4.8 The 2012 Tornado and Severe Weather Season

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 5:15 PM
Ballroom E (Austin Convention Center)
Russell Schneider, NOAA/NCEP/SPC, Norman, OK; and G. W. Carbin

The 2012 tornado season was remarkably active early. A series of significant tornado events in late February, including the deadly Harrisburg, Illinois tornado during the overnight hours of 29 February, were followed by a major tornado outbreak over the Ohio River Valley on 2 March. The 2 March outbreak was one of the most powerful of the past 10 years, and claimed 40 lives across Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Alabama. April was marked by a local tornado outbreak in the Dallas Fort Worth area on the 3rd, followed by a powerful Central Great Plains tornado outbreak on the 14th. The public were well warned in advance of the 14 April outbreak, with a high risk forecast issued the day prior to the outbreak for only the second time in US history.

Unusually quiet tornado conditions characterized the remainder of 2012, with the general lull interrupted by the remarkable Midwest and Mid Atlantic Derecho the afternoon and evening of 29 June. This powerful derecho knocked out power to nearly 4.2 million customers across 11 States and the District of Columbia with many homes without power up to a full week.

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