MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - 2020 will go down as a year to be forgotten for many different reasons. One aspect of the infamous year you may not necessarily think about? Significant weather-related disasters.
The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) has completed its assessment of 2020′s weather and climate disasters, and the results are striking...
A whopping 22 billion-dollar disasters impacted the United States over the course of the year.
That destroys the previous record of 16 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters set back in both 2017 and 2011. For perspective, the U.S. averages 7 such disasters per year.
It was not the most expensive year, though. 2020 ranks as the 4th-costliest year with an estimated damage toll of $95 billion.
Here’s a breakdown of the 22 disasters:
- 13 severe thunderstorm and/or tornado events
- 7 tropical systems
- 1 drought
- 1 wildfire
Of those, 15 impacted parts of the South. Alabama alone was hit by 9 of them!
That includes Hurricane Sally, Hurricane Delta, Hurricane Zeta, and six different severe weather/tornado events that occurred during the winter and spring months.
It was Alabama’s highest billion-dollar disaster count ever recorded. Despite that, 2020 was only the 4th-costliest year in terms of these weather disasters behind 2004, 2005 and 2011. An estimated $5B-$10B in damage was recorded in the state.