4 out of 5 Americans affected by weather-related disasters since 2006, study finds

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:55 PM GMT on February 20, 2012

Share this Blog
37
+

Since 2006 , federally declared weather-related disasters in the United States have affected counties housing 242 million people--or roughly four out of five Americans. That's the remarkable finding of Environment America, who last week released a detailed report on extreme weather events in the U.S. The report analyzed FEMA data to study the number of federally declared weather-related disasters. More than 15 million Americans live in counties that have averaged one or more weather-related disasters per year since the beginning of 2006. Ten U.S. counties--six in Oklahoma, two in Nebraska, and one each in Missouri and South Dakota--have each experienced ten or more declared weather-related disasters since 2006. South Carolina was the only state without a weather-related disaster since 2006. The report did a nice job explaining the linkages between extreme weather events and climate change, and concluded, "The increasing evidence linking global warming to certain types of extreme weather events--underscored by the degree to which those events are already both a common and an extremely disruptive fact of life in the United States--suggests that the nation should take the steps needed now to prevent the worst impacts of global warming and to prepare for the changes that are inevitably coming down the road."




Figure 1. County-level map of federally-declared weather-related disasters between 2006 - 2011. Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in the Midwest, and heavy rains and snows from Nor'easters, hurricanes, and other storms in the Northeast gave those two regions the most disaster declarations. An interactive version of this map that allows one to click and see the individual disasters by county is on the Environment America website.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 491 - 441

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25Blog Index

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting inkthepage:
South Carolina's lack of "federally declared weather-related disasters" is much more a function of the political nature of the event being "federally declared". These are usually made at the behest of State Governors or legislative bodies. Clearly SC has a either a greater tolerance for disaster or has ticked off the powers that be. Nevada & Colorado are nearly free of federal disasters as well. Also note the exceptionally high amount that fall INSIDE the Missouri State borders.
...or maybe "family values" Governor Sanford was just so busy shacking up with his mistress in Argentina "hiking the Appalachian Trail" that he neglected to ask for any disaster declarations?
Quoting Patrap:
Dow Pierces 13000
Wall Street Journal - 4 minutes ago

By CHRISTIAN BERTHELSEN And TOMI KILGORE The Dow Jones Industrial Average pierced the 13000 level for the first time since before the financial crisis.
We must get rid of that socialist in the White House before he drives the country to financial ruin!!! ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13471
Dow Pierces 13000
Wall Street Journal - 4 minutes ago

By CHRISTIAN BERTHELSEN And TOMI KILGORE The Dow Jones Industrial Average pierced the 13000 level for the first time since before the financial crisis.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SPLbeater:


*sigh*

this is really making me a tiny bit worried.

it brings up memories from april 2011. bad memories.

So do you think day 3 will get a moderate risk tomorrow?



no but we may have a moderate on day 2 tomorrow.
That would be over where i live
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9721
Quoting Neapolitan:
I notice that Nevada has just a single county that's not virginal white; one could rightly claim, then, that Divine Providence smiles upon gamblers and showgirls and drunks and ladies of the night.

Nah, given the way Charleston was wrecked by the 7.3 earthquake in 1886--a time when nearly everyone attended church regularly--I have to cast doubt upon your theory. ;-)

Uh-oh
Stories of the life of Christ might indicate that bolded part is true.

Also,
quoting your comment earlier today...

I suppose where some choose to see "bias", others see "scientific evidence". ;-)

Of course, one needn't be a direct victim of a natural disaster in their county to be adversely affected by it. Insurance rates, the costs of infrastructure replacement, higher taxes, disrupted emergency services--all these and much more are the negative consequences of living in a disaster-struck county.


