National Geographic : 2012 Sep
$56 billion Drought/ heat wave $78 billion Drought/ heat wave $33 billion Midwest flooding 1980 1985 1990 1995 46 DISASTERS Causing at least $1 billion in damages, 1980-1995 Total losses: $339 billion 1980 1985 1990 1995 $44 billion Hurricane Andrew JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE OCT NOV DEC *ALL DOLLAR AMOUNTS ADJUSTED TO MARCH 2012 DOLLARS JOHN TOMANIO, NGM STAFF. SOURCES: ADAM SMITH, NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER; JEFF MASTERS, WEATHER UNDERGROUND; NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER BILLION DOLLAR WEATHER A chart of the most costly U.S. weather disasters shows nearly twice as many billion-dollar events since 1996 as in 1980-1995. The main reason: More people are living on higher-value properties in vulnerable places, such as coasts. But as the atmosphere warms, scientists expect destructive weather itself to become more common. 's "storm of the century" hit the eastern seaboard with heavy snows, costing $ . billion, more than any other blizzard. Droughts combined with heat waves in and in the central and eastern U.S. devastated agriculture and related industries.