Thursday, June 14, 2012

Monster Hailstorm Strikes Dallas, TX on June 13, 2012...

A widespread, very damaging hailstorm took place across mainly central and eastern portions of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex yesterday evening, June 13, 2012.

After viewing the ground truth reports and radar data, I'm convinced that this storm will rank right up there as one of the most costly in Dallas history.  (Update 6/15/12:  An insurance trade group in Texas estimates that total insured losses may reach $1.5 to $2.0 billion).

Below is a photo and video montage that we put together on Storify at our sister site,


Clay W. Ginn said...

What was even more difficult was that it wasn't forecast at all. We had a slight chance of storms, but the emphasis was on nothing severe. It was fairly unexpected. Thankfully for me it all stayed to the south. We had some pea- to marble-sized hail at my house, but nothing large.

Rob White said...

Clay, you are correct, the National Weather Service largely missed this one. The SPC did make mention of an isolated severe threat in there discussions, but never actually issued a formal outlook or watch for the area.

I would be remiss if I didn't point out that my company, WeatherGuidance, alerted its customers in the region of the potential for large hail during the morning hours, well before the storms developed (end of shameless plug).

We are working on publishing our own severe weather outlook graphics and posting them on our site and here on the blog, so hopefully soon the public at large can get a heads-up on this type of event as well...

Anonymous said...

the problem I had with this on Wednesday is that the official warnings did not list what size of hail had been reported. they just said "golfball size hail is possible" or something like that, when reports were coming in left and right of exact sizes of hail that had fallen at a certain place. seems to me that they would be helpful to include this information so that people ahead of the storm would know what kind of hail was actually falling and move their cars in or something. is this how this normally works?

Rob White said...


Thanks for your comment/observation. You are correct. I went back and looked at each of the NWS severe thunderstorm warnings that were issued during the Dallas hail event from Wednesday, and none of the warnings or follow up statements described actual hail reports that had been received. Rather, they detailed what radar indicated was possible.

There is another product that is issued by the NWS, called a "Local Storm Report" or "LSR" for short. Those are issued separate from warnings and follow up statements, and contain the time, location and magnitude of a particular severe weather report. Some offices issue LSR's as the reports come in, and others seem to tabulate the results and send out the report later. There is no standardization across the country when it comes to this, it would seem.

There is also little to no standardization in the NWS when it comes to how warnings and follow-up statements are structured from office to office. Some offices cite actual reports in their warning and/or follow-up prodcuts, and others strictly report only what the radar is showing.

To my knowledge, the only products that are broadcast via NOAA Weather Radio are the warning and follow up statements - not Local Storm Reports. This clearly puts those who primarily use the NOAA Weather Radio as a source of severe weather information at a disadvantage.

I believe, and your comment supports, that a majority of the public would like to be informed of actual ground-truth reports in as close to real time as possible. That way you can make an informed decision on protecting yourself and/or your property.

I know this is something that the NWS is hearing from the public, the media, etc., but I am not sure what, if any, action they intend to take in the future to rectify the situation.