Updating Our U.S. Billion-Dollar Disasters Information

Map of January to June 2016 Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters by State

At just over halfway through the year, the United States has already experienced eight weather and climate disasters with losses exceeding $1 billion each. These two flood and six severe storm events also resulted in 30 deaths. Many of these events affected Texas throughout the spring, including several intense hailstorms over densely populated cities and the Houston flood on April 17.

Thus far, the first six months of 2016 have seen well above the average of 2.8 billion-dollar disaster events during this timeframe. Only January–June 2011, with its 10 events, outranks 2016. Additionally, 2011 saw the most billion-dollar disasters in a single year with 16.

To provide you with a further historical perspective, we’ve updated our U.S. billion-dollar weather and climate disasters information with a graphical depiction of how the number of events in 2016 compare to the five years with the most disasters. You can find more details about the 2016 weather and climate disasters in our table of events.

Additionally, we’ve updated the cost figures for the individual events in 2015 with their finalized data. Overall, in 2015, the United States experienced 10 weather and climate disasters with losses exceeding $1 billion each. These events—a drought, two floods, five severe storms, a wildfire, and a winter storm—resulted in the deaths of 155 people and devastated the areas they struck.

Since 1980, the United States has endured 196 weather and climate disasters with economic losses reaching or exceeding $1 billion. The total cost of all these events exceeds $1.1 trillion, demonstrating the profound financial impact they have had on the country.

The impacts of natural disasters are a stark reminder of how deadly and destructive weather can be and how important it is to be prepared. Through NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation initiative, we are taking steps to lessen the impacts of extreme weather on our communities and our nation’s economy.