Those 20 disasters killed 688 people and cost $145 billion, with $75 billion of that coming from Hurricane Ida.
Global temperature rises are making extreme weather more extreme, NOAA said. In December, the temperature of the contiguous 48 states was the highest on record, and stood at 39.3 degrees Fahrenheit, 6.7 degrees above average, according to the agency.
For all of 2021, the average temperature of the contiguous 48 states was was 54.5 degrees Fahrenheit, the fourth hottest year in NOAA’s 127 years of records.
The six hottest years on record have all happened since 2012, the agency added.
The billion-dollar disasters that hit the U.S. in 2021 included:
- A winter storm/cold wave event in the Deep South and Texas
- One wildfire event which spread across Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington
- One drought and heat wave event throughout the summer and fall across the western U.S.
- Two flood events in California and Louisiana.
- Three tornado outbreaks, including an unusual outbreak in December.
- Four tropical cyclones: Elsa, Fred, Ida and Nicholas.
- Eight other severe weather events (across many parts of the country).