A record number of billion-dollar weather and climate disasters have already hit the U.S. this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with several months remaining in 2023.
A total of 23 separate billion-dollar disasters have been confirmed this year -- the most events on record during a calendar year, NOAA announced on Thursday.
The average number of billion-dollar weather- and climate-related events between 1980 and 2022 is 8.1. However, the annual average for the past five years, 2018 to 2022, is 18 events.
These events include two flooding events, 18 severe storm events, including Hurricane Idalia in August, one tropical cyclone event, one winter storm event, and the recent Maui wildfires.
NOAA is also watching the aftermath of Tropical Storm Hilary, which struck Southern California last month, and the drought in the South and Midwest, as potential billion-dollar disasters for 2023.
Much of the eastern U.S. has been consistently warmer than average during 2023, with 28 states experiencing a top-10 warmest January through August, according to NOAA.
In addition, the Atlantic Hurricane season runs through Nov. 30, and NOAA has predicted above-average activity for the remainder of the season.
The billion-dollar disasters in 2023 have resulted in more than 250 deaths, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, according to NOAA.
Since 1980, the U.S. has experienced 371 weather and climate disasters in which the damages and costs reached or exceeded $1 billion, which includes a consumer price index adjustment to 2023, according to NOAA.