Tags: new record | cost | major weather disasters | hurricanes

New Record in 2017 for Cost of Major Weather Disasters

New Record in 2017 for Cost of Major Weather Disasters
(Juan DeLeon/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 08 January 2018 03:37 PM

The United States set a new record last year for the total cost of weather and climate change-related disasters that exceeded $1 billion, according to a report released on Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Center for Environmental information.

There were 16 disasters, mainly hurricanes and wildfires, that cost more than $1 billion, which tied a record set in 2011 for most number of disasters exceeding that amount. Last year's overall total of $306 billion set a new mark for overall cost.

"The damage from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria alone are responsible for approximately $265 billion of the $306.2 billion," NOAA economist Adam Smith wrote in a blog post. "Each of these destructive hurricanes now joins Katrina and Sandy, in the new top 5 costliest U.S. hurricanes on record."

Smith attributed the new record for cost not only to the effects of climate change like drought and flooding, but also to increases in population and overall wealth.

The previous record year for $1 billion disasters was when hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit in 2005, with an inflation-adjusted $214.8 billion cost.

The breakdown of the nation's $1 billion disasters in 2017 were: three hurricanes, eight severe storms, two floods, a crop freeze, a drought and a wildfire, according to The Hill.

Hurricane Harvey, which hit Houston and other parts of southern Texas, was the most expensive weather disaster last year with an estimated $125 billion in damage, The Weather Channel reported.

NOAA also announced that last year was the third-warmest on record in the U.S., behind only 2016 and 2012, with temperatures about 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average.

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The United States set a new record last year for the total cost of weather and climate change-related disasters that exceeded $1 billion, according to a report released on Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Center for Environmental...
new record, cost, major weather disasters, hurricanes
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2018-37-08
Monday, 08 January 2018 03:37 PM
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