H. Harvey Second Most Costly U.S. Disaster

From the WSJ: Two Months After Harvey, Houston Continues to Count the Cost
Tens of thousands are still living in hotel rooms from the August hurricane, which is estimated to have cost $73.5 billion in economic loss.

Note that the chart in the article shows total estimated costs for the recent hurricanes with H. Maria and H. Irma numbers lower than for H. Harvey.

Call for Better Hurricane Prediction

From the WashPost: Hurricanes are menacing our economy. We have to invest in better prediction.

To protect our communities and our nation’s economy, we must make smart investments that will advance our forecasts. This would provide actionable intelligence for officials making evacuation decisions, utility crews positioning in advance to restore power to affected areas, and businesses safeguarding valuable inventory.

Although the scientific community has been mobilized to confront these challenges, the government in recent years has cut annual spending on its flagship hurricane forecast improvement program from $13 million to less than $5 million. Compared with the costs of Harvey and Irma, this is as though we own a $30,000 car and will not spend more than about 90 cents a year to protect it.

Other countries are outpacing us in weather prediction.