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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Glad the tropics are starting to heat up. The weather has been rather boring.

90E


92L
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614. wxmod
China Smog polluting Alaska. MODIS satellite photo. For all you drill-baby-drill advocates, enjoy your choking and doctor bills!

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Looks like a large wind field.
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Link
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611. wxmod
China smog 4000 miles into Pacific Ocean. MODIS satellite today.


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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
A nice large orange circle to get the season started :)


92L
The NHC will soon say something about this one as well...watch!
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Quoting allancalderini:
This is so exciting
Over the East Pac? Really? Then I cannot wait to see how excited you'll get once the Atlantic begins to light up like a Christmas tree in December.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Whoa, wait! I go off the blog and we suddenly get 92L out near Spain? What is going on here, someone please fill me in on the details!

It's currently a non-tropical low that is slowly acquiring subtropical characteristics and losing its frontal characteristics. Sea Surface Temperatures are too cool for tropical development, so it would have to subtropical, but wind shear is 5-10 knots. If it wants to develop, it'll really need to start organizing quickly, as it only has 48 hours of favorable conditions.

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000
AXNT20 KNHC 121038
TWDAT

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
805 AM EDT SAT MAY 12 2012


ATLANTIC OCEAN...


AN UPPER TROUGH IS OVER THE W ATLC BETWEEN 60W-75W EXTENDING S
OVER THE E CARIBBEAN AND SUPPORTING A COLD FRONT THAT ENTERS THE
W ATLC E OF BERMUDA NEAR 32N63W TO 28N69W WHERE IT BECOMES
STATIONARY AND DISSIPATES TO E OF THE BAHAMA ISLANDS NEAR
26N75W. A SURFACE TROUGH EXTENDS FROM 28N68W TO E OF THE TURKS
AND CAICOS NEAR 23N73W WITH SCATTERED SHOWERS/ISOLATED
THUNDERSTORMS WITHIN 120 NM E OF THE TROUGH. A SURFACE RIDGE IS
BUILDING W OF THE FRONT ANCHORED BY A 1025 MB JUST OFF THE NORTH
CAROLINA COAST. AN UPPER RIDGE IS JUST TO THE E OF THE UPPER
TROUGH PROVIDING DIFFLUENCE ALOFT TO GENERATE SCATTERED SHOWERS/
ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS WITHIN 120/150 NM OF LINE FROM 20N63W
26N63W TO 31N61W. A BROAD SURFACE RIDGE COVERS THE CENTRAL ATLC
N OF 20N BETWEEN 35W-60W. AN UPPER LOW IS OVER THE E ATLC
CENTERED NEAR 34N31W SUPPORTING A DEEPENING 1009 MB LOW NEAR
32N32W WITH AN OCCLUDED FRONT EXTENDING N OF THE AREA AND A
SURFACE TROUGH ENTERING THE DISCUSSION AREA NEAR 32N24W
EXTENDING TO 25N27W. A JET STREAM IS TO THE E OF THE SURFACE
TROUGH WITH WINDS OF 80 TO 110 WITHIN 120/150 NM OF LINE FROM
25N35W TO BEYOND 32N23W. THE FIRST VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGES SHOW
SAHARAN DUST COVERING THE TROPICAL ATLC MAINLY S OF 20N E OF
50W. W ATLC COLD FRONT WILL GLIDE INTO THE CENTRAL ATLC THROUGH
TONIGHT.
HIGH PRESSURE WILL BE BUILDING E FROM THE CAROLINAS AND
WILL MAINTAIN MODERATE TO FRESH NE TO E WINDS MAINLY N OF 25N
THROUGH LATE SUN. A WEAK COLD FRONT WILL MOVE ACROSS THE SE
CONUS MON WITH A WEAK FRONTAL BOUNDARY MOVING OFF THE NE FLORIDA
COAST BY LATE WED.
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601. wxmod
Chinese air pollution easily visible 2400 miles into Pacific. MODIS satellite photo today.

