1980-2017 Q4 – U.S. Billion-dollar weather and climate disasters

beSpacific 2018-01-11

“NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) tracks U.S. weather and climate events that have great economic and societal impacts (www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions). Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained 219 weather and climate disasters where the overall damage costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index, as of December 2017). The cumulative cost for these 219 events exceed $1.5 trillion. During 2017, the U.S. experienced a historic year of weather and climate disasters. In total, the U.S. was impacted by 16 separate billion-dollar disaster events including: three tropical cyclones, eight severe storms, two inland floods, a crop freeze, drought and wildfire. 2017 ties 2011 for the highest number of billion-dollar disasters for a single year. 2017 arguably has more events than 2011 given that our analysis traditionally counts all U.S. billion-dollar wildfires, as regional-scale, seasonal events, not as multiple isolated events. More notable than the high frequency of these events is the cumulative cost, which exceeds $300 billion in 2017 – a new U.S. annual record (NOAA 2017). The cumulative damage of these events is $306.2 billion, which shattered the previous U.S. annual record cost of $214.8 billion (CPI-adjusted) in 2005 due to the impacts of Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma. The damage from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria alone are responsible for approximately $265.0 billion of the $306.2 billion. Each of these destructive hurricanes now joins Katrina and Sandy, in the new top 5 costliest U.S. hurricanes on record. 1980-2017 Q4 – U.S. Billion-dollar weather and climate disasters (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322399412_1980-2017_Q4_-_US_Billion-dollar_weather_and_climate_disasters [accessed Jan 11 2018].”