NORTH CAROLINA -- North Carolina is second to only Texas for the number of weather and climate related disasters that cost a billion dollars or more.
NOAA has been keeping records for the number of billion dollar disasters per state since 1980. During that time, Texas has seen 109 weather related disasters costing at least a billion dollars. North Carolina has seen 81.
20 of those in North Carolina have been tropical systems, and 30 have been related to severe storms.
Georgia, Alabama, and Illinois are all just behind North Carolina with 80 billion dollar disasters each since 1980.
The number of those disasters have been increasing across the country over the last several years. In 2019, NOAA reported 10, including Hurricane Dorian, that hit North Carolina in September.
This marks the fifth year in a row for at least 10 weather related disasters across the United States in a year costing a billion dollars or more.
Our warming climate is expected to lead to even more billion dollar weather disasters in the future. Warmer oceans are fueling more intense hurricanes. A warmer atmosphere can also hold more moisture leading to heavier downpours and more frequent flooding.