The United States has seen a record number of billion-dollar weather disasters in the first seven months of 2023, according to a new report.
A total of 15 weather disasters where the costs and damages exceeded $1 billion have been confirmed between January and July this year, according to a new report by the National Centers for Environmental Information, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This is the highest number of billion-dollar disasters to be reported during this time period since 1980.
The total number of this year’s billion-dollar disasters include 13 severe storm events, one winter storm and one flooding event. This total includes the tornado outbreaks, record-breaking flooding in California this past winter and a February winter storm that hammered the Northeast.
The cost of these weather events just in 2023 totals more than $39.7 billion and resulted in 113 direct and indirect fatalities, the report noted. Since 1980, there have been 363 separate weather and climate billion-dollar disasters, which have totaled more than $2.590 trillion in costs and have resulted in 15,971 deaths.
The report also detailed numerous records broken across the U.S. during the month of July, which was also the hottest month on record worldwide. The average temperature across the contiguous U.S. was 74.7 degrees Fahrenheit in July, which is 2.1 degrees above the average. This made it the 11th hottest July in its 129 years it has been keeping records, according to the report.
A handful of states — Arizona, Florida, Maine and New Mexico —broke records for their hottest Julys on record. Phoenix, Ariz. had a monthly average temperature of 102.8 degrees during July, making it the hottest month for any U.S. city.