2nd billion-dollar weather disaster of 2012: April 3 severe weather in Texas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 02:09 PM GMT on Mei 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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Also of note, though unlikely, we may get a few spinups:

THE GFS/ECMWF/SREF WERE IN REASONABLE AGREEMENT FORECASTING A
SURFACE LOW MOVING ACROSS THE TENNESSEE VALLEY BY SUNDAY EVENING...
WITH OUR LOCAL WRF THROUGH 36HRS HINTING AT THE ABOVE SOLUTION.
CONVERSELY...THE NAM AND HRRR WERE FURTHER SOUTH POSITIONING THE
SURFACE LOW. USING THE MORE NORTHERN TRACK...THE GFS SOUNDINGS
INCREASE SRH VALUES ABOVE 300M/S SATURDAY NIGHT. IF THIS SOLUTION
COMES TO PAST...THE STRONGER STORMS WITHIN A LINE COULD BE CAPABLE
OF PRODUCING STRONG TO MARGINALLY SEVERE WIND GUSTS OR A BRIEF
SPIN-UPS (WEAK QUASI-LINEAR TYPE TORNADOES).
THE MORE STABLE NAM
WOULD RESULT IN MORE WIDESPREAD RAIN WITH EMBEDDED THUNDER. IN THIS
FORECAST...HAVE GONE WITH THE MORE NORTHERN GFS/ECMWF/SREF SOLUTION
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
HPC trending higher again.

We should be able to handle 4 inches in N GA, so we are borderline on flooding.
Rain should be spread out over a few days, so not anticipating anything.
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That area east of 90E looks like is slowly organizing and may be 92E soon.By the way,91E is out of NRL.

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EURO seems to have come off the EPAC development. More serious about east coast a bit.

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Near the end of this morning's 6z GFS run

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Good morning.

90E:

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Starting to get some pretty bad training in the Houston area:



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Global Warming: An Exclusive Look at James Hansen’s Scary New Math
A new analysis by the NASA climatologist for the first time ties specific weather events to human-induced climate change LINK
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Quoting TropicalBreeze2012:


Thanks. It's losing interest in its original Carib development, FAST!

How typical of the GFS, oh lord, =(.


The Pacific will probably win out.
Member Since: Maret 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
Quoting KoritheMan:


Link


Thanks. It's losing interest in its original Carib development, FAST!

How typical of the GFS, oh lord, =(.
Member Since: Mei 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 11
Quoting TropicalBreeze2012:


Oh really? Can you please link it through here? I know; I know, I'm a lazy ass. But what you'd expect? It's 1am over here right now, and by this late hour at night, I don't feel like doing much of anything, other than to hit the hay already, that is, LOL, =).


Link
Member Since: Maret 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
502. BtnTx
Quoting TropicalBreeze2012:


Oh really? Can you please link it through here? I know; I know, I'm a lazy ass. But what you'd expect? It's 1am over here right now, and by this late hour at night, I don't feel like doing much of anything, other than to hit the hay already, that is, LOL, =).
You got it! More thunder again here and off to sleep.
Member Since: Oktober 12, 2001 Posts: 20 Comments: 891
500. BtnTx
05:22 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting KoritheMan:


Man, then you are mine enemy!

*relinquishes possible friendship*
Grothar should be here to advise us!
Member Since: Oktober 12, 2001 Posts: 20 Comments: 891
499. TropicalBreeze2012
05:21 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Hey Kori, if I may ask, who taught you to write so well?
Member Since: Mei 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 11
498. KoritheMan
05:16 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting BtnTx:
I m no sarcastic jokster ever on wu.


Man, then you are mine enemy!

*relinquishes possible friendship*
Member Since: Maret 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
497. BtnTx
05:14 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting KoritheMan:


It's pretty much draped across the southern states, from Texas all the way to the Ohio Valley. I'm pretty sure you were being sarcastic, as the front really isn't that strong, but whatever. :P
I was not being sarcastic and thanks for the info as I have been very busy at work lately and had not time to see Wx info. I m no sarcastic jokster ever on wu.
Member Since: Oktober 12, 2001 Posts: 20 Comments: 891
496. KoritheMan
05:09 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting TropicalBreeze2012:
Great write-up, Kori! So, anyone care to shed some light into what this morning's 0z GFS run is depicting?


It doesn't seem much different than most of the previous runs.
Member Since: Maret 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
495. KoritheMan
05:06 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting BtnTx:
When and where is this front to do what ?


