The Memorial Day Tornadoes were part of a four day outbreak of 190 tornadoes across the 12 states.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information, this four-day event resulted in $4.5 billion in damage.
Memorial Day was one of 14 weather events that resulted in more than a billion dollars of damage in 2019.
According to the NCEI the number of costly disasters is increasing due to more exposure, vulnerability, and climate change. The frequency of billion-dollar weather events between 1980 and 2019 is increasing. The NCEI did adjust cost due to inflation.
In the 2010s there were 119 costly disasters almost doubling the amount of billion-dollar disasters in the 2000s.
Between 1980 and 1989 there were 29 events resulting in 2870 deaths and damage worth $177.2 billion.
Between 1990 and 1999 there were 53 events resulting in 3045 deaths and damage worth $272.3 billion.
Between 2000 and 2009 there were 62 events resulting in 3091 deaths and damage worth $517.1 billion.
Between 2010 and 2019 there were 119 events resulting in 5217 deaths and damage worth $807.3 billion.
In terms of frequency of events, the last four years rank among the top five. 2017 and 2011 are tied for the most billion-dollar weather events at 16. The United States saw 15 in 2016, and 14 in both 2019 and 2018.
The majority of these costly weather disasters are severe weather events. 2020 is topping the frequency list with 10 events. In 2011 there were nine. Eight billion-dollar severe weather events were recorded in 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016.
The next common costly event is tropical cyclones. There were four catastrophic landfalls during 2005 and 2004. Three tropical cyclones devastated the U.S. in 2017, 1985, and 2008.
Flooding frequency has increased over the last eight years. There were four floods in 2016, three in 2019, and two in 2017, 2015, and 2013.
Additional weather disasters that do not make the list every year include, winter storms, freezes, wildfires, and drought.
2017 also ranks number one for the most costly. That year included 18.9 billion dollars in damage from a historic California firestorm, western wildfires into Montana, and preceding drought.
There were three major hurricanes in 2017. The most costly was Hurricane Harvey. The category 4 storm made landfall near Rockport, Texas, and then stalled over Houston producing more than 30 inches of rain. Harvey resulted in $131.3 billion in damage.
Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico as a category 4 storm. The total cost was $94.5 billion.
Category 4 Hurricane Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key, Florida, and devastated the U.S. Virgin Islands as a category 5 storm. The total damage cost to the U.S. was $52.5 billion.
2017 also brought drought to North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana, Flooding to California, spring freeze to the southeast, and nine severe weather events.
The total damage cost for 2020 was 321.8 billion dollars.
The last year with no billion dollar weather disasters was 1987.