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Record Number of Billion Dollar Disasters in U.S. in 2020

As if 2020 wasn't bad enough it brought a record number of billion dollar disasters to the United States.
Credit: WZDX Weather and Climate Central

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Among COVID-19 and what was truly a historic presidential election, the United States was also hit by a record number of billion dollar disasters in 2020. When the count was all said and done there were 22 billion dollar weather and climate disasters that resulted in at least 262 deaths. 

In summary there were 10 severe weather events. There were 7 tropical cyclones including Hanna, Isaias, Laura, Sally, Delta, Zeta and Eta. These 7billion-dollar tropical cyclones were the most in one year since NOAA started keeping track of billion-dollar disasters in 1980. At the end of hurricane season there were 30 named storms with 12 making landfall on the United States.

There were 3 tornado outbreaks including the Nashville tornado. There was 1 drought and heatwave event and 1 wildfire event. 

Credit: NOAA
A map of the United States plotted with significant climate events that occurred in 2020.

Again, each of the 22 events totals at least $1 billion and together add up to $95 billion. The tropical cyclones alone account for $40.1 billion. 

Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained 285 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters that have exceeded $1.875 trillion in total damages to date.