Winds, floods and fire: US ties record for costly weather

Winds, floods and fire: US ties record for costly weather

October 6th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Science

FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2017, file photo, businesses are surrounded by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey in Humble, Texas. If you think this has been a wild and costly year for weather disasters, federal meteorologists say you are right, it’s been record setting. So far this year the United States has had 15 weather disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damages. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Meteorologists say 2017 has been so wild the U.S. so far has tied a record for weather disasters that topped $1 billion in damages.

There have been 15 costly disasters through September, tying 2011 for the most billion-dollar weather disasters for the first nine months of a year. The record for a year is 16, and the hurricane season is not over yet.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the figures Friday that include hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, severe storms, drought and a freeze.

NOAA climate scientist Adam Smith says 2017 is shaping up to be an unprecedented year.

Experts blame man-made climate change and more people living in disaster-prone zones for an increase in billion-dollar weather disasters, which are adjusted for inflation.