Billion-Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters: Summary Stats

The distribution of damage from U.S. Billion-dollar disaster events across the 1980-2013 period of record is dominated by tropical cyclone losses. From 1980-2013, land falling tropical cyclones have caused the most damage ($530 billion, CPI-adjusted) and also have the highest average event cost ($15.6 billion per event, CPI-adjusted). Drought ($199 billion, CPI-adjusted), severe storms ($143 billion, CPI-adjusted) and inland flooding ($86 billion, CPI-adjusted) have also caused considerable damage based on the list of billion-dollar events.[1] It is of note that severe storms are responsible for the highest number of billion-dollar disaster events (65) yet the average event cost is among the lowest ($2.2 billion, CPI-adjusted) but still substantial. Tropical cyclones and drought represent the second and third most frequent event types (34 and 21), respectively.

[1]Cost estimates are rounded to nearest billion-dollars. Ongoing research is seeking to define uncertainty and confidence intervals around the cost of each event.