$15 BILLION in disasters so far this year… | Weather Blog

The United States has suffered 338 weather and climate disasters since 1980, where aggregate damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including CPI adjustment through 2022). The total cost of these 338 events exceeds $2.295 trillion.

In 2022 (as of October 11), there have been 15 weather/climate disasters with losses exceeding $1 billion each to affect the United States. These events included 1 drought, 1 flood, 10 severe storms, 2 tropical cyclones and 1 wildfire. In total, these events resulted in the death of 342 people and had significant economic effects on the affected areas. The annual average 1980-2021 is 7.7 events (adjusted for CPI); the annual average for the last 5 years (2017-2021) is 17.8 events (adjusted for CPI).

The climate in numbers

September 2022

September’s average temperature across the contiguous United States was 68.1 degrees F – 3.2 degrees above the 20th century average – making it the fifth warmest September in 128 years. climate record.

For the month of September, Nevada and Utah ranked the hottest on record. Arizona, California, Idaho and Wyoming each had their second warmest September on record, while Colorado, Montana, Oregon and Washington had a top-five September. hot.

Last month’s average rainfall was 1.83 inches (0.66 inches below average), ranking as the 10th driest September on record.

Dry conditions in the central United States gave Oklahoma its fifth driest September on record and Mississippi its eighth. Meanwhile, Alaska recorded well above average rainfall, recording its third wettest September in the 98-year state record.

Year to date (YTD, January to September 2022)

The year-to-date average temperature for the contiguous United States was 56.8 degrees F – 1.7 degrees above average – ranking in the hottest third of the YTD record. California and Florida recorded their third and fourth warmest periods, respectively, from January to September.

Looking at the year so far, the average rainfall total was 21.53 inches (1.67 inches below average) and ranked in the driest third on record.

California had its driest YTD on record, while Nebraska ranked sixth and Texas ranked eighth.

A map of the United States plotted with 15 weather and climate disasters each costing $1 billion or more that occurred between January and September 30, 2022. Image credit: NOAA

Billion dollar disasters to date

From January to the end of September, the United States experienced 15 weather and climate disasters, each resulting in losses exceeding $1 billion. These disasters included: 10 severe storms, two tropical cyclones, a flood, a combined drought and heat wave, and a regional fire.

Six new events have occurred since the Mid-Year Update, including:

  • Hurricane Ian.
  • Hurricane Fiona.
  • Western Forest Fires.
  • The Kentucky/Missouri floods.
  • And two violent storms.

These catastrophic events claimed over 340 lives, with assessments ongoing at the time of this writing due to hurricane impacts in Florida and Puerto Rico.

Total losses from damage to property and infrastructure so far stand at $29.3 billion in 2022 – but that does not yet include the costs of Hurricane Ian, wildfires in the West and Hurricane Fiona, which could bring the 2022 total closer to $100 billion — a total reached in four of the past five years.

2022 is also a record eighth straight year where the United States has experienced at least 10 separate billion-dollar disasters.


A map of the United States plotted with significant weather events that occurred in September 2022. Image Credit: NOAA

Other Notable Climatic Events

  • The tropics devastated parts of the United States: several storms of tropical origin affected the United States in September. Earlier this month, Tropical Storm Kay swept through California with gusty winds and heavy rain, causing mudslides. The powerful remnants of Typhoon Merbok hit the west coast of Alaska mid-month, pushing homes off their foundations and flooding communities. On September 18, Hurricane Fiona caused massive flooding in Puerto Rico, with some areas receiving 12 to 18 inches of rain. Hurricane Ian, with sustained winds of 150 mph, made landfall in southwest Florida as a Category 4 hurricane on September 28, causing extensive flooding, damage and loss of life before to create additional damage as it made landfall in South Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane.
  • Drought conditions have intensified: According to the September 27 US Drought Monitor report, about 50.9% of the contiguous United States was in drought, up about 5.4% from the end of August. Drought conditions extended or intensified in parts of the Mississippi Valley, central and northern plains, northwest, southeast, and parts of the Great Lakes. Drought has lessened or been eliminated in parts of the Southwest, Southern Plains, Northeast and Puerto Rico

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