2020 and the Increase of Extreme Storms | SERVPRO® of North Fort Worth
2020 was an all-around awful year for many people, and with many causes. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, 2020 also set a new record for nasty weather in the U.S.
Though many serious weather events happen every year, storms that cause a billion dollars in damages are classified officially as disasters. There were 22 of these official occurrences in 2020, blowing past the previous record of 16, set just a few years ago.
And there were many other non-disaster-level events—so many storms in the Atlantic, in fact, that the Greek alphabet was used by the National Weather Service to name them because the proper name list wasn’t long enough.
We saw our own share of events in the DFW area, including an EF-2 tornado that swept through Arlington in November, with winds up to 115 mph and a width of up to 150 yards.
Not Just Hurricanes
Hurricanes are often thought of as the biggest perpetrators when it comes to costly weather systems, and they definitely can be. But it turns out that the most expensive disasters of 2020 in the contiguous United States were thunderstorms and tornadoes: Fourteen of the year’s 22 weather disasters were thunderstorm systems, including hail and tornadoes they produced.
A single storm system in land-locked Nebraska took out over 100 million acres of corn fields—an area more than 15 times the size of DFW—endangering over 11% of the entire country’s corn production.
Not Just 2020
Unfortunately, it seems that, while 2020 was an extreme example, it is following a rising trend toward more frequent and more costly extreme weather events. The last decade is full, literally, of years in which there have been eight to 10 disasters or more, and 2017 set a new record for damage totals.
Storms are always a concern, no matter the area, and precautions against storm and water damage should always be taken. But if those precautions fail in severe weather, remember that SERVPRO is available 24⁄7 for emergency help.
When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO today to see how we can help.