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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Whoa, wait! I go off the blog and we suddenly get 92L out near Spain? What is going on here, someone please fill me in on the details!


It's a non-tropical area of low pressure by the Azores that is acquiring sub-tropical characteristics and becoming better organized. However, it is a small Vince/Grace type system.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Whoa, wait! I go off the blog and we suddenly get 92L out near Spain? What is going on here, someone please fill me in on the details!

Might be becoming subtropical. Supposed to become 36kts. Nothing from the NHC yet.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Maybe NHC issues a Special Tropical Weather Outlook for 92L?

They should... I want to see how much of a chance they give it of developing
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533 Tropicsweatherpr: We have invest 92L in the Atlantic for the big low near the Azores.
538 RTSplayer: GFS current model forecast is for it to become some sort of hybridized low and move up towards Europe. Wonder if it will be named?
583 RTSplayer: Looks like Spain, Portugal, and France could get the "A" storm, and in May, of all things! [Path Prediction chart] That would be...odd...

"First Named TropicalCyclone of the Atlantic Season strikes Europe: Hijinks Ensue"
I'd imagine there'd be a LOT of Europeans torqued off at the US.
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Whoa, wait! I go off the blog and we suddenly get 92L out near Spain? What is going on here, someone please fill me in on the details!
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3476
Maybe NHC issues a Special Tropical Weather Outlook for 92L?
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This is a 1 km resolution MODIS true color composite from 25 April 2010 sent to SPoRT from the Mobile, Alabama National Weather Service Forecast Office. This image shows the oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon accident, which is the whitish feature southeast of the Mississippi River delta and south of Mobile Bay. This image was passed to various emergency managers tracking the slick in order to protect Gulf beaches. The image also shows an increased amount of dirt flowing out of the rivers and flowing into the bays and Gulf of Mexico. Caribbean system in 240 hours..NSSL WRF 4 km grid initialized 00 UTC May 12 2012

36 h Total Precipitation (mm)
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If by any chance we get Aletta and Alberto the blog will explode.
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This is so exciting
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Don't worry, it'll happen sooner or later... I think with all the talk of our possible future Alberto people are forgetting its only mid May... Our season doesn't even start for almost 3 weeks so anything we get in that time is just a bonus... We'll see our fair share, trust me


Yeah, you're absolutely right. Thanks for that reassurance, bud, =).
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AL922012 - INVEST


Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (1km Mercator, MODIS/AVHRR)



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Quoting RTSplayer:
Looks like Spain, Portugal, and France could get the "A" storm, and in May, of all things!



That would be...odd...

Do you think it will become the "A" storm?
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Quoting RTSplayer:
Looks like Spain, Portugal, and France could get the "A" storm, and in May, of all things!



That would be...odd...


Dang RTS, I was just posting this when I saw your entry

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26802
Quoting caribbeantracker01:


there cannot be a future 92E its too close to the main system the only how this is possible is if that system was to end up the main one in the 2 and chances are unlikely but it is possible notice where the national hurricane center has the area of forecast in between the 2 almost like these 2 will merge and it makes sense to say the atmosphere is conducive to this type of development

They're close together but you can se in post 576 that they are two distinct systems, so the one closest to the coast will probably be named 92E pretty soon.
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Quoting caribbeantracker01:


there cannot be a future 92E its too close to the main system the only how this is possible is if that system was to end up the main one in the 2 and chances are unlikely but it is possible notice where the national hurricane center has the area of forecast in between the 2 almost like these 2 will merge and it makes sense to say the atmosphere is conducive to this type of development

How do you figure that? 90E and the disturbance are more than 10 degrees of longitude apart.

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Hello 92L where did you come from??? haha
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Looks like Spain, Portugal, and France could get the "A" storm, and in May, of all things!



That would be...odd...
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Quoting TropicalBreeze2012:


Well, they're off to a rather hasty start! I wonder how much longer before we see circles such as that one over on our basin, =(.

