Billion Dollar Extreme Weather/Climate Events of 2012

By: NOAA/Crystal Ploehn Email
By: NOAA/Crystal Ploehn Email

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, have released preliminary information about the extreme weather and climate events that have caused $1 billion in monetary losses in 2012. At this time, it is estimated that there are 11 such events.

The eleven events:
• Southeast/Ohio Valley Tornadoes – March 2-3
• Texas Tornadoes – April 2-3
• Great Plains Tornadoes – April 13-14
• Midwest/Ohio Valley Severe Weather – April 28-May 1
• Southern Plains/Midwest/Northeast Severe Weather – May 25-30
• Rockies/Southwest Severe Weather – June 6-12
• Plains/East/Northeast Severe Weather (“Derecho”) – June 29-July 2
• Hurricane Issac – August 26-31
• Western Wildfires – Summer-Fall
• Hurricane Sandy – October 29-31
• U.S. Drought/Heatwave – throughout 2012

Combining all of these events, about 349 people lost their lives. Sandy caused 131 deaths alone, while the heatwave/drought has caused over 123 direct deaths. Sandy and the heatwave have also caused the most economic loss out of all eleven events, as their overall cost is still being calculated. It is estimated that the total economic loss for these events for 2012 will surpass that of the events of 2011. 2005 holds the record for the greatest annual loss in a year thanks to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, and Dennis.

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