As of now, my idiotic reasoning stilol says there is no way that every single resident of every single U.S. county with a FEMA disaster in the years 2006 to 2011 was affected by disaster. I see no "scientific evidence" of that, and I stand by what I wrote on the first comment page of this blog.
Quoting myself...
Second thing. Not related to the map, really, but to the blog title. "4 of 5 Americans affected by weather disasters since 2006" is an exaggeration where some or maybe most forms of weather are concerned. Even allowing for the friend of a friend and the owner of the gym where you work out whose houses got wiped out by a tornado, not every person in a given county is affected. Might have been better to say, "4 of 5 U.S. counties affected..." in the blog title rather than in the fine print, so to speak.

These observations have nothing to do with my views on AGW or my views on whether or not extreme weather is escalating. Just logic and correct use of English.


Have a nice day, Neo.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Barefootontherocks:
For those of you were wondering about severe potential on Day 4, the standard note on every SPC day 4-8 outlook states

Note: A severe weather area depicted in the Day 4-8 period indicates a 30% or higher probability for severe thunderstorms within 25 miles of any point.
PREDICTABILITY TOO LOW is used to indicate severe storms may be possible based on some model scenarios. However, the location or occurrence of severe storms are in doubt due to: 1) large differences in the deterministic model solutions, 2) large spread in the ensemble guidance, and/or 3) minimal run-to-run continuity.
POTENTIAL TOO LOW means the threat for a regional area of organized severe storms appears highly unlikely during the entire period (e.g. less than a 30% probability for a regional severe storm area across the CONUS through the entire Day 4-8 period).


*sigh*

this is really making me a tiny bit worried.

it brings up memories from april 2011. bad memories.

So do you think day 3 will get a moderate risk tomorrow?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
For those of you were wondering about severe potential on Day 4, the standard note on every SPC day 4-8 outlook states

Note: A severe weather area depicted in the Day 4-8 period indicates a 30% or higher probability for severe thunderstorms within 25 miles of any point.
PREDICTABILITY TOO LOW is used to indicate severe storms may be possible based on some model scenarios. However, the location or occurrence of severe storms are in doubt due to: 1) large differences in the deterministic model solutions, 2) large spread in the ensemble guidance, and/or 3) minimal run-to-run continuity.
POTENTIAL TOO LOW means the threat for a regional area of organized severe storms appears highly unlikely during the entire period (e.g. less than a 30% probability for a regional severe storm area across the CONUS through the entire Day 4-8 period).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
South Carolina's lack of "federally declared weather-related disasters" is much more a function of the political nature of the event being "federally declared". These are usually made at the behest of State Governors or legislative bodies. Clearly SC has a either a greater tolerance for disaster or has ticked off the powers that be. Nevada & Colorado are nearly free of federal disasters as well. Also note the exceptionally high amount that fall INSIDE the Missouri State borders.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
..Im sure you'll see the Zulu King
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Xvrus2000:
Troll Alert: MardiGrasSux and dabirds

Please report, flag, and ignore.


dabirds is NOT a troll. your a bit new yourself to be calling others trolls arent you? your also impersenating Xyrus2000...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


I am finally in the hatched area on the Day 3.
Why do you want to be out the Day 4 outlook?
You can get your thunderstorm.


i guess last april hit me pretty hard...im more cautious when it comes to being under a shade of severe weather.

But i want a bow echo!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
I just saw God on Bourbon St, She was dressed as a Pirate!!!
Good. I hope he can iron things out around here. I knew all it would take for him to arrive was a really great party...Wish I wuz there really bad.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SPLbeater:


im here!!! :D:D:D


I am finally in the hatched area on the Day 3.
Why do you want to be out the Day 4 outlook?
You can get your thunderstorm.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9721
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Do ever recall ther models changing so much even with in 5 days? This has been constant lately. I wonder what the reason behind it is.
I have seen the models do some crazy things the past year.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I just saw God on Bourbon St, She was dressed as a Pirate!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:
For counties to touch the state of SC and not one inside the state for that time frame is obvious of political reasons.


my county was highlighted with yellow..1 natural disaster.

