Three billion-dollar disasters hit U.S. in first three months of year

Author:
Publish date:
Nor’easters like this one ravaged the East Coast of the U.S. multiple times in early 2018. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

Nor’easters like this one ravaged the East Coast of the U.S. multiple times in early 2018. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

In a wild and wooly start — weather-wise — to 2018 the United States experienced three weather and climate disasters with losses exceeding 1$ billion each. These included a severe storm in the Southeast and two winter storms in the central and eastern parts of the country. They caused at least 34 deaths and had devastating economic impacts.

Taking a closer look at the numbers, the average March temperature across the contiguous U.S. was 42.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 1.1 degrees above average, and it ranked near the middle of the 124-year record, according to scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Temperatures were below average in the East Coast, Northern High Plains and West and above average across the south-central U.S. and parts of New England and the upper Midwest.

Precipitation total for March was 2.42 inches, which was .09 of an inch below average, also ranking near the middle of the record. Above-average precipitation was observed across parts of the West, Northern Rockies and plains, Midwest and South. Precipitation was below average in the Northwest, Southwest, Great Lakes, Southeast and East Coast.

For the year to date (January through March), the average temperature was 36.8 degrees F, 1.6 degrees above average, placing it among the warmest third of climate record. This was the coldest start of the year for the nation since 2014. Precipitation for the year to date totaled 7.13 inches, which is .17 inches below normal.

March-2018-US-Significant-Events-Map_FINAL

Regionally, four Nor’easters slammed into the Northeast in March with heavy snow and unwanted cold temperatures in the Midwest and from the Southern Appalachians to New England. Some places in the East had more snow during March than during the previous winter months combined. Cities such as Boston, Albany and Philadelphia had top-five snowfall totals.

On the Gulf Coast, a severe storm system hit with damaging winds, hail and tornadoes in mid-March. More than 20 tornadoes were reported in Alabama and total damages exceeded $1 billion with three fatalities.

In Alaska, the average March temperature was 17.7 degrees F, 6.9 degrees above the long-term average. This tied with 1996 for the ninth warmest March in the 94-year period of record for the state.

Conversely, drought conditions got worse in 29 percent of the lower 48 states in March. The drought worsened across the Central Plains, Southwest and coastal Southeast, but they improved in parts of the West, Great Plains and interior Southeast.

Related

Windy Boats to Make U.S. Debut with Nautical Ventures

The Florida firm said the Scandinavian brand will complement its other European boat lines.

Beneteau America Names New President

Don Smith joined the French builder in 2018 as outboard sales manager.

Supply and Demand

Facing unprecedented demand, Brunswick plans to reopen its Palm Coast, Fla., plant and expand operations in Mexico and Portugal.

EPropulsion Announces 2021 Lineup

Its electric propulsion offerings now feature hydrogeneration capabilities, 48-volt architecture and more.

Yamaha Updates Midrange Outboards

The F250 and F300 now share features from Yamaha’s 425XTO engine, such as Digital Electric Steering and Thrust Enhancing Reverse Exhaust.

Quick Hits: January 25, 2021

Inmarsat marks significant installation milestone on its Fleet Xpress system and the NMEA announce virtual marine electronics installer training classes for next month.

Yanmar Names Power Solutions Division Manager

Carl J. Micu will oversee sales and the development of long-term growth plans.

Lippert Components Rebrands

The company’s core line of marine, RV and commercial products, including Lewmar and Taylor Made, will be branded as Lippert.