A recent report from the National Climatic Data Center says 2012 saw 11 weather and climate disaster events apiece that caused losses exceeding $1 billion in damage.
That makes 2012, which produced more than $110 billion in damage, the second-costliest year since 1980.
The two major drivers of the damage costs in 2012 were Hurricane Sandy, at about $65 billion, and the yearlong drought, at about $30 billion. Sandy, which had tropical storm-force winds extending nearly 500 miles from its center, led to a record storm surge, large-scale flooding, wind damage and mass power failures along much of the East Coast.
The 2012 total ranks only behind 2005, which saw $160 billion in damage, in part because of four devastating, land-falling hurricanes.
The average temperature for the contiguous United States during the spring season (March-May) this year was 50.5 degrees — 0.5 degrees below the 20th century average, making it the 38th coolest spring on record, according to the center.
The May temperature for the contiguous United States was 61 degrees, 0.9 degrees above the 20th century average and the 40th-warmest May on record.
The climate data center, part of NOAA, tracks and evaluates climate events in the United States and globally that have significant economic and societal effects.