Fourteen U.S. billion-dollar weather disasters in 2011: a new record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4. marraskuuta 2011 klo 12:12 (GMT)

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It's time to add another billion-dollar weather disaster to the growing 2011 total of these costly disasters: the extraordinary early-season Northeast U.S. snowstorm of October 29, which dumped up to 32 inches of snow, brought winds gusts of 70 mph to the coast, and killed at least 22 people. Not since the infamous snow hurricane of 1804 have such prodigious amounts of October snow been recorded in New England and, to a lesser extent, in the mid-Atlantic states. Trees that had not yet lost their leaves suffered tremendous damage from the wet, heavy snow. Snapped branches and falling trees brought down numerous power lines, leaving at least 3 million people without electricity. The damage estimate in Connecticut alone is $3 billion, far more than the damage Hurricane Irene did to the state. Hundreds of thousands still remain without power a week after the storm, with full electricity not expected to be restored until Monday.


Figure 1. Wet, heavy snow from the October 29, 2011 snowstorm weighing down trees still sporting their fall leaves in Winchester, VA. Image credit: wunderphotographer MaddScientist98.

The October 29 snow storm brings the 2011 tally of U.S. billion-dollar weather disasters to fourteen, thoroughly smashing the previous record of nine such disasters, set in 2008. Between 1980 - 2010, the U.S. averaged 3.5 of these weather disasters per year. Through August, the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) estimated that ten weather disasters costing at least $1 billion had hit the U.S., at total cost of up to $45 billion. However, the October 29 snow storm brings us up to eleven billion-dollar disasters, and a new disaster analysis done by global reinsurance company AON Benfield adds three more. Flood damage from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee in the Northeast on September 8 is now estimated at more than $1 billion, and two outbreaks of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes--one in April and one in June--now have damage estimates exceeding $1 billion. A remarkable seven severe thunderstorm/tornado outbreaks did more than $1 billion each in damage in 2011, and an eighth outbreak July 10 - 14 came close, with damages of $900 million. In total, the fourteen billion-dollar disasters killed 675 people. Tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods in these fourteen disasters killed over 600 people, putting 2011 into fourth place since 1940 for most deaths by severe storms. Only 2005, with over 1,000 deaths caused by Katrina, 1969, with over 700 hurricane and flood-related deaths, and 1972, with 676 hurricane and flood-related deaths, were deadlier years for storms, according to NOAA. The fourteen billion-dollar weather disasters of 2011 caused $53 billion in damage, putting 2011 in fifth place for most damages from billion-dollar weather disasters. The top damage years, according to NCDC in adjusted 2011 dollars, were 2005 (the year of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma), 2008 (Hurricane Ike), 1988 (Midwest drought), and 1980 (Midwest drought). With nearly two months remaining in 2011, the potential exists for more billion-dollar weather disasters this year. Our first opportunity comes Tuesday, when the NOAA Storm Prediction Center is forecasting the possibility of a severe weather outbreak centered over Arkansas and Missouri.


Video 1. Remarkable video of the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama during the April 25 - 30, 2011 Super Outbreak. This tornado outbreak was the most expensive U.S. weather-related disaster of 2011, with damages estimated at $9 billion. Fast forward to minute four to see the worst of the storm.

Here are AON Benfield's estimates of the damages and NCDC's estimates of the death tolls from 2011's fourteen billion-dollar weather disasters (a clickable version of this table with information on each disaster is available on our severe weather resource page):



Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll be back with a new post on Monday.

Angela Fritz is subbing for Ricky Rood this week, and has written an interesting post on the latest climate change controversy, the release of the new Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study by skeptic Dr. Richard Muller.

Jeff Masters

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632. weatherh98
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 13:28 (GMT)
Quoting Skyepony:
Nice current quicktime of the sun flares & some comets or something hurtling through space.



You behave now:)


thats like always there just charged particles
Member Since: 17.06.2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6439
631. MrBoujangles
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 13:08 (GMT)
Quoting Skyepony:
Nice current quicktime of the sun flares & some comets or something hurtling through space.

I believe the comet like objects you are referring to are charged particles hitting the light detector on the satellite.
Member Since: 10.05.2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 20
630. TropicalAnalystwx13
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 12:47 (GMT)
Quoting Ameister12:

"A SMALL SIGNIFICANT TORNADO THREAT AREA HAS BEEN
ADDED FROM NEAR CLINTON OK SWD TO JUST SOUTHWEST OF WICHITA FALLS
TX."
Member Since: 6.07.2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30246
629. BahaHurican
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 12:34 (GMT)
Quoting Cotillion:


The Bahamas is part of the Commonwealth, no? ;)

--

Current picture of the only area of interest:

Yep, we are.... lol That's why it felt so.... familiar.... lol

I see potential Sean is up to 40% this a.m. . .. what do you bet we eventually get a TS out of this.... yet another in this 3-1 game of TS to H....

