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.