WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2021—Last year was one for the U.S. weather record books.
The nation endured a record-smashing 22 weather/climate disasters, each with damages/costs exceeding $1 billion, resulting in an unprecedented $22 billion last year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.
Included were a record number of named tropical storms that formed in the Atlantic, with a record 12 making landfall in the United States.
The nation also had its most active wildfire year on record due to very dry conditions in the West and unusually warm temperatures that gripped much of the country.
Billion-dollar events included:
- Seven hurricanes—Hanna, Isaias, Laura, Sally, Delta, Zeta, Eta
- Three tornado outbreaks
- 10 severe weather events
- One wildfire
- One drought and heatwave
The seven billion-dollar hurricanes were the most in one year since NOAA started keeping track of billion-dollar disasters in 1980.
The extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season produced an unprecedented 30 named storms and 12 U.S. landfalls.
Florida had its first 2020 hurricane landfall when Eta when crossed the Florida Keys Nov. 8. Although Hurricane Sally made landfall in Alabama in September, northwest Florida was pounded by winds and rains from the storm.
Last year was also the most active wildfire year on record across the West affecting California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.
The three largest wildfires in Colorado history occurred in 2020, with California recording five of the six largest in its history.
Staff and NOAA news release