While last year felt very much like a quiet year for severe weather, and active weather in general, the year saw 15 $1 billion weather disasters! FIFTEEN! That is a ton of weather disasters, especially in a year that felt relatively quiet.
This was the second highest total on record, only one disaster short of tying 2011’s total of 16. That year included the infamous April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak and the Joplin tornado. That year was really wild, but it may have felt more wild that it was because the storms may have impacted us more locally.
This past year was pretty odd, though, with a mixed bag of events causing these issues. 4 of the 15 were flood related, 2 of the 15 were hailstorm related, 2 were drought related, one was Hurricane Matthew, 7 were severe thunderstorm related (See map above). There are two things: there were TWO hailstorms that totaled damage in the billions; and in a down year for severe thunderstorms, there were 7 $1 billion disasters caused by them.
The hail doesn’t even really fit a category. They couldn’t even attribute the damage to other parts of severe weather! It was all attributed to hail. That is crazy. The year was crazy, especially with respect to past years.
The occurrences of billion dollar disasters are categorized (as seen above) over the past 36 years, and the 3 combined flooding events that Texas and Louisiana saw this past year is the obvious anomaly. We wrote about a lot of these disasters throughout the year, so check some of em out!
In the piece below, I discuss some issues with the SPC, and mention one of the events.