Natural disasters gripped much of US in 2022

January 11, 2023, 2:12 pm

DETROIT, Michigan – The US saw 18 separate disasters, each causing USD1 billion in damages and totaling approximately USD165 billion in 2022, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Tuesday.

NOAA said 2022 was the third-most costly year on record after 2017 and 2005.

A total of 474 people died in extreme events.

The third most costly hurricane on record since 1980 also occurred in 2022. Hurricane Ian made landfall in the last week of September and obliterated parts of the east coast of the state of Florida. It was the costliest event of the year, coming in at US$112.9 billion, said NOAA.

Drought was a major factor in 2022, making it the third driest year on record, with precipitation across the US totaling 28.35 inches (72 centimeters), 1.59 inches below average.

The average annual temperature came in 1.4 degrees above the 20th-century average -- 53.4 degrees Fahrenheit (11.8 Celcius). Out of the last 128 years, that placed 2022 in the warmest third on record.

Major bodies of water, like Nevada’s famed Lake Mead, dried to near nothing in light of record drought that took hold in some of the nation’s driest climates.

Drought conditions in the western US reached a peak coverage of 91.3 percent in the region by May 3; across the contiguous US, drought reached a maximum coverage of 63 percent by Oct. 25. (Anadolu)