Later, everybody.
Member Since: 25.10.2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20688
628. Ameister12
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 12:30 (GMT)
Member Since: 9.08.2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4498
627. GeoffreyWPB
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 12:29 (GMT)
Member Since: 10.09.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
626. Ameister12
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 12:28 (GMT)
98L really getting organized.
Member Since: 9.08.2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4498
625. TropicalAnalystwx13
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 12:27 (GMT)
Invest 98L looks well on its way to Subtropical classification, may become S.T.S. Sean by tomorrow.

Member Since: 6.07.2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30246
624. GeoffreyWPB
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 12:07 (GMT)
Member Since: 10.09.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
623. Bergeron
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 12:06 (GMT)
Quoting aspectre:
549 TampaSpin "[Tropopause Theta map]"

What the heck are the units attached to the numbers of Tropopause Theta? millibars?
atmospheric-pressure itself? or the amount of decrease from 1000millibars ("sea level") ?


The units attached are temperature units in Kelvin.
Member Since: 19.10.2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 101
622. nrtiwlnvragn
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 11:58 (GMT)
Quoting TampaSpin:



Yep its on its way maybe even today....wonder why WU has nothing up on it......other sites do?


Most likely not on WU due to classified as extratropical in ATCF.
Member Since: 23.09.2005 Posts: 13 Comments: 10460
621. Tropicsweatherpr
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 11:46 (GMT)
Up to 40%.

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
700 AM EST MON NOV 7 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

A NON-TROPICAL LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 400 MILES
SOUTHWEST OF BERMUDA IS PRODUCING GALE FORCE WINDS OVER AN AREA
EXTENDING SEVERAL HUNDRED MILES TO THE NORTH OF THE CENTER. THE
ASSOCIATED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS HAVE BECOME A LITTLE BETTER
ORGANIZED OVERNIGHT...AND THE LOW COULD ACQUIRE SUBTROPICAL
CHARACTERISTICS OVER THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM
CHANCE...40 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES SLOWLY WESTWARD TODAY AND NORTHWESTWARD
ON TUESDAY. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS GALE AREA CAN BE FOUND
IN HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NOAA NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
UNDER AWIPS HEADER NFDHSFAT1...AND UNDER WMO HEADER FZNT01 KWBC.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER PASCH



Member Since: 29.04.2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13287
620. islander101010
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 11:19 (GMT)
Quoting Skyepony:
Feds try to prevent War of the Worlds-style panic over national emergency alert


Nov 9th "Don't panic, people."
no but i heard they put a bug in the flu shot (like matrix) to keep an eye on people
Member Since: 11.09.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4017
619. TampaSpin
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 11:09 (GMT)
Pulled out the Holiday LOOK for the Website....:)
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
618. TampaSpin
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 11:03 (GMT)
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
617. TampaSpin
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 11:01 (GMT)
Quoting CybrTeddy:
98L, to become STS Sean?



Yep its on its way maybe even today....wonder why WU has nothing up on it......other sites do?
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
616. CybrTeddy
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 10:58 (GMT)
98L, to become STS Sean?
Member Since: 8.07.2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23012
615. AussieStorm
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 10:32 (GMT)
Quoting Cotillion:


Ah, but the whinging is left to you guys these days, particularly with the Ashes where it belongs. ;)

That said, your comment got me thinking. We don't tend to call the Americans anything specifically, no nickname. 'Yank' or 'Yankee' has gone somewhat out of fashion. Still hear it now and then, but usually from older generations. Even you guys, 'Aussie' is about the only thing we use and that's only due to being too lazy to say Australians at times.

Kiwis for the New Zealanders is still used (as pretty much everyone does). We don't use anything specifically for the Canadians, either.


We have to let you win the Ashes every now and then mate!

Currently about 200km's north of Sydney. Severe Thunderstorms affecting Newcastle.

Member Since: 30.09.2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
614. Cotillion
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 10:14 (GMT)
Quoting BahaHurican:
Why do I feel like I just tuned in to "Commonwealth Chat"....



The Bahamas is part of the Commonwealth, no? ;)

--

Current picture of the only area of interest:

Member Since: 23.08.2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
613. BahaHurican
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 10:10 (GMT)
Why do I feel like I just tuned in to "Commonwealth Chat"....

Member Since: 25.10.2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20688
612. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 08:25 (GMT)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #3
DEPRESSION ARB03-2011
8:30 AM IST November 7 2011
=================================

At 3:00 AM UTC, Depression ARB03-2011 over southeast Arabian Sea moved west northwestwards during past 15 hours and lies over central parts of south and adjoining central Arabian sea near 11.5N 63.5E, or about 1250 km west-southwest of Mangalore (India), 1050 km east-southeast of Socotra Island (Yemen) and 1200 km southeast of Salalah (Oman).

