According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and confirmed by AccuWeather, the economic toll of weather disasters in 2017 will make it one of the costliest years for weather events on record.
Earlier this week, NOAA released its official report on the economic toll of 2017's catastrophic weather events.
“NOAA's record-setting assessment of more than $306 billion most closely matched AccuWeather's estimates of the costs of these events, which AccuWeather made as they were occurring,” said a news release from AccuWeather.
“NOAA's report cited 16 weather and climate events in 2017, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and a catastrophic spate of California wildfires. Each of the events caused at least $1 billion in losses, and most far exceeded that amount, for an aggregate of more than $306 billion,” the release said.
Joel N. Myers, founder, president and chairman of AccuWeather, predicted the hurricanes would cause devastation costing $290 billion, and forecasted an additional $70 billion in losses from the California wildfires.
Myers' total estimate of $360 billion was extremely close to NOAA's findings, the release said. “Final tallies of economic impact from 2017 weather events are still to be determined as personal losses, including irreplaceable papers, valuables, photos and other mementos, as well as losses to businesses and revenue in the affected states have yet to be calculated.”
"Other estimates were understating the destructive potential of these events, and we were concerned that people, government officials and businesses wouldn't act with appropriate urgency to save lives and protect themselves and others by getting to safety," Myers said in the release. "In our 55 years of forecasting weather and issuing severe weather warnings with impacts, we have seen that time and again, the information is incomplete if forecasters don't also clearly communicate the impact of severe weather so people and businesses take action. We wanted people and businesses to be aware of the full extent of the damage expected. We advised accordingly, and we turned out to be right."