had estimated winds of 161 mile per hour, the third highest wind speed at landfall of any hurricane to strike the United States. The wind speed is estimated, using hurricanes with similar pressure readings at landfall, because of the lack of wind instruments at the time.

Five Hurricanes With the Highest Wind Speed
Hurricane Year Category Wind Speed (mph)
Hurricane Camille 1969 5 190
Hurricane Andrew 1992 5 167
"Labor Day" Hurricane 1935 5 161
Indianola Hurricane 1886 4 155
Hurricane Charley 2004 4 150
Data from NOAA.

Sa
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20548
...and the blog goes wild.

If 92L keeps up in organization, expect a red circle at the next Special Tropical Weather Outlook. Maybe Alberto late tonight or tomorrow morning.
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12/1200 UTC 6.3N 112.8W T1.0/1.0 91E -- East Pacific
12/1145 UTC 9.9N 103.8W T1.0/1.0 90E -- East Pacific
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.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Grace 2009



92L

They are similar in size and organization
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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.