2012 weather disasters cost $110 billion

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The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) shows that weather-related disasters in 2012, including drought, wildfires and Hurricane Sandy, caused losses exceeding $110 billion in damages, marking the second costliest year since 1980.

Last year 11 weather and climate disasters ravaged the United States, including wildfires in the Rocky Mountains, drought in the Midwest, and Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast. More than 300 people were killed in these events.

Two major drivers of damage costs were Sandy and the year-long drought.

“The yearlong drought, which affected more than half the country for the majority of 2012, was the largest drought extent in the United States since the 1930s,” the agency wrote.  “U.S. Department of Agriculture Drought Disaster Declarations reached more than 2,600 of the Nation’s 3,143 counties. While drought impacts are often most costly to agricultural centers, their conditions also led to several devastating wildfires that burned over 9 million acres nationwide during 2012.”

Read more here.

The NCDC puts damages from the drought at approximately $30 billion, but recently experts with Harris-Mann Climatology expect the drought to linger for another year, putting damages closer to $200 billion. Read, “Drought damage could top $200 billion.”



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