Don't worry, it'll happen sooner or later... I think with all the talk of our possible future Alberto people are forgetting its only mid May... Our season doesn't even start for almost 3 weeks so anything we get in that time is just a bonus... We'll see our fair share, trust me
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Future 92E looks good


there cannot be a future 92E its too close to the main system the only how this is possible is if that system was to end up the main one in the 2 and chances are unlikely but it is possible notice where the national hurricane center has the area of forecast in between the 2 almost like these 2 will merge and it makes sense to say the atmosphere is conducive to this type of development sice there is no large anticyclone over the area
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
A nice large orange circle to get the season started :)



Well, they're off to a rather hasty start! I wonder how much longer before we see circles such as that one over on our basin, =(.
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"IN THE NEXT DAY OR TWO"

I hate when they use that wording. It's so suspenseful and is basically saying be very patient. Indeed hurricane season is arriving.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Future 92E looks good
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Buenos Dias!
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A nice large orange circle to get the season started :)

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Quoting caribbeantracker01:


what i beleived happen is a center relocation notice a mid level swirl dissipate near 10 degrees north and 106.4 degrees west there were two other areas which have now given rest to a main center
in the main system
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I agree... It looks as good or better now than ever, but it did lose some convection earlier today. This loop illustrates it well

Link


what i beleived happen is a center relocation notice a mid level swirl dissipate near 10 degrees north and 106.4 degrees west there were two other areas which have now given rest to a main center
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ZCZC MIATWOEP ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM

SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
735 AM PDT SAT MAY 12 2012

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

1. AN AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER HAS DEVELOPED ABOUT 550 MILES
SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF ACAPULCO MEXICO. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS APPEAR
CONDUCIVE FOR ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT...AND THE SYSTEM COULD BECOME
A TROPICAL DEPRESSION DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO AS IT MOVES SLOWLY
NORTHWESTWARD. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...40 PERCENT...OF
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. ADDITIONAL
SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS WILL BE ISSUED ON THIS SYSTEM
LATER TODAY OR SUNDAY...IF NECESSARY.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
NNNN
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Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
Invest 92L:



Ex-Invest 91E, Invest 90E, and soon-to-be Invest 92E:

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Quoting caribbeantracker01:


it was never dead nor ding wat is happening is a classic case of eastern pacific development notice the heavy convection and also see the rotation of the system imo this should be goin into 50 percent chance

I agree... It looks as good or better now than ever, but it did lose some convection earlier today. This loop illustrates it well

Link
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566. 900MB
Off to an early start this year, perhaps. It has been one odd off season up here in the NYC area. Halloween snow and then only one more 4" snowfall in January. Then it was spring-like in February, and almost summer-like for March and part of April. We had wildfires and near drought in April and then it rained for 10 days straight in May.

My prediction for the hurricane season? Unpredictable! I think we will see some awfully strange things this year. Wow, that's almost as pinpoint as an accuweather forecast! One thing I find disturbing is that the East Coast has had very warm sst all winter and near me we are up to 5 degrees celcius above normal. Looks like the gulf is starting to warm up too. I would be surprised to see above normal development off the East Coast via stalled fronts, etc.. Here are a look at the sst anomolies:
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
735 AM PDT SAT MAY 12 2012

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

AN AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER HAS DEVELOPED ABOUT 550 MILES
SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF ACAPULCO MEXICO. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS APPEAR
CONDUCIVE FOR ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT...AND THE SYSTEM COULD BECOME
A TROPICAL DEPRESSION DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO AS IT MOVES SLOWLY
NORTHWESTWARD
. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...40 PERCENT...OF
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOUR
S. ADDITIONAL
SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS WILL BE ISSUED ON THIS SYSTEM
LATER TODAY OR SUNDAY...IF NECESSARY.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN


we will see ALETTA soon
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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.

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