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May-June 2018

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International Weather Highlights 2017: Catastrophic Hurricanes, Asian Monsoon Floods, Near Record Global Warmth

Hurricanes, flooding, severe storms, and other extreme events cost over $300 billion, making 2017 the costliest year ever for weather disasters. Though global tropical cyclone activity was below average, this was easily the most expensive Atlantic hurricane season on record, as Irma and Maria brought catastrophic damage to the Caribbean. Even more remarkable, when Hurricane Harvey is considered (see “United States Weather Highlights 2017: An Historic Hurricane and Wildfire Season” in this issue), three of the five most expensive weather disasters in history may have occurred in 2017 (Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma).

 

Weatherwise Contributing Editor DOUGLAS LECOMTE is a retired meteorologist formerly with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Maryland.

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