Hurricane Irene is part of a worsening trend.
Weather disasters have grown more frequent and more costly over the past 30 years in the U.S., according to data that was released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
On Thursday afternoon, NOAA posted a map of the 99 weather disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damages in the United States between 1980 and 2010.
Given that Hurricane Irene is the 10th billion-dollar weather disaster in the U.S. so far this year—breaking a record set in 2008—I wondered what sort of trend might show up over those three decades.
By doing simple linear regression on the underlying data, I saw pretty clearly that we can expect to see a lot more frequent and a lot more costly billion-dollar weather events in the coming years.