U.S. Breaks Record for Annual Number of Climate Disaster Events that Exceed $1 Billion Per Event


Maxwell Bernstein | January 15, 2021

Last year was tied with 2016 as the hottest year on record, according to NASA. Along with tying the record for the hottest year, the United States had 22 weather/climate disaster events that exceeded $1 billion dollars in damage per event, breaking the previous annual record according to NOAA. Since 1980, the United States had 285 weather and climate disasters with a total cost exceeding $1.875 trillion. 

The previous annual record of 16 events occurred in 2011 and 2017, making 2020 the sixth consecutive year that included at least 10 weather/climate disaster events that exceeded $1 billion per event. These events in 2020 included 1 drought event, 13 severe storm events, 7 tropical cyclone events, and 1 wildfire event. 

In this link, NOAA has created an interactive chart that shows the frequency or cost of different types of weather/climate disaster events that exceed $1 billion in all 50 states. Iowa has seen an increase in the frequency and cost of disaster events that include drought, flooding, freeze, severe storms, tropical cyclones, wildfires, and winter storms. 

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