Recapping 2023 Summer: Hot for All & 10 New Billion Dollar Disasters

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13 Sep 2023 9:20 PM

NOAA has released their roundup from the 2023 Summer season, including intense heat and summer weather tragedies that contribute to NOAA's list of Billion Dollar Disasters.

Summer 2023 Recap

NOAA notes that August was HOT (we all know it, we lived it!) for the contiguous United States, running an average of 74.4°, about 2.3° above average. This made August 2023 the 9th warmest on record in the 129 years of record keeping. Some of the hottest states were the Deep South: Texas, Florida and Mississippi. Outside of the lower 48, Alaska had its second hottest August in its 99 years of record keeping, according to NOAA.

While temperatures were above average, the amount of rain this summer nationwide was quite average. However, looking nationwide only gives us part of the storm. California and Nevada had their second wettest Augusts on record thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Hilary which also brought wet weather into the Northern Rockies.

On the East Coast, the entire Northeast has been wet all summer, with New Hampshire and Vermont having their wettest June - August period ever! The rest of New England and New York all had one of the Top 10 wettest summers on record. Some of the driest states were also the hottest mentioned above: Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana all had abnormally dry Augusts, the driest on record for LA.

Billion Dollar Disasters

NOAA's report also included a quarterly update to the Billion Dollar Disasters. Billion dollar disasters are defined by weather events that result in over $1 in damages. According to NOAA this year's 23 is a record, and sets us above the previous highest year of 2020 which had 22 disasters. At last update in mid-June there were 13 Billion Dollar Disasters, meaning there were 10 new event during the summer.

"These events caused 253 direct and indirect fatalities and produced more than $57.6 billion in damages (Consumer Price Index (CPI)-adjusted). Other potential billion-dollar events from 2023 that are still under review include Tropical Storm Hilary that impacted southern California and the Southern/Midwestern drought."

The New Disasters Are:

  1. Central and Southern Severe Weather June 15-18

  2. Rockies Hail Storms, Central Severe Weather June 21-26

  3. Central Severe Weather June 28-July 2

  4. Northeast Flooding in July 9-15

  5. Midwest Severe Weather July 19-21

  6. Northern Plains Severe Weather July 28-29

  7. East Coast/Midwest Severe Weather August 5-8

  8. Hawaiian Fires of August 8

  9. Minnesota Hail Storms August 11

  10. Hurricane Idalia August 29-31

Other events of note that have not been evaluated yet are:

  • Hurricane Hilary Remnants Impacting California & the Southwest

  • Extreme Heat Dome for the Plains, Midwest & South

It is important to note that the billion dollar disasters only encompass a price tag, and don't take into account where the climate hit (populated versus unpopulated area) and are not an indication of climate or trends in general. Billion Dollar Disasters are simply a way

A map of the U.S. plotted with 23 weather and climate disasters each costing $1 billion or more that occurred between January and August, 2023.

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