I bet it was the EF3 tornado in april that did that:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
For counties to touch the state of SC and not one inside the state for that time frame is obvious of political reasons. Should I say for tourist attraction dare I say? or to get folks to move and live there...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
I notice that Nevada has just a single county that's not virginal white; one could rightly claim, then, that Divine Providence smiles upon gamblers and showgirls and drunks and ladies of the night.

Nah, given the way Charleston was wrecked by the 7.3 earthquake in 1886--a time when nearly everyone attended church regularly--I have to cast doubt upon your theory. ;-)

Uh-oh


Nea, I never agree with most of what you say....but on this, I do. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
try not to steal others' user handles...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Happy Mardi Gras Day to everyone not here.








im here!!! :D:D:D
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
I notice that Nevada has just a single county that's not virginal white; one could rightly claim, then, that Divine Providence smiles upon gamblers and showgirls and drunks and ladies of the night.

Nah, given the way Charleston was wrecked by the 7.3 earthquake in 1886--a time when nearly everyone attended church regularly--I have to cast doubt upon your theory. ;-)

Uh-oh


MOST of Nevada is good:)
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9721
2012/02/22 15z winds knots 1000mb


2012/02/22 15z winds knots 925mb


2012/02/22 15z winds knots 200mb


2012/02/22 15z temp 1000mb



2012/02/22 15z temp 850mb


2012/02/22 15z relative humidity 1000mb


2012/02/22 15z relative humidity 850mb


2012/02/22 15z liftex 1000mb


Click on Thumbnail for full image.

Goodnight
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
That's what I thought too, but if you do a careful search, apparently no "Major Disaster" declarations were made since late January of '06.

Fascinating map and statistic, given they are literally surrounded:



Arguably the most conservative state in the union, and heavily Christian, I could speculate that perhaps she might have the highest church attendance rate in the nation. However, that would be wrong, and here are two Gallup Poll references showing this fact, in 2006, and in 2010.

So what could be responsible for this apparent Divine providence?

Eliminating church attendance as a prime factor(i.e. Mississippi & Alabama,) very few possibilities come to mind; but luck is one of course.

As South Carolinian's wrestle with this curious statistic, my mind cannot help but wander to the word "miracle."

Congratulations South Carolina, either you're housing a saint, a collection of them, or .... I wonder.
I notice that Nevada has just a single county that's not virginal white; one could rightly claim, then, that Divine Providence smiles upon gamblers and showgirls and drunks and ladies of the night.

Nah, given the way Charleston was wrecked by the 7.3 earthquake in 1886--a time when nearly everyone attended church regularly--I have to cast doubt upon your theory. ;-)

Uh-oh
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13471
Happy Mardi Gras Day to everyone not here.






Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SPLbeater:
Wow a day 4 outlook...must be significant, is it not?


Sometimes yes, sometimes no, but often in between.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9721
Ma Nature stays away from Paris Island and Beaufort,S.C. USMC Air Station. Marines dont let nature Roll in S. Carolina, every Met knows dat easily.

: )
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting uncwhurricane85:
im 100% sure south carolina had multiple tornado events the past 2 years with millions in losses and some deaths as well! to what severity with relavence to this map does it take to be considered a disaster on this map?
That's what I thought too, but if you do a careful search, apparently no "Major Disaster" declarations were made since late January of '06.

Fascinating map and statistic, given they are literally surrounded:



Arguably the most conservative state in the union, and heavily Christian, I could speculate that perhaps she might have the highest church attendance rate in the nation. However, that would be wrong, and here are two Gallup Poll references showing this fact, in 2006, and in 2010.

So what could be responsible for this apparent Divine providence?

Eliminating church attendance as a prime factor(i.e. Mississippi & Alabama,) very few possibilities come to mind; but luck is one of course.

As South Carolinian's wrestle with this curious statistic, my mind cannot help but wander to the word "miracle."

Congratulations South Carolina, either you're housing a saint, a collection of them, or .... I wonder.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The formula is that a 1F increase in Global temps, causes a 4% increase increase in Water Vapor.

