Using NOAA/NCEI data, Climate Central identified a marked increase in the frequency of billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in the U.S. since 1980.
The average time between billion-dollar disasters—time to help communities across the nation recover—has dropped from 82 days in the 1980s to just 18 days on average in the last five years (2016-2020).
The higher frequency of disasters—which is projected to increase further with rising global temperatures—can strain the resources available for communities to recover quickly and manage future risks.
On October 8, NOAA will release an updated analysis of 2021’s billion-dollar disasters across the U.S., which is already tracking well above the historical average of 7 events per year. The October release will reflect this year’s summer of extremes, including record-shattering heatwaves, relentless wildfires, and devastating tropical cyclones.