Weather & Natural Disasters

US had its second-hottest year, along with weather and climate disasters that cost $46 billion

A1A is seen after ocean waters stirred up by Hurricane Matthew washed away the ocean front road in Flagler Beach, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Climate and weather disaster events cost billions of dollars and killed more than 100 people across the U.S. in 2016, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Last year, was the country's second-warmest year on record in the 122 years of record-keeping, bolstered by a gradual global warming trend and a strong El Nino, said a report from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information on Monday.

During that time, there were 15 weather and climate disaster events across the United States that individually cost more than $1 billion, and in total cost $46 billion in damages. These events included a drought, four flooding events, eight severe storms, a tropical cyclone and a major wildfire. The amount is second only to 2011's record 16 climate events.

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Hurricane Matthew, wrought extreme damage in Florida in late September before sliding up the coast, and there were also separate billion-dollar inland flood events throughout the year, doubling an annual record that had held steady since NCEI began tracking such events in 1980.

Inland floods are notable in that they are not caused by tropical storms or cyclones. Major flooding struck Texas and Louisiana in mid-March, the Houston-area on April 17 and 18, Louisiana again in mid-August, and West Virginia in late June.

Other parts of the country remained extremely dry, however. Wildfires burned across the Southeast in summer and fall, and much of California remains severely in drought, despite recent storms in parts of that state.

NOAA has a chart depicting the location of each billion-dollar weather/climate event, shown below:

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