Food or WV for thought.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I dont like that day 4 outlook...i sit underneath that shade of red
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LargoFl:
I have a question, might be stupid sounding but..with the icecaps melting the sea's will rise, But..with the warmer temps, wont evaporation increase as well, keeping sea level rise lower?


Yep, and that's already been measured. There has been an increase in overall atmospheric moisture which has impacted that actual sea rise totals (the difference between the expected rise and how much moisture has been added to the atmosphere are in good agreement).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Do ever recall ther models changing so much even with in 5 days? This has been constant lately. I wonder what the reason behind it is.


AGW....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hydrus:
Yes...I typed in an earlier post that the moisture return will play an important role Thursday into Friday. If the high pressure ridge changes position even a little, it will make a big difference how much severe weather will be present.


Do ever recall ther models changing so much even with in 5 days? This has been constant lately. I wonder what the reason behind it is.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Wow a day 4 outlook...must be significant, is it not?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTracker2K:


If the GFS is right then this event will be very isolated.
Yes...I typed in an earlier post that the moisture return will play an important role Thursday into Friday. If the high pressure ridge changes position even a little, it will make a big difference how much severe weather will be present.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Going to be interesting to see if the other models start to mirror the GFS. Very strange to see the models changing so much lately even with in 5 days.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Remains of Giovanna
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting trunkmonkey:


I don't ever recall a monster tornado from a north to south storm.

See Wikipedia for the Jarrell, Texas tornado.

"In the early morning hours of May 27, a large Mesoscale Convective Complex developed over Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas. A "gravity wave" or outflow boundary was generated by this system and stalled out over Central Texas. This was oriented from the northeast to the southwest, causing the movement of the supercells later on to be to the southwest, which is extremely unusual. Also unusual on this day was the low shear and extreme instability."

and

"Numerous vehicles sought shelter underneath various overpasses as the tornado formed and strengthened, turning Interstate 35 into a virtual parking lot. Texas Highway Patrol worsened the traffic jam by stopping both northbound and southbound traffic in anticipation of the tornado moving southeastward and crossing the highway. Had the tornado abruptly changed direction, the death toll could have been much higher as nearly five miles of traffic and hundreds of people were trapped on the highway with no route of escape. However, the tornado moved parallel to Interstate 35 for nearly its entire lifespan in a south-southwestward direction, a very rare occurrence."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hilwa up to 40 knots. About time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hydrus:
This system will affect my neck of the woods also..


If the GFS is right then this event will be very isolated.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Severe threat for Friday looking less of a threat per GFS. Also appears the 12Z GFS is going to mirror the 06Z GFS with a Gulf low to start the weekend. Could this be the big break in the drought that FL has been needing?

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
This system will affect my neck of the woods also..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting snotly:
The real question is, what is the % of reflected sunlight with more clouds, that is, if there will be more clouds.



I've tried working on that and it's hard to say, but I think it's close to two square kilometers of additional heavy convection are required to offset every 1 kilometer of ice in terms of Albedo.

Unfortunately, water vapor and clouds trap heat on the night time side of the Earth, so they might actually be a net zero in terms of Albedo and forcing.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting LargoFl:
I have a question, might be stupid sounding but..with the icecaps melting the sea's will rise, But..with the warmer temps, wont evaporation increase as well, keeping sea level rise lower?


Evaporation will increase somewhat, but it takes a huge amount of energy to evaporate water. About 7 times as much as melting Ice.

I think Dr. Masters has stated that convection goes up by about 4.5% per degree of temperature rise, but that's not an exact quote.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting Neapolitan:
It's very rare, but it's happened. For instance, the mesoscale complex that spawned the very destructive Jerrell, Texas, tornado was moving from the northeast to the southwest.


Beat me to it. That one left slabs, and slabs alone. Also was a very slow moving storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 491 - 441

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.