Annual Toll of Weather Disasters

From the Congressional Budget Office:  Hurricanes and Storm Flooding Taking a $54 Billion Annual Toll

The Congressional Budget Office warned in a new report that the cost inflicted by hurricanes and storm-related flooding is expected to hit $54 billion a year, equivalent to 0.3 percent of the nation’s current gross domestic product.

That total consists of $34 billion in expected annual economic losses to the residential sector, $9 billion to commercial businesses, and $12 billion to the public sector.

CBO estimates that a combination of private insurance coverage for wind damage, federal flood insurance, and federal disaster assistance would cover roughly 50 percent of losses to the residential sector and 40 percent of losses to the commercial sector.

Weather and Business

From BloombergNews: Wall Street Embraces Weather Risk in New Era of Storms. Climate change revs up number, intensity of weather disasters. New high priests of finance: Forecasters who keep cash flowing

From IBM and AccuWeather Inc. to outfits like Riskpulse, Jupiter and DTN, companies that track weather have created an intensely competitive new industry in just the last five years. Their client lists have grown to include insurers, banks and commodity traders, engineers and architects, shippers, retailers and the travel industry. And little is done without their input.

As global warming makes extreme weather more common, meteorologists have become the high priests of finance, mitigating uncertainty and boosting risk-related profits. “There’s kind of a wave building,” said Tory Grieves, membership manager at The Collider, a North Carolina nonprofit that helps climate entrepreneurs train and network.

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.

Growing Threat – Extreme Space Weather

Extreme space weather hazardous to U.S. economy, national security

While major geomagnetic storms are rare, with only a few recorded per century, there is significant potential for large-scale impacts when they do occur. Extreme space weather can be viewed as hazards for the economy and national security. A rare but powerful magnetic superstorm could cause continent-wide loss of electricity and substantial damage to power-grid infrastructure that could persist for months and cost the Nation in excess of $1 trillion.

Cost of Weather Disasters in 2016

Here are two articles re a new report from NOAA:

Climate-based disasters caused $46 billion in damage and killed at least 138 in the 48 contiguous U.S. states last year, with inland flooding emerging as the costliest weather event for the first time since 1997. The number of billion-dollar occurrences was the second-highest since 1980,  with one less than the 16 in 2011, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. It was also the second warmest year behind 2012 over 122 years, and the 20th consecutive warmer-than-normal year.