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June hailstorms in Texas to drive $1bn plus industry losses : KCC


An outbreak of hailstorms in Texas from severe convective weather in June is expected to drive more than $1 billion in insurance industry losses, according to catastrophe modeller Karen Clark & Company (KCC).

hail-stone-largeThe hailstorm event saw large and damaging hail strike metro areas in Texas, with property and auto damage widely reported in the local media.

KCC said that a stationary frontal boundary from Texas to Georgia created the climatic conditions necessary for this severe weather event.

From June 10th to 13th, this frontal boundary divided a warm, humid air mass over Texas from a cooler, drier one across the Central Plains and Midwest, KCC noted.

This boundary is normally positioned farther north, the risk modelling firm noted.

The convergence of the two air masses along the frontal boundary drove near-daily thunderstorms, fueled by an unstable atmosphere with hot, humid air.

The modeller said that the storms were stronger than average, given the “intense instability” in the atmosphere, resulting in larger updrafts that allowed the large hail to grow.

“The intense updrafts suspended hailstones for longer than weaker updrafts could have done, despite their size. The boundary’s stationary nature supported multiple severe storms in the same location over consecutive days,” KCC explained.

Dallas faced consecutive days of large hail impact, with baseball to softball-sized hail was common.

One hailstone in Mansfield, Texas, nearly broke the size record for Texas, at 5.23 inches in diameter.

Severe weather events have been driving high insurer claims loads through April and May in some parts of the US and June could also see a reasonable burden for the major insurance carriers, it seems.

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