It's pretty much draped across the southern states, from Texas all the way to the Ohio Valley. I'm pretty sure you were being sarcastic, as the front really isn't that strong, but whatever. :P
Member Since: Maret 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
494. BtnTx
05:04 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting KoritheMan:
For anyone thinking the cold front moving through the Gulf Coast will significantly alter areal sea surface temperatures, think again. With little wind in the forecast (not to mention the flow won't be northwesterly) to reinforce the cooling effect of said cloudiness, the Gulf will be lucky to cool by a half a degree in five days.
When and where is this front to do what ?
Member Since: Oktober 12, 2001 Posts: 20 Comments: 891
493. TropicalBreeze2012
05:04 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Great write-up, Kori! So, anyone care to shed some light into what this morning's 0z GFS run is depicting?
Member Since: Mei 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 11
492. KoritheMan
04:59 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
For anyone thinking the cold front moving through the Gulf Coast will significantly alter areal sea surface temperatures, think again. With little wind in the forecast (not to mention the flow won't be northwesterly) to reinforce the cooling effect of said cloudiness, the Gulf will be lucky to cool by a half a degree in five days.
Member Since: Maret 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
491. BtnTx
04:58 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Wow! Still more rain storms moving thru Houston area
Member Since: Oktober 12, 2001 Posts: 20 Comments: 891
490. BtnTx
04:47 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting Jedkins01:



So you're proud of expelling fossil fuels? Do you want a cookie for being a political hero? Or just attention?
Do you like being destructive and inefficient? What is to be proud of about that?


I drive a gasoline vehicle too but that's because I can't afford a practical electric vehicle because the market is still not quite ready to accept the electric vehicle fully like it should, I'm certainly not proud of emissions that it releases, and i hope most others aren't either.

Looks like we actually agree!
Member Since: Oktober 12, 2001 Posts: 20 Comments: 891
489. BtnTx
04:45 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting Jedkins01:



So you're proud of expelling fossil fuels? Do you want a cookie for being a political hero? Or just attention?
Do you like being destructive and inefficient? What is to be proud of about that?


I drive a gasoline vehicle too but that's because I can't afford a practical electric vehicle because the market is still not quite ready to accept the electric vehicle fully like it should, I'm certainly not proud of emissions that it releases, and i hope most others aren't either.

The point was I drive gasoline vehicle very short distance. electrict vehicle technology is on the way. But the electric vehicle gets charged up by what kind of power source.
Member Since: Oktober 12, 2001 Posts: 20 Comments: 891
488. Jedkins01
04:39 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting BtnTx:
Only an idiot would post this nonsense on this pro AGW fair and balanced blog! I am probably banned after being the first wu member see member since date...



So you're proud of expelling fossil fuels? Do you want a cookie for being a political hero? Or just attention?
Do you like being destructive and inefficient? What is to be proud of about that?


I drive a gasoline vehicle too but that's because I can't afford a practical electric vehicle because the market is still not quite ready to accept the electric vehicle fully like it should, I'm certainly not proud of emissions that it releases, and i hope most others aren't either.

Member Since: Agustus 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7828
487. KoritheMan
04:38 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


There are quite a few here that understands the AGWT, but I know of no one that is pro AGW.

Looks like a long night ahead for our area. Storms keeping building to our west and heading east. I plan to sleep through the rest of them.

Good night all. Long day tomorrow.


Good night, bro. Sleep well.
Member Since: Maret 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
486. BtnTx
04:36 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting KoritheMan:
Since I always have the luxury of blogging in the dead of night, here's a blog on the tropics for all you insomniacs out there. ;)
Nice work!
Member Since: Oktober 12, 2001 Posts: 20 Comments: 891
485. Some1Has2BtheRookie
04:34 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting BtnTx:
Only an idiot would post this nonsense on this pro AGW fair and balanced blog! I am probably banned after being the first wu member see member since date...


There are quite a few here that understands the AGWT, but I know of no one that is pro AGW.

Looks like a long night ahead for our area. Storms keeping building to our west and heading east. I plan to sleep through the rest of them.

Good night all. Long day tomorrow.
Member Since: Agustus 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4753
484. KoritheMan
04:29 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Since I always have the luxury of blogging in the dead of night, here's a blog on the tropics for all you insomniacs out there. ;)
Member Since: Maret 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
483. BtnTx
04:23 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting BtnTx:
I can't believe how much rain I have had in Baytown this last month! My yard is thick and green for weeks now! (St Augustine carpet grass). Emptied rain gauge with just under 2 inches of rain this morning and it has been raining on and off this evening! I am not complaining! Oh yes, now I remember I should not be surprised as it is because of AGW and my F150 I drive 5 miles to work on week days is causing climate change extremes, duh!
Only an idiot would post this nonsense on this pro AGW fair and balanced blog! I am probably banned after being the first wu member see member since date...
Member Since: Oktober 12, 2001 Posts: 20 Comments: 891
481. BtnTx
04:20 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
I can't believe how much rain I have had in Baytown this last month! My yard is thick and green for weeks now! (St Augustine carpet grass). Emptied rain gauge with just under 2 inches of rain this morning and it has been raining on and off this evening! I am not complaining! Oh yes, now I remember I should not be surprised as it is because of AGW and my F150 I drive 5 miles to work on week days is causing climate change extremes, duh!
Member Since: Oktober 12, 2001 Posts: 20 Comments: 891
480. hurricaneben
04:15 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting KoritheMan:


