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Weather in 2012: 11 Billion-Dollar Disasters in the US

January 04, 2013; 5:00 AM

After a year of wild, expensive and dangerous weather in 2011, 2012's weather in the United States was only a bit calmer. 2011 had a record 14 disasters that caused at least a billion dollars in damage. The damage from 2012's 11 billion-dollar-plus disasters could end up costing even more than 2011, with expensive repairs needed after Hurricane Sandy, as well as severe losses from the Midwest drought.


2012: The Year of Drought and Heat

2012 May Challenge Records for Low Tornado Count

2012: Top Three Worst Tornado, Severe Weather Outbreaks

"NOAA estimates that the nation experienced 11 such events, to include seven severe weather/tornado events, two tropical storm/hurricane events, and the yearlong drought and associated wildfires."

Preliminary Info on 2012 U.S. Billion-Dollar Extreme Weather/Climate Events

Billion-Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters

Weather in 2012: A Year in Review

Storified by Accu Weather · Tue, Dec 18 2012 11:51:33 pulled the most-notable weather events of 2012 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's State of the Climate National Overview.
State of the Climate | National Overview | 2012a summary of national and regional temperatures and precipitation, placing the data into a historical perspective


• Warm temperatures during January broke numerous records and limited snow cover across much of the northern Plains. The U.S. monthly snow cover extent during January was the third smallest in the 46-year period of record, 329,000 square miles below average. The average U.S. temperature in January 36.3 degrees F, 5.5 degrees F above the 1901-2000 long-term average.  Precipitation averaged across the nation during January was 1.85 inches, 0.37 of an inch below average.
January: Not the Top-10 Warmest for NYC, DC, ChicagoWhile January has been unusually mild across the Northeast and Midwest, this month will not go down in the record books as one of the top...
Fourth-Warmest January on Record for Contiguous U.S.A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has identified January 2012 as the fourth-warmest January on rec...


• A storm spawned strong tornadoes from Nebraska to Tennessee from Feb. 28-29 causing significant damage and at least 13 fatalities.
Leap Day Tornado OutbreakSevere storms that hammered the Ohio and Tennessee valleys Wednesday have finally dissipated across the mid-Atlantic, temporarily bringin...
• The average U.S. temperature during the 2011-12 winter season was 36.8 degrees F, 3.9 degrees F above average and the fourth-warmest winter on record.  Precipitation, averaged across the nation during the winter, was 5.70 inches, or 0.78 of an inch below average.


• Record and near-record breaking temperatures dominated the eastern two-thirds of the nation and contributed to the warmest March on record for the contiguous United States, a record that dates back to 1895. The average temperature of 51.1 degrees F was 8.6 degrees F above the 20th century average for March and 0.5 of a degree F warmer than the previous warmest March in 1910. Of the more than 1,400 months that have passed since the U.S. record began, only one month, January 2006, has seen a larger departure from its average temperature than March 2012.
What's Causing All the Warm Weather?First, the warm winter. Now, an unbelievably warm March. The question on everyone's mind lately seems to be, "What's going on?" Though th...
• March 2 brought an outbreak of deadly tornadoes to the Ohio River Valley. Eight tornadoes killed 39 people in storms rated from EF1 to EF4 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. In Kentucky, 22 died in four separate tornadoes. Indiana had two deadly storms leaving 13 dead and Ohio had four deaths in two additional tornadoes.
Tornadoes Wreak Havoc In the Ohio ValleyDestructive storms tore through the Ohio Valley Friday producing numerous large and devastating tornadoes and carving a path of destructi...


• A large tornado outbreak hit the central Plains on April 14, leading to 122 tornado reports and six fatalities.
April 2012 Ranks As the Fifth Warmest on RecordA report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that globally, April 2012 ranked as the fifth warmest on ...
• The average U.S. temperature during April was 55.7 degrees F, 3.6 degrees F below above average - the third warmest on record.  The precipitation averaged across the nation was 2.23 inches, 0.20 of an inch below average.


• Tropical Storms Alberto and Beryl mark only the third time that two tropical storms have formed during May.  Beryl brought beneficial rainfall to the Southeast.
Pre-Season Tropical Storms Rare, But Not Unheard OfOn May 19, Tropical Storm Alberto began rocking the Atlantic shore from northeast Florida to South Carolina. It is only the third tropica...
• The average U.S. temperature during spring was 57.1 degrees F, 5.2 degrees F above average, the warmest spring on record.  Precipitation, averaged across the nation during spring was 7.47 inches, or 0.24 of an inch below average.


• A derecho, a line of fast-moving severe storms, moved from Illinois to Virginia causing significant wind damage.  Over 3.4 million households lost power.
Intense Storms Called a "Derecho" Slam 700 Miles of the USA "super derecho" of violent thunderstorms left a more than 700-mile trail of destruction across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic on Friday, ...
Shocking Images Follow Super DerechoThis Day In Weather History Valparaiso, Ind. (1981) Heavy lake-effect snowburst dumps 22" in just a three-hour period. Southern Illinois (1957)...
• Dry conditions throughout the Ohio Valley and mid-South led to the expansion of Extreme drought (D3).  Nearly 56 percent of the U.S. was experiencing drought conditions.
• Tropical Storm Debby slowly traversed Florida, dropping over a foot of rain, causing the state to have its wettest June on record.
Debby's Positive Side: Drought ReliefRain from Debby is reaching some drought-stricken areas of the southeastern United States. Debby has delivered over a foot of rain to som...


• The average U.S. temperature during July was 77.6 degrees F, 3.3 degrees F above average, and the warmest July on record. Precipitation averaged across the nation during July was 2.57 inches, 0.19 inch below average.


• As of Aug. 28, nearly 63 percent of the contagious U.S. was experiencing drought conditions, with drought intensifying across the central Plains.  Wash., Wyo., and Neb. had their driest Aug on record. The average U.S. temperature during summer was 74.4 degrees F, 2.3 degrees F above average, the third-warmest summer on record.  Precipitation, averaged across the nation during summer, was 7.39 inches, 0.86 of an inch below average marking the 18th driest summer.
• Hurricane Isaac made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 28 with winds of 80 mph.  Isaac's slow motion and large size led to a large storm surge and flooding rains.
The Stats Are In: Hurricane Isaac TotalsTwo weeks ago, we began talking about Isaac. The storm has caused many problems during its life. Here are some of the most impressive sta...


• Dry conditions stretched across the Northwest and Northern Plains.  MN, MT, ND, and SD were record dry.


• Post-tropical cyclone Sandy brought hurricane-force winds and record precipitation and storm surge to the East Coast.  Over 8 million households lost power and over 100 fatalities were reported.  Blizzard conditions occurred across the Central and Southern Appalachians.  Over a foot of snow was reported in 6 states from North Carolina to Pennsylvania.
The Stats Are In: Superstorm Sandy TotalsHere are some of the most impressive statistics from the storm. ... This map shows how much rain has already fallen from Sandy through ...


• November brought warmer-than-average conditions to the western half of the country. The largest temperature departures from average were centered near the Rockies where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming had November temperatures among their ten warmest.

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