The system is likely to intensify further into a deep depression and move initially west northwestwards and then northwestwards towards Oman coast during next 48 hrs.

Satellite imagery indicates gradual increase in convection and organization. The Dvorak intensity is T1.5. Associated broken intense to very intense convection is seen over Arabian Sea between 10.0N to 18.0N and 56.0N to 64.0E. The lowest cloud top temperature due to convection is around -86C

3 minute sustained wind near the center is 25 knots with a central pressure of 1002 hPa. The state of the sea is rough to very rough around the system.

The Madden-Julian Oscillation index currently lies over phase 4 with amplitude more than 1. As per the dynamical and statistical models, it would lie over the same phase during next 2-3 days and then move to phase 5 and 6. While phase 4 is favorable, phase 5 and 6 are not favorable for cyclogenis and intensification over the Arabian Sea. Sea surface temperature is 28-30C. The ocean heat content is less (60-80 kj/cm2). The relative vorticity at 850 hPA level and upper level divergence have increased during past 24 hours. The vertical wind shear of horizontal wind over the region is favorable as it is low to moderate (10-20 knots). There is negative (5-10 knots) 24 hours tendency of vertical wind shear around the system. The system lies to the south of upper tropospheric ridge, which runs along 16.0N.
Member Since: 24.05.2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43649
611. Cotillion
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 08:24 (GMT)
Quoting AussieStorm:

we think you also speak funny. Hey, we call the English whingin poms.


Ah, but the whinging is left to you guys these days, particularly with the Ashes where it belongs. ;)

That said, your comment got me thinking. We don't tend to call the Americans anything specifically, no nickname. 'Yank' or 'Yankee' has gone somewhat out of fashion. Still hear it now and then, but usually from older generations. Even you guys, 'Aussie' is about the only thing we use and that's only due to being too lazy to say Australians at times.

Kiwis for the New Zealanders is still used (as pretty much everyone does). We don't use anything specifically for the Canadians, either.
Member Since: 23.08.2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
610. aspectre
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 06:19 (GMT)
607 AussieStorm "It's a term of endearment. We call redheads, bluey."

Figured that. Ya also call Vegemite, edible.

BTW Skyepony, you may have hit target with your speculation that...

...the "smoke plume" on the weather radar could have been WindTurbine-induced clutter.
Member Since: 21.08.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
609. swflurker
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 06:17 (GMT)
Member Since: 6.08.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 143
608. swflurker
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 06:14 (GMT)
CODE ORANGE ALERT !!!!!!!!
Member Since: 6.08.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 143
607. AussieStorm
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 06:04 (GMT)
Quoting aspectre:
586 AussieStorm "That's what we call you guys septic tanks/Yanks."

Lord love a duck. Nice to finally hear somebody admit that they'd be up to their eyeballs without US.

It's a term of endearment. We call redheads, bluey.

Currently in Sydney......

Member Since: 30.09.2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
606. AussieStorm
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 06:02 (GMT)
Quoting Grothar:


And to think, we always speak highly of our cousins Down Under. We just think you talk funny is all.:)

we think you also speak funny. Hey, we call the English whingin poms.
Member Since: 30.09.2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
605. FrankZapper
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 06:01 (GMT)
I've never seen such lighthearted off topic banter on this blog in MONTHS. For a moment I forgot what blog I was on.
Member Since: 26.05.2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
604. aspectre
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 05:30 (GMT)
598 Skyepony "Feds try to prevent War of the Worlds-style panic over national emergency alert.
Nov 9th 'Don't panic, people.'
"

Curses! How'd they figure out that "the giant asteroid" is the FirstWave of our InvasionFleet?
Member Since: 21.08.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
603. Skyepony (Mod)
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 05:25 (GMT)
Nice current quicktime of the sun flares & some comets or something hurtling through space.

Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


I had heard about this. With our luck, someone will stage an attack during this advertised test. ;-)


You behave now:)
Member Since: 10.08.2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36074
602. aspectre
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 05:16 (GMT)
586 AussieStorm "That's what we call you guys, septic tanks/Yanks."

Lord love a duck. Nice to finally hear somebody admit that they'd be up to their eyeballs without US.

