NOAA: 2017 a Costly Weather Year
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there have been 15 costly disasters through September, including three hurricanes, three tornado outbreaks, four severe storms, two floods, a drought, a freeze, and wildfires. These weather disasters each topped $1 billion in damages, tying 2011 for the most billion-dollar weather disasters for the first nine months of a year. The record for a year is 16—and the hurricane season is not over yet.
NOAA climate scientist Adam Smith said 2017 is shaping up to be an unprecedented year, likely to tie or break the record for billion-dollar weather disasters that was set in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina occurred. An outside disaster risk company estimates the U.S. damage from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria to be around $150 billion. The remaining disasters so far this year have cost more than $21.7 billion and killed 282 people, according to NOAA.