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Climate Extremes 2011--NOAA's Climate Science & Services
Thursday, December 8, 2011

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Extreme Weather and Climate  Events for 2011 

A Year for the Record Books






From extreme drought, heat waves and floods to unprecedented tornado outbreaks, hurricanes, wildfires and winter storms, a record 12 weather and climate disasters in 2011 each caused $1 billion or more in damages - and most regrettably, loss of human lives and property. NOAA's National Weather Service has redoubled its efforts to create a "Weather-Ready Nation", where vulnerable communities are better prepared for extreme weather and other natural disasters.


Billion Dollar Disasters from 1980NOAA forecasts, advisories, watches, warnings and community-based preparedness programs havebeen and will continue play an even greater role in enhancing the economy and saving lives. A Weather-Ready Nation is one in which businesses, governments and the public are armed with accurate forecasts and other critical information on which to make smart decisions to protect life and property when severe weather threatens.




  • Stats with Billion Dollar DisastersThe U.S. has sustained 112 weather/climate related disasters over the past 31+ years in which overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. The total normalized losses for the 112 events exceed $750 billion.
  • The U.S. has sustained 12 billion-dollar weather/climate disasters so far in 2011, breaking the record of 9 set in 2008. The aggregate damage from these 12 events is approximately $52 billion, in which 646 people lost their lives. 

For more information:


NCDC Billion Dollar Disaster Page:

NOAA Extreme Weather 2011 Page:

NOAA National Weather Service:







New Series to Highlight How NOAA's Climate Sciences & Services Are Essential in Safeguarding People, Communities and Businesses


Throughout history, as well as today, people around the country and the world use climate information - long-range forecasts about the atmosphere and our oceans on the order of weeks to seasons to decades or longer that are based historical records of temperature, precipitation, storms, and other related processes - to inform major decisions from agriculture to health to transportation to energy production.


NOAA has provided essential information about climate to the public for decades that anticipates future risks, saves lives, protects property and safeguards the economy. To help showcase these efforts, we have developed a series of case studies or "vignettes" to showcase how its climate information and services help inform decisions by people, local businesses and communities.  


If you would like to share a story about how your organization or business uses NOAA's climate information and services, we would love to hear from you.  Please contact us at

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.

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