The price of extreme weather events continues to rise. Superstorm Sandy and the ongoing drought made 2012 the second costliest weather and climate disaster year since 1980, racking up more than $110 billion in damage.
According to the National Climatic Data Center, there were 11 events that each caused more than $1 billion in damage. The disasters--seven severe weather and tornado events, two tropical cyclones, and the yearlong drought and its associated wildfires—killed more than 300 people combined.
The two main culprits driving the 2012 costs were Sandy—that did about $65 billion in damage--and the drought, which was responsible for about $30 billion in losses.
The superstorm claimed at least 130 lives, and the drought and associated heat waves, which affected more than half the country, caused more than 100 deaths.
The total damage ranks behind 2005, when four major hurricanes -- including Katrina -- drove up the year’s damage tally to $160 billion.