Ask most anyone, and they'll tell you that 2020 was a tough year. Ask someone with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and they'll tell you it was a billion dollar record breaking year. And not in the good way. NOAA reports that 2020 saw a record number of billion dollar weather disasters.

KCRG reports that the nation saw 22 natural disasters that had more than $1 billion in damages. That broke the previous record of 16 set in both 2011 and 2017. This year's billion dollar list included one wildfire, one drought, three tornado outbreaks, seven tropical cyclones, and ten other severe weather events.

Here are the costliest disasters of 2020.

  1. Hurricane Laura - $19 billion
  2. Western Wildfires - $16 billion
  3. Midwest Derecho - $11 billion

It's hard to believe that our state was hit so hard by a natural disaster in 2020. Personally, I've only ever been involved in one serious tornado that did damage, and that was when I was a kid, and we were staying with friends in Western Iowa. So to go through the derecho at home, with my kids, was an experience I'll never forget. Walking out onto our porch after the storm had passed and seeing all the damage, it was like a disaster movie come to life.

Last year's hurricane season was very active with 30 named tropical storms. 2020 saw that worst wildfire season out west ever. Over 10.3 million acres of land were lost. NOAA has been keeping track of billion dollar disasters since 1980. Last year was the worst. Was it a blip on the map? Or a warning that these type of disasters are becoming more common as our climate changes? Lets pray for a reprieve in 2021.

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