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May-June 2018

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U.S. Weather Highlights 2017: An Historic Hurricane and Wildfire Season

It was the year of catastrophes. Extreme weather-related costs in 2017 easily exceeded those from all other previous years, even those that included Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Sandy (2012) or major Corn Belt droughts (1988). Weather journalists like to throw around words like “epic” or “historic,” but in this case, these words are not just hype. The year featured three major land-falling hurricanes in a single storm season for the first time, as well as downslope winds in California that fanned huge wildfires, destroying thousands of homes.


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

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