March 31-April 1 tornado outbreak, one of 12 different billion-dollar disasters so far in 2023
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The first half of 2023 has been active weather-wise for many in the U.S. On Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an update to its 2023 billion-dollar disasters report through June.
NOAA has been keeping track of natural disasters that have totaled over one billion dollars since 1980.
Through June, there have been 12 separate billion-dollar disasters. One of those disasters was the March 31-April 1 tornado outbreak that brought 23 tornadoes to Indiana. Unfortunately, this tornado outbreak was 5th largest in state history.
Of those 12 disasters the country has seen, 10 were related to severe weather, one flooding event, and one winter storm event. Only the year 2017 had more billion-dollar disasters in the first six months of the year.
Other notable 2023 weather-related events include a series of heat waves this June that hit several portions of the country. An early June heat wave caused life-threatening conditions in Puerto Rico with heat index values reaching as high as 125 degrees. This set a new daily temperature record for them on June 6. Daily temperature records were also set in parts of Michigan, New York, and Vermont.
Although not causing property damage, intense smoke from Canadian wildfires forced air quality alerts to be issued for millions of people in portions of the Northeast and Great Lakes this June. On June 27, wildfire smoke impacted a large portion of the Midwest, resulting in Indianapolis at times having the worst air quality of major cities in the entire world.
Very dry conditions also plagued some portions of the Midwest throughout much of June. Large swaths of land experienced dry soils, low streamflow, and distressed crops. Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, and Michigan each ranked in the top 10 driest June on record.
Combining all the events, about 32.7 billion dollars (CPI adjusted) in damage has been done. These disasters have caused 100 direct and indirect fatalities, according to NOAA.