- NOAA has released its first tally of billion-dollar disasters this year.
- Severe weather and hail fill out the list so far.
- Recent years have seen more of these types of events.
Nine disasters with at least $1 billion in damage have hit the U.S. so far this year, from drought to derecho to hail to tornadoes.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which tracks weather disasters, on Monday released their list for the first half of this year.
Topping the tally so far at an estimated $2.2 billion is an outbreak of severe weather across several southern states from April 11 to April 13 that included hundreds of reports of damaging winds and dozens of tornadoes. The storms hit Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Tennessee and Kentucky.
The past two years saw record lists of billion-dollar disasters, thanks largely to drought plus devastating wildfire and hurricane seasons in the second half of the year.
Other recent years have also been active. From 1980 to 2021 there was an average of 7.7 billion-dollar weather disasters per year. But looking at just the past five years, that number goes up to 17.8.
Here’s a look at the rest of NOAA’s list from the first half of 2022:
-Drought in the western and southern plains. This one doesn’t have a final amount yet as it’s ongoing. Last year, drought in the west racked up nearly $10 billion in damages, including crop losses.
-June 13 derecho. The cost of this line of thunderstorms that ripped across several states including Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan is also still being tallied. An 84 mph wind gust was recorded at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Winds in one nearby community were estimated at 90 mph to 95 mph.
-June 7 to June 8 severe weather outbreak. Damaging winds, hail and more than two dozen tornadoes caused $1.4 billion in damage across Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa and Ohio. Nebraska was hit especially hard with hail and wind damage to homes, businesses, vehicles and farms.
-May 19 hail. Severe hail storms, including several reports of golf-ball sized hail, pounded homes, vehicles and businesses in southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Total damages added up to $1.3 billion.
-May 11 to May 12 severe weather outbreak. Tornadoes, hail and high winds targeted several northern and central states including South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin, causing $1.3 billion in damage.
-May 9 hail. This was the first in the string of billion-dollar disasters that hit many of the same areas in May, including parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Baseball-sized hail pummeled cars and homes, leading to $1.2 billion in damage.
-April 4 to April 6 tornado outbreak. A combined 100 tornadoes were reported across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina over the course of three days. The strongest, rated EF4, destroyed several neighborhoods in Pembroke, Georgia. Total damage added up to $1.3 billion.
-March 30 tornado outbreak. A string of 83 tornadoes hit several Gulf Coast states including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Homes, businesses, schools and other buildings were damaged or destroyed at a cost of $1.3 billion.
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