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Hurricane Delta could thrust 2020 into having the most billion-dollar disasters on record

In 2020, as of October 7, there have been 16 weather/climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each.
Credit: NOAA

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — 2020 has nearly three months left, but it’s already tied with 2011 and 2017 for the most billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events in U.S. history.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Wednesday, that as of Oct. 7, the first nine months of 2020 tied the annual record of 16 events that occurred in 2011 and 2017. 

2020 is the sixth consecutive year (2015-2020) in which 10 or more billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events have impacted the United States. 

Over the last 41 years (1980-2020), the years with 10 or more separate billion-dollar disaster events include 1998, 2008, 2011-2012, and 2015-2020.

Three of these billion-dollar disasters were hurricanes: Laura, Sally and Isaias. 

Hurricane Delta may very well be the next. 2020 is likely to have the most hurricane landfalls the US has seen since 2005. If it does, it would be the 5th hurricane to make landfall in the continental U.S. this year behind Hanna, Isaias, Laura and Sally.

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season is currently tied with the 1916 Atlantic Hurricane Season for the most continental U.S. named storm landfalls in a season on record with 9 landfalls. Hurricane Delta is forecast to become the 10th later this week.

The average billion-dollar weather/climate disaster events for the U.S. is just over 6 billion-dollar events in a year. 2020 could be nearly triple that average by the weekend.

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