The record set by the number of natural disasters seen in the U.S. in 2020 may not stand long if 2021 has anything to say about it.
According to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, there have been 18 natural disasters in the U.S. so far this year that have incurred losses of at least $1 billion. That is compared to the staggering 22 disasters of the same type that happened last year.
"These disasters included: nine severe storms, four tropical cyclones, two flooding events, one combined drought and heat wave, one wildfire event, and one combined winter storm and cold wave," officials at NOAA wrote in a news release issued Friday.
Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in Louisiana in late August, is the most costly disaster of the year. Losses from the Category 4 hurricane have exceeded $60 billion, according to NOAA. It also ranks among the top five most costly hurricanes in the U.S. since 1980.
Disaster-related losses in the U.S. so far this year have totaled $104.8 billion, which is already more than the 2020 total of $100.2 billion, according to NOAA.
This is also the seventh straight year of 10 or more billion-dollar disasters in the U.S.
According to NOAA, 2021 has also been a deadly year when it comes to natural disasters. So far this year, 538 people have died in billion-dollar disasters in the U.S. That is more than double the number of disaster-related deaths in the U.S. in 2020.