U.S. experienced at least 8 billion-dollar disasters so far this year

July 7, 2016
Hail is product of severe thunderstorms and was responsible for causing widespread damage to homes, businesses and agricultural crops across many parts of Texas in March and April 2016.

We’re only halfway through 2016 and the U.S. has already seen eight weather and climate-related disasters* that have each met or exceeded $1 billion in damages. These eight disasters resulted in the loss of 30 lives, and caused at least $13.1 billion, according to an analysis by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

A high number of these events impacted Texas throughout the Spring - most notably - several intense hail storms overly densely populated cities and the April 17 Houston flood event.

The eight* billion-dollar disasters in the U.S. are:

  • February 22-24: Southeast/Eastern tornadoes

  • March 8-12: Texas & Louisiana flooding

  • March 17-18: Southern severe weather

  • March 23-24: North Texas hail storm

  • April 10-12: North/Central Texas hail storm

  • April 17-18: Houston flooding

  • April 26-May 2: South/Southeast tornadoes

  • May 21-26: Rockies/Central tornadoes & severe storms

*Note: damages for the late-June flooding event in West Virginia are still being assessed.  

The first six months of 2016 are well above-average for the number of billion-dollar events compared with the same period in years past.

Year to Date Billion Dollar Disasters for 2016 (January - June)
Billion-dollar Disasters for 2016 Year to Date (January-June)

In 2015, the U.S. experienced a total of 10 individual disasters reaching the $1 billion threshold. These events included a drought event, two flooding events, five severe storm events, a wildfire event, and a winter storm event, resulting in 155 lives lost and costing more than $22 billion in economic damages. To see the newly released costs for each of the 10 events, see the NCEI billion dollar disaster table of events for 2015.    

Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained 196 weather and climate disasters where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. The total cost of these 196 events exceeds $1.1 trillion.

More: Find NOAA’s information and maps on billion-dollar weather and climate disasters by visiting the NCEI website.