Speed Reads

who'll stop the rain

Natural disasters have already cost America $3 billion in 2018

From 1980 to 2017, an average of six climate disasters costing over $1 billion struck the U.S. each year. But in 2018, three billion-dollar disasters have already hit — and it's only been three months.

A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows how the number of massive climate disasters has skyrocketed in recent years. Over the past five years, for example, there's been an average of 11.6 billion-dollar climate disasters per year — nearly double the overall average since 1980.

In 2017 alone, there were 16 billion-dollar disasters. In fact, back-to-back hurricanes and other extreme weather cost the U.S. more than $300 billion last year — a new record, per the NOAA.

This year, two winter storms and an onslaught of southern tornadoes each cost more than $1 billion and killed at least 34 people. Less extreme phenomena, such as droughts in much of the U.S. and record heat in Alaska, have also added to the U.S.'s weather bill.