From Deadly Tornadoes to Winter Storms and Flooding, the NWS Outlines the Top US Disasters of the Decade

Extreme weather events have been recorded for the past several decades, ranging from historic heat waves to hurricanes and flooding. Some of these natural disasters potentially driven by anthropogenic climate change have caused widespread property damage, loss of human life, and destruction of natural habitats.

While these phenomena have occurred even in prehistoric times, their presence has become more evident in the 21st century.

These extreme events do occur worldwide, especially in the tropics and subtropics. Despite their occurrence in different continents and regions, the common factor observed by scientists is their increase in frequency and intensity compared to previous related weather events. In the United States, the National Weather Service (NWS) has outlined some of the top weather disasters in the country of the past decade.

Extreme Weather Events

Extreme Weather Events: From Deadly Tornadoes to Winter Storms and Flooding, the NWS Outlines the Top US Disasters of the Decade
(Photo : Photo by Nikolas Noonan on Unsplash)

Extreme weather events pertain to unusually severe weather or climate conditions that can result in devastating impacts on communities, natural ecosystems, and agricultural lands, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These weather-related events are often short-lived and include different phenomena such as tropical cyclones, floods, heat waves, tornadoes, heavy downpours, and freezes.

On the other hand, extreme climate events or climate-related phenomena persist longer than weather-related events. For instance, drought conditions or wildfire outbreaks could be triggered by a prolong dry, warm period, the USDA adds.

In the US, these weather and climatic events have been observed over the decades, as observed in previous research. In recent years, some of these events had led to mass fatalities.

Also Read: Multiple Extreme Weather Events to Ravage the American Southeast

Top US Weather Disasters

The US has witnessed extreme weather events in the past, affecting regions from coast to coast. From deadly tornadoes to winter storms and flooding, the country incurred some of the most devastating events over the last 100 years.

Even in the current century, these events have not only persisted but also worsened, suggesting that climate change and global warming could be linked with these events.

According to the NWS, below are some of the worst weather events or top natural disasters in the US of the decade from 2010 to 2019:

  •  Northwest Indiana flash flooding of August 2016
  •  Southern Great Lakes derecho windstorm of June 2010
  •  Arctic cold of January 2019
  •  Lake effect snow and lakeshore flooding of December 2010
  •  Drought and heat of 2012
  •  Blizzard of February 2011
  •  Tornado outbreak of November 2013
  •  Extensive flooding of February 2018
  •  Tornado outbreak of August 2016
  •  Derecho of June 2012

While there have been contestations in the past regarding the link between climate change and extreme weather events, scientists are detecting a stronger link between changing weather patterns and the warming of the planet. According to the organization Environmental Defense Fund, the trajectory is clear heat waves are getting hotter, droughts are getting drier, and other similar patterns.

Related Article: Living in Climate Change ‘Danger Zones’ Can Expose Humans to Deadly, Extreme Weather Events

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