From the Mountains, to the Prairies, to the Oceans (White With Foam): for Weather Disasters, US is Home

Apr 6, 2023

Billion Dollar Weather Disasters in 2021 and 2022

To borrow a phrase from the late novelist Pat Conroy, when it comes to weather disasters, America’s “wound is geography.”

It's not bad luck, scientists say. It’s because the continental US is nearly surrounded by water on three sides. The US also has the huge north-to-south Rocky Mountains. The Florida peninsula doesn't help either.

Then, we've got in the jet stream, the polar vortex, and collisions between dry air blowing over the Rockies and clashing with warmer moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. All that leads to a breeding ground for all sorts of weather. The US suffers from the most extreme weather disasters, studies say. Although, the disasters are not the most deadly. 

Toss in the effects of climate change and it's only going to get worse, scientists say.

“It is a reality that regardless of where you are…you’ve likely experienced a…weather event,” the head of NOAA told The Associated Press (AP).

Conroy’s South has it worse than other regions, scientists say.

“We drew the short straw…we…can experience every single type of extreme weather event,” one expert told the AP. “There’s no other place in the United States that can say that.”

According to the NOAA, the US in 2022 suffered 18 distinct major climate and weather disasters. They claimed 474 lives. The disasters caused $165 billion in damages.

Based on information in the infographic, which part of the US has seen the least amount of severe weather events in the last two years? (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. the west
b. the northeast
c. the southeast
d. the southwest
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