These were 2014's most expensive weather catastrophes

Eight disasters, from drought to flash floods, cost over $1 billion each in damages

By Lindsay Abrams
January 9, 2015 8:38PM (UTC)
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Cars are stranded along a flooded stretch of I-696 at the Warren, Mich. city limits Tuesday morning, Aug. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates)

Here, via NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, are the weather and climate disasters that cost the U.S. dearest last year:

All told, the disasters, which ranged from California's ongoing, historic drought to flash flooding in Michigan, took a total of 53 lives. While 2014 was less costly than some particularly devastating recent years, NOAA notes that the eight billion dollar-plus events "had significant economic effects on the areas impacted."


Weather happens. But climate change is already making droughts drier, heavy rainfall events wetter -- and likelier -- and tornado outbreaks potentially more common and severe. The most recent report from the U.N. International Panel of Climate Change anticipates that as warming continues, there are more changes in extreme weather events to come. 

h/t CityLab

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California Drought Climate Change Extreme Weather Floods Natural Disasters Tornadoes