The residents of Fort Worth, Texas, and its suburbs in Tarrant County share the dubious honor of being the area most pounded by hailstorms than in any other part of the state, according to data compiled from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Since 1955, Tarrant County has been hit with 800 hailstorms. The residents of Amarillo in Randall County come in a distant second with 680 hailstorms during this time period.
Paul Yura, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Austin/San Antonio says the accumulated data makes it obvious that the northern half of the state is the most vulnerable to severe weather including hail.
“No county has escaped the wrath of Texas weather,” Yura said. “To some degree every county in Texas is susceptible to hailstorms or tornadoes and it can occur during any month of the year.”
Since 1955, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been collecting data on individual hailstorms in every part of the state.
The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) has taken these numbers and constructed an interactive Texas map showing the frequency of hailstorms over the entire state.
The map allows users to click on each county and see the number of hailstorms, the size of the hail, the date and approximate damage losses. To learn more about the hailstorms for each county go to ICT’s web site at: http://www.insurancecouncil.org/facts/hailstormbycounty.pdf
“This map and chart will be a significant tool for anyone interested in a hail history of any portion of the state and it’s in a format that is very consumer friendly,” said Joe Arellano, Jr. meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service office in Austin/San Antonio. “It will save extensive time and effort for someone who needs to find out the hail threat for their location and how it compares with another part of the state”.
ICT unveiled the interactive map at the Texas Department of Insurance War of Hail all day conference this week in Irving.
At the conference, experts in engineering, construction and insurance discussed what can be done to protect property from damaging hailstorms.
“Oftentimes, the focus of severe weather in Texas is on hurricanes or tornadoes, but hailstorms cause the bulk of the damage to vehicles, homes and businesses in our state,” said Mark Hanna, an ICT spokesman. “The data shows that every county has experienced hailstorms and the statewide average is just under three hailstorms a year.”
Tarrant and Dallas counties combined total 1,350 hailstorms, while Amarillo’s Potter and Randall counties combined total 1,214 hailstorms.
Kenedy County, the least populated county in the state located in south Texas, reported only 13 hailstorms during this 57 year time period.
Yura said the NOAA numbers are probably on the low end because all of these storms have to be verified by someone.
“Most of the reports come from the urban areas, but the reporting is getting better even in the rural areas due to mobile phones, storm chasers and access to the Internet,” Yura said.
The National Weather Service encourages all citizens to report severe weather events to their local National Weather Service office. This can be done through the phone, National Weather Service web sites or through their Twitter and Facebook pages.
ICT gathered the data from the NOAA and over several months worked to collect all of the numbers into a consumer friendly chart and map of the state showing where the state’s severe weather has occurred.
ICT also has a Texas tornado map showing the frequency of tornadoes since 1950 in the state.
Houston and Harris County lead the state in the number of tornadoes with 215 in this time period.
The tornado map can be on ICT’s web site at http://www.insurancecouncil.org/facts/tornadoesbycounty.pdf.
Source: The Insurance Council of Texas