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 TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think it is time for a Special Tropical Weather Outlook...

The water is not warm there, but it does look tropical.
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Quoting yqt1001:


Two other issues, almost fully cold core (very close to subtropical though) and it isn't a closed circulation.
It appears to be gaining sub-tropical storm status at the moment...almost reminds me of Grace from 09.I think that circulation can close up in time as well.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17097
Quoting CybrTeddy:


1) That wouldn't make it fully cold core then.

2) Defiantly a closed circulation.


Err yeah I meant mostly cold core. Extratropical for now.
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Quoting yqt1001:


Two other issues, almost fully cold core (very close to subtropical though) and it isn't a closed circulation.


1) That wouldn't make it fully cold core then. That would make it a hybrid going sub-tropical.

2) Defiantly a closed circulation.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting washingtonian115:
C'mon 92L detach from the front so we can have a name to talk about...


Two other issues, almost fully cold core (very close to subtropical though) and it isn't a closed circulation.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


NWS is saying 50% tomorrow for the Tampa area, looks like the seabreeze collision might happen over Hillsborough tomorrow. At least I hope so.
gee i hope your right..we need it
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39338
C'mon 92L detach from the front so we can have a name to talk about...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17097
to the person who said there will be an invest 92 E it is just a case of i told u so since i said no it is too close to form they are competing and the one with the upper hand will prevail

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Quoting LargoFl:
Chances of rain are better monday, then again they had 30-40 percent last week and we got 5 droplets gee..........


NWS is saying 50% tomorrow for the Tampa area, looks like the seabreeze collision might happen over Hillsborough tomorrow. At least I hope so.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
what happen too 91E?


I think 91E was a "mistake", it never showed up in ATCF only on the Navy site. I'm thinking it will disappear from the Navy site also, like 90C from earlier this year is no longer shown.
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.................
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39338
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


There is a front on the master surface analysis.


Stalled out, looks like it might detach.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I guess I lied...there is no front.



There is a front on the master surface analysis.
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651. BDAwx


Fronts... as of 12Z on 92L that is
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HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
1058 AM CDT SAT MAY 12 2012

GMZ530-532-534-536-538-550-552-555-557-570-572-57 5-577-LAZ034>037-
039-040-046>050-056>072-MSZ068>071-077-080>082-13 1600-
LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN AND LAKE MAUREPAS-MISSISSIPPI SOUND-
LAKE BORGNE-CHANDELEUR SOUND-BRETON SOUND-
COASTAL WATERS FROM PORT FOURCHON TO LOWER ATCHAFALAYA RIVER OUT
20 NM-
COASTAL WATERS FROM THE SOUTHWEST PASS OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
TO PORT FOURCHON OUT 20 NM-
COASTAL WATERS FROM BOOTHVILLE LA TO THE SOUTHWEST PASS OF THE
MISSISSIPPI RIVER OUT 20 NM-
COASTAL WATERS FROM PASCAGOULA MS TO STAKE ISLAND LA OUT 20 NM-
COASTAL WATERS FROM PORT FOURCHON TO LOWER ATCHAFALAYA RIVER FROM
20 TO 60 NM-
COASTAL WATERS FROM THE SOUTHWEST PASS OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
TO PORT FOURCHON FROM 20 TO 60 NM-
COASTAL WATERS FROM STAKE ISLAND LA TO THE SOUTHWEST PASS OF THE
MISSISSIPPI RIVER FROM 20 TO 60 NM-
COASTAL WATERS FROM PASCAGOULA MS TO STAKE ISLAND LA FROM 20 TO
60 NM-POINTE COUPEE-WEST FELICIANA-EAST FELICIANA-ST. HELENA-
WASHINGTON-ST. TAMMANY-IBERVILLE-WEST BATON ROUGE-
EAST BATON ROUGE-ASCENSION-LIVINGSTON-ASSUMPTION-ST. JAMES-
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST-UPPER LAFOURCHE-ST. CHARLES-UPPER JEFFERSON-
ORLEANS-UPPER PLAQUEMINES-UPPER ST. BERNARD-UPPER TERREBONNE-
LOWER TERREBONNE-LOWER LAFOURCHE-LOWER JEFFERSON-
LOWER PLAQUEMINES-LOWER ST. BERNARD-NORTHERN TANGIPAHOA-
SOUTHERN TANGIPAHOA-WILKINSON-AMITE-PIKE-WALTHALL-PEARL RIVER-
HANCOCK-HARRISON-JACKSON-
1058 AM CDT SAT MAY 12 2012

