Ten Billion-Dollar Plus Weather, Climate Disasters Hit U.S. in 2015
Posted by feww on January 9, 2016
Record December elevated 2015 to 2nd warmest year for US 48 —NOAA
The 2015 annual average U.S. temperature was 54.4°F (12.4°C), 2.4°F above the 20th century average, the second warmest year on record.
- Warmest year for U.S. was 2012 with an average temperature of 55.3°F.
- 2015 was the 19th consecutive year the annual average temperature exceeded the 20th century average.
The average contiguous U.S. precipitation was 34.47 inches (87.55cm), 4.53 inches above average, and ranked as the third wettest year in the 121-year period of record.
- Only 1973 and 1983 were wetter.
- The national drought footprint shrank about 10 percent last year.
Ten weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each occurred across the United States in 2015. These events included
- Drought (1 event)
- Flooding (2)
- Severe storms (5)
- Wildfire (1)
- Winter Storm (1)
The 1980–2015 annual average is 5.2 events (CPI-adjusted); the annual average for the most recent 5 years (2011–2015) is 10.8 events (CPI-adjusted), said NCDC/NOAA.
Additionally, the U.S. experienced five distinct disaster event types in 2015. It is more common to observe three or four disaster event types in a given year. Five or more disaster event types exceeding $1 billion in the same year occurs less frequently (i.e., 2015, 2011, 2008, 1998, 1994 and 1989).
U.S. climate highlights: 2015
- Florida, Montana, Oregon and Washington were record warm.
- Alaska, California, and Idaho had their second warmest year.
- Twenty-one other states were much warmer than average.
- 14 States were much wetter than average.
- Oklahoma and Texas were record wet for the year, and became drought free for the first time since 2010.
- The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for 2015 was 70 percent above average, ranking as the fourth highest annual USCEI in the 106-year record and highest since 2012.
U.S. climate highlights: December 2015
- December 2015 was record warm for the contiguous U.S., with a temperature of 38.6°F, 6.0°F above the 20th century average.
- Previous record of 37.7°F was set in 1939.
- 29 Eastern states had the warmest December on record.
- No state was record cold.
- The December precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 3.93 inches, 1.58 inches above the 20th century average, ranking as the wettest December on record.
- Previous record of 3.76 inches was set in 1982.
- Above-average precipitation occurred across the country
- 23 States were much wetter than average.
- Iowa and Wisconsin had a record wet December.
Source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Overview for December 2015, published online January 2016, retrieved on January 9, 2016 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201512.