Natural disasters in 2023 set a record in the United States, making it a deadly year

From storms to wildfires, it’s already been a record-breaking year for weather and climate disasters across the country, and we still have nearly four months to go.

As of Monday, the United States had suffered 23 separate weather and climate disasters that each caused losses of at least $1 billion, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday.

This breaks the record of 22 set in 2020.

Rachel said: “These record numbers, in a year that is on track to be one of the hottest on record, are the latest confirmation of a worsening trend in costly disasters, many of which bear the undeniable fingerprints of climate change.” Cletus of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which was not involved in the NOAA report, said in a statement.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said more than 250 people died in the disasters. The total cost of these events exceeds $57.6 billion.

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The disaster count did not include Hurricane Hillary, which affected parts of California and the Southwest in August. Total damage from that storm is still being tabulated, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.

According to NOAA, the 23 events include:

  • 18 extreme weather events, including snowstorms and hurricanes.
  • Two flood events.
  • One tropical cyclone (Hurricane Idalia).
  • One wildfire event.
  • One winter storm occurred.

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Disasters are increasing

From 1980 to 2022, the annual number of multibillion-dollar disasters, adjusted for inflation, was 8.1 on average. Over the past five years, disasters occurring in the United States have averaged $18 billion annually.

Overall, NOAA said the United States has had 371 separate climate disasters since 1980 where total damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including CPI adjustment through 2023). The total cost of these 371 events exceeds $2.615 trillion.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the costliest year for climate disasters was 2017, with damages reaching $383 billion. This was due to California’s disastrous wildfire season along with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began scheduling multibillion-dollar disasters in 1980.

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hot summer

If you live in any of these seven states — Louisiana, Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, Mississippi — it was among the 10 hottest summers of your life. NOAA also said Monday that for people in Louisiana, this was the hottest summer on record.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data goes back to 1880. NOAA defines summer as the three hottest months of the year: June, July, and August.

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While Louisiana was experiencing its warmest summer on record, Texas and Florida experienced their second warmest summers on record. Mississippi, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington all had the 10 hottest summers on record.

Overall, for the meteorological summer (June 1 to August 31), the average temperature in the contiguous United States was 73.0 degrees — 1.6 degrees above average — ranking the nation’s 15th hottest summer on record.

Contributing: Janet Lohrke/USA TODAY

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