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST
LOUISIANA...SOUTH MISSISSIPPI AND THE ADJACENT COASTAL WATERS.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR THE ENTIRE FORECAST AREA
EXCEPT FOR THE SOUTHWEST MISSISSIPPI COUNTIES THROUGH THIS
EVENING. A SLOW MOVING LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OVER TEXAS WILL
IMPACT THE REGION. PERIODS OF HEAVY SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS CAN
BE EXPECTED THROUGH THIS EVENING. RAINFALL OF 2 TO 4 INCHES WITH
LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS WILL BE POSSIBLE. FLOODING OF LOW LYING
AND POOR DRAINAGE AREAS WILL BE POSSIBLE IN BANDS OF HEAVIER
RAINFALL. STRONG THUNDERSTORMS WILL ALSO AFFECT THIS AREA WITH
FREQUENT LIGHTNING AND GUSTY WINDS. A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS
WITH DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE WINDS ARE POSSIBLE.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SUNDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

ISOLATED AFTERNOON THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE
TUESDAY...OTHERWISE NO HAZARDOUS WEATHER IS EXPECTED.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

THE ACTIVATION OF STORM SPOTTERS...HAM RADIO OPERATORS...AND
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL IN SUPPORT OF SEVERE WEATHER
OPERATIONS IS POSSIBLE LATER TODAY MAINLY DUE TO THE THREAT OF
FLASH FLOODING.

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39338
Statement as of 9:56 am CDT on May 12, 2012

... very heavy rain falls across parts of southeast Texas...

A slow moving upper level trough coupled with deep moisture and a
slow moving meso-scale boundary combined to produce periods of
showers and thunderstorms across southeast Texas last night into
early this morning. There were some amazing rainfall totals from
a cluster of thunderstorms that trained over parts of Fort
Bend... Harris... northern Brazoria and northern Galveston counties.

Below is a partial list of some of the more impressive rainfall
totals across southeast Texas.

Location 24 hour rain
(7am - 7am)

3 mi NE Richmond 10.70
Richmond (co-op) 9.32
Sugarland 7.58
Pearland (lvj) 6.64
hou-Westbury (co-op) 6.59
West University Place 6.49
hou-hobby Airport 6.23
Friendswood 6.13
NWS-hgx 5.62
League City 5.57
Fulshear 5.11
South Houston 4.86
Kemah 4.83
8 S Anahuac 4.10
Alvin 3.32
Santa Fe 3.27
Galveston (scholes) 2.82
Crockett 1.62
Brookshire 1.58
San Felipe 1.47
Onalaska 1.30
Huntsville 1.14
West Columbia 1.07
Hempstead 0.85
Wharton 0.77
Conroe 0.64
Houston (iah) 0.52
College Station 0.13
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
Quoting RitaEvac:


Where I'm at, not now, I slept thru it, tired. Gotta go see how high the detention ponds and basins are around the neighborhood. I know creeks are coming outta banks nearby from reports by NWS. Out west near Sugarland heard some homes got water inside, cars underwater, areas waist deep in some places, but not where I'm at.
ok good news, last night they said area's around creeks and rivers would be flooding thru sunday..stay safe
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39338
05/12/2012 0425 am

Pecan Grove, Fort Bend County.

Flash flood, reported by law enforcement.


Widespread street flooding within the Pecan Grove
subdivision. Roads are impassable.




05/12/2012 0425 am

Sugar Land, Fort Bend County.

Flash flood, reported by law enforcement.


Intersection of grand Parkway and Highway 90 impassable
in all directions due to high water.




05/12/2012 0600 am

3 miles NE of Richmond, Fort Bend County.

Flash flood, reported by cocorahs.


10.70 inches of measured rainfall.




05/12/2012 0600 am

Pecan Grove, Fort Bend County.

Flash flood, reported by Emergency Mngr.


9.74 inches of rainfall recorded overnight in Pecan
Grove.




05/12/2012 0700 am

Sugar Land, Fort Bend County.

Flash flood, reported by Emergency Mngr.


8.25 inches of rainfall measured at Hull field. Runway
was closed due to high water.




05/12/2012 0700 am

Richmond, Fort Bend County.

Flash flood, reported by Emergency Mngr.


8.93 inches of rainfall measured in windloch subdivision.

05/12/2012 0600 am

League City, Galveston County.

Flash flood, reported by official NWS obs.


