U.S. Sees Record Low Number of Natural Disasters in 2013

January 9th, 2014 | Category: Industry News

According to CoreLogic, a residential property information, analytics and services provider, the U.S. experienced a record low number of natural hazard events in 2013, including hurricanes and tornadoes.

“Many predicted that 2013 would be a record year of catastrophic destruction, but the number of natural disasters that typically cause widespread destruction, mainly hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes, were far less than anticipated in comparison to last year’s record-setting hazard seasons,” says Dr. Thomas Jeffery, senior principal scientist for CoreLogic. Key findings within the report include:

Hurricane

  • There was little hurricane activity in 2013. With only 13 named storms, just two reached hurricane classification and hurricane totals were both lower than pre-season predictions and disproportionately lower than previous hurricane seasons dating back to 2003.
  • None of the storms in 2013 had a direct impact on the U.S., and as such, there was relatively minor damage related to Atlantic storms.
  • The first official hurricane of the year, Hurricane Humberto, formed on September 11, just three hours short of setting the record for the latest formation of the season’s first hurricane.

Flood

  • Flooding in the U.S. was moderate compared with recent years, partly due to the low number of Atlantic storms and the related coastal flooding. National flood losses for 2013 are expected to total approximately $2 billion.

Tornado

  • Total tornado activity in 2013 was at a historic low, with 229 fewer tornadoes than any year in the past decade as of October 25. Nonetheless, the severity of numerous Oklahoma storms and an unusually violent wave of late-season storms affecting 12 states in the Midwest were no less catastrophic.

Wildfire

  • The number of wildfires and total acreage burned in 2013 were lower than both the 2012 season and the 10-year average. Excluding California, Colorado, Idaho and Washington, which perpetuated their 10-year average in terms of acreage affected, the Western states saw dramatically lower wildfire activity than in recent years.
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