Overall, the year was warmer – but wetter – than average for much of the Lower 48 and had seven disasters exceed $1 billion in damages. Click here to see a summary of 2013’s disasters.
The Weather Channel reports weather in 2013 appears mild in comparison to 2011’s deadly torrent of tornadoes and 2012’s devastating Hurricane Sandy, nation-wide drought and record-setting heat.
However, in 2013, no hurricanes made landfall in the U.S., and the long-standing drought finally abated across much of the nation. And, as the Weather channel notes, the daily record temperatures outnumbered daily record highs for the first time in 20 years.
But as Marshall Shepherd, director of the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia, said in an email conversation with The Weather Channel, the number of extreme weather events in 2013 may have been smaller, but they did leave their mark.
“I think relative to 2011 and 2012, (2013 was) perhaps more quiet, but is this a statement in itself about our calibration to the new normal,” Shepherd said. “I am not sure, but after a child runs a fever of 105, does a fever of 103 cause a sigh of relief? I can't help but think along these lines when I hear the comparisons to 2011 (and) 2012.”