Measured 5 hour rainfall total of 5.48 inches at
Houston/Galveston NWS office.




05/12/2012 0700 am

1 miles NNE of League City, Galveston County.

Flash flood, reported by cocorahs.


5.57 inches of rainfall.




05/12/2012 0730 am

1 miles SSW of Friendswood, Galveston County.

Flash flood, reported by cocorahs.


6.13 inches of measured rainfall.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
I will be writing a full tropical update shortly on my blog....

IMO...92L is already at least a subtropical storm from its satellite characteristics. In post 626...notice the cirrus outflow in the N semicircle...so this could very well make it to tropical storm status. This is a very similar setup to 91L last month...but this one has been able to sustain convection....

This is yet another example of how a cold core upper low can destabilize the atmoshpere for sustained convection. If the air aloft is cold enough....you can have convective cloudiness even though SSTs are below 26 deg C.....
Member Since: September 15, 2009 Posts: 497 Comments: 3688
Quoting LargoFl:
any flooding over there rita?


Where I'm at, not now, I slept thru it, tired. Gotta go see how high the detention ponds and basins are around the neighborhood. I know creeks are coming outta banks nearby from reports by NWS. Out west near Sugarland heard some homes got water inside, cars underwater, areas waist deep in some places, but not where I'm at.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
Chances of rain are better monday, then again they had 30-40 percent last week and we got 5 droplets gee..........
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39338
Aww that storm in the north Atlantic seems so cute!.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17097
Quoting RitaEvac:
Areas received some 10 inches near Houston last night, I received 5.15" last night...insanity.
any flooding over there rita?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39338
Areas received some 10 inches near Houston last night, I received 5.15" last night...insanity.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39338
Quoting Jedkins01:
As I expected last night, deeper moisture continues to move east through the gulf/gulf coast, and not northward:





Extended outlook:
hope your right there jed, we sure need that moisture here huh
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39338
INV/92L/XX
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54495
I guess I lied...there is no front.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32287
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It succumbed to unfavorable conditions.



thanks
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Transition to warm core...come on..

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32287
T.C.F.A.
INV/90E/XX
MARK
9.8N/104.73W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54495


WxGeekVa isn't around so I'll fill in for him.

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Quoting CybrTeddy:
The real question is - will the NHC call it? They might see it as trivial, after all it's very small and not a real threat. But then again, it might alert shipping interests to stay away from this, it's similar to Grace and Vince.


If this was last season, they would have called it yesterday.
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An invest! Praise the goddess! Bring on the blobs!
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Its a warm core so we have a good shot to have a subtropical system.the Atlantic didn`t want the Eastern Pacific to get all the attention so this is what it is giving us.
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Quoting Tazmanian:

It succumbed to unfavorable conditions.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32287
Quoting Tazmanian:
what happen too 91E?
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the area of disturbed weather in the north eastern atlantic is fast achieving sub tropical status. latest ascat shows that the system is still open on the south easten end. surface winds are about subtropical strengh at the moment, and it wouldnot be surprised if a special bulletin will be issued on this system sometime today
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Impressive, especially this far north this early.


GFS says sub-tropical.


ECMWF says becoming more warm-cored later on.


CMC.. er.. I think says becoming warm-cored.


SST anomalies are well above average in 92L's location, which explains the development.


The real question is - will the NHC call it? They might see it as trivial, after all it's very small and not a real threat. But then again, it might alert shipping interests to stay away from this, it's similar to Grace and Vince.
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So at the moment what would be the main reason 92L hasn't gotten a percentage yet?



Can't really tell if it is cold core or if it is still attached to a bunch of fronts.
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Finally a Blob to watch :)
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holy crap 5000 to 6000 cape in the southwest gulf....


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As I expected last night, deeper moisture continues to move east through the gulf/gulf coast, and not northward:





Extended outlook:
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what happen too 91E?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think it is time for a Special Tropical Weather Outlook...



Oh well, why not?

Everything else about the weather this year has been screwed up.

We may as well continue the trend I guess.
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618. wxmod
Quoting Ameister12:
Glad the tropics are starting to heat up. The weather has been rather boring.

90E


92L


You ain't gonna be glad pretty soon.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think it is time for a Special Tropical Weather Outlook...


Kind of reminds of Grace from '09.
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I think it is time for a Special Tropical Weather Outlook...

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32287
Glad the tropics are starting to heat up. The weather has been rather boring.

90E


92L
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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.