Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Summary Stats

The distribution of damage from U.S. Billion-dollar disaster events across the 1980-2016 period of record (as of July 2016) is dominated by tropical cyclone losses. From 1980-2016, land falling tropical cyclones have caused the most damage ($547 billion, CPI-adjusted) and also have the highest average event cost ($16.1 billion per event, CPI-adjusted). Drought ($218 billion, CPI-adjusted), severe storms ($175 billion, CPI-adjusted) and inland flooding ($97 billion, CPI-adjusted) have also caused considerable damage based on the list of billion-dollar events. It is of note that severe storms are responsible for the highest number of billion-dollar disaster events (81) 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 23), respectively.