The ‘bombogenesis’ storm just hit the eastern U.S., dumping snow and bringing in frigid cold temps. Not only are massive storms dangerous, they are costly. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), since 1980, the U.S. has sustained at least 218 weather and climate disasters with overall costs exceeding $1 billion (including a Consumer Price Index adjustment to 2017).
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The total cost of these 218 weather events is above $1.2 trillion, not including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, which could be some of the most expensive storms in history.
While the economic impact of major hurricanes are still being assessed, Accuweather estimates that Hurricane Harvey could have been the costliest weather disaster in U.S. history, at $190 billion, while Hurricane Maria damages could total $100 billion. Together, the two hurricanes’ damages could amount to 1.5 of a percentage point of U.S. GDP, notes Accuweather.
When it comes to weather events, freezes have been the third most expensive weather events, since 1980, while winter storms are the fourth most expensive. Freezes have had an average cost of $3.4 billion per event since 1980, and winter storms have had an average cost of $3.1 billion per event.
Excluding the hurricanes of 2017, here are the 5 most expensive storms in U.S. history.
1. Hurricane Katrina, August 2005: $161.3 billion
2. Hurricane Sandy, October 2012: $70.2 billion
3. Hurricane Andrew, August 1992: $48.1 billion
4. U.S. Drought, 1988: $42.4 billion
5. U.S. drought and heatwave, 2012: $32.4 billion