According to disaster modeling firm Karen Clark & Company (KCC), convective hailstorms in Texas in June are expected to cost the insurance industry more than $1 billion.
The hail event led to devastating hailstorms in the Texas metropolitan area, with property and auto damage widely reported in local media.
The KCC said a fixed frontal boundary from Texas to Georgia created the necessary climatic conditions for this severe weather event.
From June 10 to 13, this frontal boundary separated a warm, moist air mass over Texas from a cool, dry air mass over the Central Plains and Midwest, the KCC noted.
The risk modeling firm noted that the boundary is often located further north.
The convergence of the two air masses along the frontal boundary results in nearly daily thunderstorms, fueled by an unstable atmosphere and hot, humid air.
Given the “strong instability” in the atmosphere, the storm was stronger than average, causing greater updrafts to grow large hailstones, the modellers said.
“Strong updrafts keep hail in suspension longer than weaker updrafts, despite their size. The stationary nature of the boundary supports the occurrence of multiple severe storms at the same location on consecutive days,” KCC explained.
Dallas has faced several days of heavy hail, ranging in size from baseballs to softballs, are common.
A hailstone in Mansfield, Texas nearly broke the Texas size record with a diameter of 5.23 inches.
Severe weather events have been driving high insurer claims burdens in parts of the U.S. during April and May, and June appears likely to place a reasonable burden on major insurers as well.