Tracking climate change through the amount of billion-dollar natural disasters this year

NOW: Tracking climate change through the amount of billion-dollar natural disasters this year

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Michiana has been fortunate enough to stay mostly quiet with almost no extreme weather events this semester.

Across the U.S. however, we have already surpassed the all-time record of billion-dollar natural disasters with more than three months until the end of the year.

The former record was 22 billion-dollar events back in 2020.

A little less than 80% of the disasters this year have been related to severe weather events and outbreaks such as hail, flooding, winds, and/or tornadoes.

Hurricane Idalia also contributed towards the list as it made landfall along the big bend of Florida, the first hurricane to do so in over a century.

Michiana has been lucky to avoid most of the extreme weather, but we got our fair share of drought, with 100% of Michiana in drought in the middle of June and around 80% in severe drought by the end of June.

The heat dome in the end of august as well helped set a new heat index record at South Bend and also brought in a new single-day record for warmest recorded low on august 24.

Hurricane Lee has the possibility to be disaster #24 if it makes landfall along the east coast, although based off current models landfall looks unlikely. 

Sitting as a category two hurricane right now just southwest of the island of Bermuda, Lee still contains sustained winds of 100 kts.

Bermuda has issued a tropical storm warning with impacts expected to begin early this morning.

Lee will continue northward as it runs parallel to the east coast of North America, with hurricane-like conditions, flooding, and heavy rainfall entering the Cape Cod, MA area Friday night through the weekend.

The tropical system will likely weaken as it traverses further north due to increased wind shear and cooler subtropical waters.

However, because of Lee's large wind field, will weaken slowly over time.

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