Jan. 10 (UPI) — The U.S. experienced 18 billion-dollar weather-related disasters in 2022, as climate change continues to cause severe weather events, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report released Tuesday.
The 18 disasters are tied for third-most in a year, behind only 2021 and 2020. The total damages for the 18 events were approximately $165 billion, with Hurricane Ian accounting for $112.9 billion of that.
Other Hurricanes brought vast damage as well. Hurricane Fiona delivered 12-18 inches of rain to Puerto Rico, while Hurricane Ian brought 150 mph winds to southwest Florida. Hurricane Nicole was the first hurricane to hit the U.S. during November in nearly 40 years.
According to NOAA, 2022 was also an above-average tornado year.
The preliminary U.S. tornado count for 2022 was approximately 9% above the 1991-2020 average across the contiguous U.S. with 1,331 tornadoes reported,” NOAA said. “March 2022 had triple the average number of tornadoes reported (293) and the most tornadoes reported for any March in the 1950-2022 record.”
The average annual temperature in the U.S. was 53.4 degrees, making it the third warmest year on record.
“Florida and Rhode Island both saw their fifth-warmest calendar year on record while Massachusetts ranked sixth warmest,” NOAA said.
It was also the third-driest year on record, with 63% of the U.S. experiencing a drought at one point.
On May 3, drought conditions reached a peak coverage of 91.3% in the western U.S., the largest amount since 2012.
The report comes as thousands of Californians were under evacuation orders Tuesday amid a deadly winter storm that caused mudslides and flooding in the state.