Was the 2017 Hurricane Season the Worst On Record?
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has officially closed on Nov. 30, leaving behind an estimated $206 billion in economic impact — possibly the costliest season in U.S. history.
The final tally won’t be available until early 2018, but as a season that included Harvey, Irma, and Maria, it is likely to top even 2005, which featured Hurricane Katrina. In terms of hurricane intensity, September alone was the single most powerful month ever recorded in the Atlantic. 2017 is also only the second season on record to feature two hurricanes (Irma and Maria) hit at Category 5 strength.
Among other records made, Irma was the strongest storm on record in the Atlantic with 185mph winds, and Maria is the worst natural disaster in Puerto Rico’s history.
Only 30% of this total will be covered by insurance, while the rest will have to be paid by individuals and loans or grants from the government, which is also coping with disaster relief funding for the wildfires in California.
As meteorologists have pointed out, the question is not if the U.S. will endure an extreme weather event – it’s when, and how will it prepare?