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2020 could be a record-setting year for costliest natural disasters

So far, 16 events have each caused more than $1B in damages

FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2020, file photo, buildings and homes are flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura near Lake Charles, La. Climate-connected disasters seem everywhere in the crazy year 2020. But scientists Wednesday, Sept. 9, say it'll get worse. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2020, file photo, buildings and homes are flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura near Lake Charles, La. Climate-connected disasters seem everywhere in the crazy year 2020. But scientists Wednesday, Sept. 9, say it'll get worse. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – This year has certainly been difficult for so many Americans during the coronavirus pandemic but unfortunately, Mother Nature hasn’t made 2020 any easier.

By the end of September, the United States had been hit with a total of 16 natural disasters that have each caused over $1 billion worth of damage. This number ties the record set back in 2011 and 2017.

Billion Dollar Weather Events impacting the U.S. from January- September
Billion Dollar Weather Events impacting the U.S. from January- September

These weather and climate situations include one long-term drought, 11 severe storms, three tropical cyclones and one wildfire event, resulting in 188 deaths. Six of those events occurred within the past three months.

2020 top three costliest weather events:

  1. Hurricane Laura: $14 billion
  2. Midwest severe weather derecho: $7.5 billion
  3. Hurricane Isaias: $4.5 billion

So far, the United States has seen over $46 billion worth of damage from these natural disasters.

It should also be noted, as of mid-October, the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information has not yet released estimated costs of several of these events, including the western wildfires, the west/central heat wave and Hurricane Sally. They are included in the list of 16, as they each will be expected to easily reach the billion-dollar mark.

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Also missing from the list, Hurricane Delta, the first Greek hurricane to make landfall. This is because it made landfall on Oct. 9, two days after this report was released. There has been a mention that Delta could be added to the list of billion-dollar weather events in the upcoming weeks.

Trend Showing the Billion-Dollar Disaster Events in the past 20 years
Trend Showing the Billion-Dollar Disaster Events in the past 20 years

In the past 20 years, there has been a steady upward trend in these damaging weather events. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, 2020 is the sixth consecutive year in which 10 or more billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events have impacted the United States.


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