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2. Hurricane Irene continues toward Florida
Waves and storm surge pound the boardwalk and the beach at first light as Hurricane Irene slams into Asbury Park, New Jersey in this August 28, 2011 file photo. From floods that crippled countries, to mega cyclones, huge blizzards, killer tornadoes to famine-inducing droughts, 2011 has been another record-breaker for bad weather. While it is too early to predict what 2012 will be like, insurers and weather prediction agencies point to a clear trend: the world's weather is becoming more extreme and more costly. Read the full story.