"We have a very unusual, very powerful system developing that could produce a few tornadoes, damaging winds and some large hail," National Weather Service meteorologist Hector Guerrero told the Abilene Reporter-News. "It's very strange for us to be talking about tornadoes this late in the year."
Continuing earthquakes and possibly tornadoes : Oklahoma, not OK

Also unwell is the American media when a British tabloid provides better overall coverage.
Member Since: 21.08.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
601. Skyepony (Mod)
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 05:15 (GMT)
According to the weather wire both the farmer's almanac & the squirrels agree...DOOM for the NE this winter..
Member Since: 10.08.2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36074
600. Some1Has2BtheRookie
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 05:13 (GMT)
Quoting Skyepony:
Feds try to prevent War of the Worlds-style panic over national emergency alert


I had heard about this. With our luck, someone will stage an attack during this advertised test. ;-)
Member Since: 24.08.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4728
599. Skyepony (Mod)
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 05:13 (GMT)
Looking grim in Bangkok. Monsoon has killed over 500. Bangkok subway is threatened.
Member Since: 10.08.2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36074
598. Skyepony (Mod)
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 05:10 (GMT)
Feds try to prevent War of the Worlds-style panic over national emergency alert


Nov 9th "Don't panic, people."
Member Since: 10.08.2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36074
597. WeatherfanPR
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 05:09 (GMT)
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:



thanks again !!!
Member Since: 23.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1563
596. Some1Has2BtheRookie
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 05:07 (GMT)
Quoting Grothar:


So does mine, Woody. Occasionally.


I know I am going to get in trouble, if I dood it. But, I dood anyway! ..... Perhaps you are doing it the wrong way?

Link
Member Since: 24.08.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4728
595. Grothar
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 05:01 (GMT)
Quoting WoodyFL:
Mine moves Grother.



So does mine, Woody. Occasionally.
Member Since: 17.07.2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23707
594. Grothar
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 04:58 (GMT)
Quoting AussieStorm:


That's what we call you guys septic tanks/Yanks.


And to think, we always speak highly of our cousins Down Under. We just think you talk funny is all.:)
Member Since: 17.07.2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23707
593. OracleDeAtlantis
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 04:57 (GMT)
Quoting WeatherfanPR:
I did it, finally. I finished my little documental of Hurricane Earl when it brushed Puerto Rico in 2010.

for those here at the moment, I hope you like it. Tomorrow I will share it again.





Action:
Quote
| Ignore User


Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1354




Very nice job ...
Member Since: 27.08.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 489
592. Some1Has2BtheRookie
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 04:54 (GMT)
Quoting Grothar:


Only someone as old as you would have gotten that reference. :)


;-)
Member Since: 24.08.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4728
591. Grothar
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 04:54 (GMT)
Hey spectre, if you are still on, don't make such a ghost of yourself. Come out and post something. Even a booring graph would be welcome at this point.
Member Since: 17.07.2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23707
590. Grothar
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 04:51 (GMT)
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


That may be true but, he did not have the 5th dimension.

The 5th Dimension


Only someone as old as you would have gotten that reference. :)
Member Since: 17.07.2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23707
589. Some1Has2BtheRookie
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 04:46 (GMT)
Quoting Grothar:


Yes, he had many dimensions.


That may be true but, he did not have the 5th dimension.

The 5th Dimension
Member Since: 24.08.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4728
588. Grothar
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 04:40 (GMT)
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


I wish Rod Serling was still around.


Yes, he had many dimensions.
Member Since: 17.07.2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23707
587. GeoffreyWPB
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 04:29 (GMT)
Quoting WoodyFL:
Mine moves Grother.



I wish Rod Serling was still around.
Member Since: 10.09.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
586. AussieStorm
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 04:28 (GMT)
Quoting aspectre:
Hi Grothar, 'plus'ed for checkin' up on us.

534 iceagecoming "I blame big oil, keystone xl, AGW, and Climate Sceptics.
For earthquakes and occupiers.

535 Patrap "S-k-e-p-t-i-c-s"

Then again, he coulda meant 'septics'.


That's what we call you guys septic tanks/Yanks.
Member Since: 30.09.2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
585. WoodyFL
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 04:27 (GMT)
Mine moves Grother.

Member Since: 24.04.2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 601
584. GeoffreyWPB
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 04:25 (GMT)
Member Since: 10.09.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
583. WeatherfanPR
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 04:22 (GMT)
Quoting KoritheMan:


I bet. :/

I suppose I did have Lee, but it certainly wasn't what I'd call "exciting" by any stretch of the word. Let me put it this way: I could have slept through it.



yea, I understand you. Lee was a minimum Tropical Storm when it moved inland. Earl was a Cat.4 passing close to Puerto Rico.
Member Since: 23.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1563
582. Grothar
7. marraskuuta 2011 klo 04:21 (GMT)
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:




Yes, we are who we are, but you are allowed only one more grammatical error until the end of the year.

What do you think of 98L? Wrapping a little moisture around it now.


Member Since: 17.07.2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23707

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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