I'm not really going to say for sure that we're going to get a tropical cyclone out of this. But regardless, it appears likely that a large surge of moisture and its associated cloudiness will begin to overspread the far eastern Pacific/western Caribbean over the next 7 to 10 days. The potential is definitely there for a monsoonal circulation to develop within that general area. However, the GFS and ECMWF want to develop another tropical cyclone to the east of 90E at about that time, which, given the strength of the system in these models, could effectively cap any potential for tropical development in the Caribbean. At the very least some rain does seem likely for you guys though, possibly heavy at times, as the western Atlantic ridge erodes with the passage of a weakening cold front, and pulls in tropical moisture from the Caribbean.


Thanks. I'll keep an eye out for that time frame. It should be more of a good thing for Florida, should a heavy rainfall event develop, but flooding can be a concern should it be a major event. Then again what goes up must come down, so there are both ups and downs with a major tropical moisture event.
Member Since: Mei 15, 2009 Posts: 421 Comments: 679
479. RitaEvac
04:14 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting oreodogsghost:
Let me rephrase - I am good until June now.


Yea I figured that's what you meant
Member Since: Juli 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9645
478. RitaEvac
04:13 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Seems all the cells are heading for a collision zone, which just happens to be the NWS site
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477. oreodogsghost
04:12 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Let me rephrase - I am good until June now.
Member Since: Pebruari 2, 2009 Posts: 21 Comments: 1464
476. RitaEvac
04:08 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting oreodogsghost:
Rita,

We've had about 4 distinct downpours today - over 3" now total. Finally. Until now, we've been the ones just getting the fringe showers. I am good until May now.


Sweet
Member Since: Juli 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9645
475. RitaEvac
04:08 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting oreodogsghost:
Rita,

Where are you? Santa Fe?


League City/Dickinson

Are you from the Fe?
Member Since: Juli 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9645
474. KoritheMan
04:06 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012

Quoting TropicalBreeze2012:


I guess! But still, the rest of us care more for the Atlantic Basin. But if you're that bored, then knock yourself out.
I don't get too excited about these early-season developments in the Atlantic, because they rarely amount to much. We can actually get major hurricanes this time of year in the Pacific (see Adolph in 2001).
Member Since: Maret 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
473. TropicalBreeze2012
04:03 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting KoritheMan:


So? lol

I'm ready for anything at this point. I'm bored out of my mind.


I guess! But still, the rest of us care more for the Atlantic Basin. But if you're that bored, then knock yourself out.
Member Since: Mei 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 11
472. KoritheMan
04:03 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012

Quoting oreodogsghost:
I am good until May
Hmm?
Member Since: Maret 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
471. oreodogsghost
04:02 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Rita,

Where are you? Santa Fe?
Member Since: Pebruari 2, 2009 Posts: 21 Comments: 1464
470. oreodogsghost
03:59 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Rita,

We've had about 4 distinct downpours today - over 3" now total. Finally. Until now, we've been the ones just getting the fringe showers. I am good until May now.
Member Since: Pebruari 2, 2009 Posts: 21 Comments: 1464
469. RitaEvac
03:57 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Something bout to happen....cells just popped in Brazoria county to my SW

Member Since: Juli 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9645
468. KoritheMan
03:53 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting TropicalBreeze2012:


Try not to write too much now, ya hear? After all, it is just the Pacific, Kory!


So? lol

I'm ready for anything at this point. I'm bored out of my mind.
Member Since: Maret 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
467. RitaEvac
03:53 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
I don't have a clue what's going on, these cells are small and have no pattern connection of why or what the purpose of what they're doing or anything. lol



Member Since: Juli 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9645
466. KoritheMan
03:53 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Quoting hurricaneben:


Hey, Kori. What's your take on the Caribbean Development hurricane model scenario? Could Florida see flooding, if anything is to develop?


I'm not really going to say for sure that we're going to get a tropical cyclone out of this. But regardless, it appears likely that a large surge of moisture and its associated cloudiness will begin to overspread the far eastern Pacific/western Caribbean over the next 7 to 10 days. The potential is definitely there for a monsoonal circulation to develop within that general area. However, the GFS and ECMWF want to develop another tropical cyclone to the east of 90E at about that time, which, given the strength of the system in these models, could effectively cap any potential for tropical development in the Caribbean. At the very least some rain does seem likely for you guys though, possibly heavy at times, as the western Atlantic ridge erodes with the passage of a weakening cold front, and pulls in tropical moisture from the Caribbean.
Member Since: Maret 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
465. oreodogsghost
03:52 AM GMT on Mei 12, 2012
Jeffs - Sorry we here in memorial took your rain. Just emptied my guage at 3", ready to refill now.
Member Since: Pebruari 2, 2009 Posts: 21 Comments: 1464

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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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