U.S. billion-dollar weather disasters set an all-time record in 2023, with 28

Burned cars, signs, and other structures in Lahaina, on Maui, Hawai’i, following a deadly fire on August 8, 2023. The X means the car in the foreground was searched and cleared. The fire caused an estimated $5.6 billion USD in damage. (Photo cropped from original in the State Farm Flickr album 2023 Maui Wildfires. Used under a Creative Commons license.) Led by a record-costly swarm of severe weather episodes, the contiguous United States suffered 28 billion-dollar weather disasters in 2023, the highest number in inflation-adjusted data going back to 1980, according to NOAA . The former record was 22, set in 2020. “For millions of Americans impacted by a seemingly endless onslaught of weather and climate disasters, 2023 has hit a new record for many extremes,” said NOAA Chief Scientist Sarah Kapnick. “Record warm U.S. temperatures in December, a record-setting number of U.S. billion-dollar disasters in 2023, and potentially the warmest year on record for the planet are just the latest examples of the extremes we now face that will continue to worsen due to climate change.” A map showing the U.S. billion-dollar weather and climate disasters of 2023. There were 28 total billion-dollar disasters. The total cost of 2023’s billion-dollar weather disasters, $92.9 billion, was the ninth-highest on record. NOAA’s 2023 billion-dollar weather disaster list included 19 severe storm events, two tropical cyclones, four floods, one winter weather event, one drought, and one wildfire event. The cost of the 19 severe storm events in 2023 was $54 billion, setting a new record for costliest year on record for that peril (previous record: $44 billion in 2011). The most expensive disaster of 2023, the $14.5 billion drought and heatwave that affected much of the South and Midwest, ranked as the nation’s seventh-costliest drought since 1980. Billion-dollar events now account […]

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By Donato