Dec 13, 2019

The 10 Most Unforgettable Weather Disasters of the 2010s

Atlanta, GA
Oklahoma City, OK
Mexico Beach, FL
Joplin, MO
Seaside Heights, NJ
Houston, TX
Paradise, CA
Puerto Rico
Jonathan Erdman
The Weather Channel
Roller coaster in the Atlantic Ocean in Seaside Heights, N.J., after Superstorm Sandy.
Roller coaster in the Atlantic Ocean in Seaside Heights, N.J., after Superstorm Sandy.

Signals Summary: Climate change is impacting extreme weather in a variety of ways, including making hurricanes more intense, extreme precipitation and flooding more common, and large wildfires more likely to occur. 

Article Excerpt: As the 2010s come to a close, it's hard to believe the number of major weather disasters we've seen this decade in the U.S.

Droughts, floods, tornado outbreaks, hurricanes, winter storms and wildfires have all taken their toll on the nation this decade.

Through October 2019, NOAA's National Centers For Environmental Information compiled 115 weather events from 2010 through 2019 each responsible for at least $1 billion damage in the U.S.


Climate change influenced at least two of these events and is a top story no matter the list because of its implication for future weather disasters.


Hurricane Michael became only the fourth U.S. hurricane to landfall at Category 5 intensity in October 2018. It was the most intense Florida Panhandle landfall on record.


Hurricane Harvey in 2017 was the most widespread and extreme rainfall event from any tropical depression, storm or hurricane in U.S. history.


Harvey was just one of a number of major southeast Texas and Louisiana floods in the decade, punctuated by 2019's Tropical Storm Imelda.

A study by the World Weather Attribution team found climate change made record rainfall over the upper Texas coast during Harvey three times more likely and 15% more intense.


After a multi-year drought categorized by one study as the worst in almost 450 years in some parts of California, a rash of massive, destructive wildfires in 2017 and 2018 left one California town staggering and the rest of the state pondering a new normal.