Insurers are already facing $2bn in claims from the 2012 convective storm season

Up to a dozen tornadoes caused widespread damage across the densely populated Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas on 3 April.

Several homes were damaged, with reports of flipped tractor-trailers and baseball-sized hail near Irving. Up to 17 people were injured but there have been no deaths reported.

The severe convective storm activity in the first three days of April comes after a quiet end to March.

According to EQECAT, the severe storms are the result of a strong low-pressure system moving eastward from the southern Rockies, with cool, dry air propagating towards the warm, moist air transported from the Gulf of Mexico towards the frontal boundary.

This year’s tornado season has started early and forecasters are again predicting an above-average year following 2011, which was the deadliest year in nearly a century.

There were nearly 1,700 tornadoes in 2011, falling just short of the record 1,817 number of storms in 2004. In total, the 2011 storms caused economic losses of 26bn and cost insurers $18bn, according to figures from Swiss Re Sigma.

Tuesday’s tornadoes in Texas could prove more costly than a hailstorm nearly a year ago in Dallas that caused over $100m in insured losses, reports Reuters.

Insurers are already facing an estimated $2bn in claims for the 2012 season, mostly from a record 2 March outbreak.