Skip Main Navigation

fast facts

Weather Disasters


The number of weather and climate disasters in the U.S. in 2016 with losses exceeding $1 billion.

$1.1 trillion
Weather Disasters Thumbnail

The total cost of damages from weather and climate disasters in the U.S. between 1980 and 2016.


The annual average number of weather and climate events during the past five years (2012-2016). The annual average since 1980 is 5.5 events, with 2011 seeing the highest number (16) and 2016 the second highest (15).

Tropical Cyclones

Of the 203 weather disasters from 1980 to 2016, tropical cyclones have caused the most damage: $560.1 billion total, with an average $16 billion cost per event, and the highest number of deaths (3,210).

Weather Disasters graphic
Graphic is presentation-ready: copy and paste for use in a handout or presentation.

Hurricane Matthew

In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused over $10 billion in damage to the Southeast coast, with historic levels of river flooding in eastern North Carolina. The storm’s 49 deaths accounted for the highest loss of life from a weather event in 2016.

The Drought of 2012

The 2012 drought was the most extensive and damaging to hit the U.S. since the 1930s. More than half the country was affected by moderate to extreme drought conditions, with costs reaching $31.5 billion and 123 deaths occurring as a direct result of the associated heatwave.