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2019 record-breaking weather

Heat to rainfall, records broken across the U.S.

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(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA))

Last year will go down as the second wettest year on record for the United States, right behind 1973.

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(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA))

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “warmer-than-average temperatures were felt by much of the country including Alaska, which logged its hottest year on record.”

Alaska and California experienced wildfires that caused damages in excess of $1 billion.

2019 had 14 disasters totaling more than $1 billion, which includes historic flooding, severe storms spawning numerous tornadoes and Hurricane Dorian.

Breaking Down The Numbers

According to NOAA, drought conditions across the U.S. reached a low of 2.3 percent in April, which is the smallest percentage in the 20-year history of the Drought Monitor.

The year ended with about 11 percent of the country in a drought.

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(U.S. Drought Monitor)

In the 125 years of record-keeping, 2019 ranked as the 3rd warmest ever for the contiguous U.S.

Alaska endured its hottest year ever recorded, along with North Carolina and Georgia.

Michigan, Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin had their wettest year on record.

Costly Disasters

According to NOAA, the billion-dollar disasters totaled about $45 billion.

Historic flooding caused major destruction across more than 15 states.

The Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi River basins flooded beyond their banks causing about $20 billion in damage.

Multiple rounds of severe weather led to over 1,500 tornado reports in 2019.

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(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA))

As a result, it will now go down in the top five for tornadic activity.

Decade Review

Over the past 10 years, there was an increase in costly inland flooding events.

According to NOAA, “after adjusting for inflation, the U.S. experienced more than twice the number of billion-dollar weather and climate disasters during the 2010s (119) as compared with the 2000s (59).”

Billion-dollar disasters over the past 10 years were also historical, with a cost exceeding $800 billion.

This comes to more than $1.75 trillion in damages over the course of four decades.


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