Societal Aspects of Weather

Injury and Damage Statistics Injury and Damage Statistics

Weather data (rainfall, storm tracks, storm intensities, etc.) generally are readily available, often online. Data on the societal impacts of weather, however, are not. This site includes the resources we have found that contain societal impacts data.

Annual Death & Damages Statistics -- USA

Billion-Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters
A resource dealing with disasters that occurred during the 1980-2006 period with total damages/costs.

Climate Information Project
NOAA's Office of Global Programs offers this Web site which includes near-daily and weekly summaries of reported climate-weather impacts from around the globe.

A Comparison of Droughts, Floods and Hurricanes in the U.S.
This National Drought Mitigation Center site compares annual average, worst in recent history, and worst recorded fatalities and damages from drought, floods, and hurricanes.

Extreme Weather Sourcebook 2001
This updated site provides quick access to data on economic damage from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, lightning, and other weather phenomena in the United States and its territories. Visitors to the Extreme Weather Sourcebook will find the states and U.S. territories ranked in order of economic losses from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and all three events combined. A dollar figure for average annual losses in each state is also provided. Links take the reader to graphs with more detailed information on cost per year for each state and each hazard.

Flood Impacts
In most years, flooding causes more deaths and damage than any other hydrometeorological phenomenon. In any year it is common for three-quarters of all Federally declared disaster declarations to be due, at least in part, to flooding. This site provides data on flood fatalities and damages since 1903.

The Hidden Costs of Coastal Hazards
The Hidden Costs of Coastal Hazards is an in-depth study that considers the costs of hazards to natural resources, social institutions, business, and structures. Using the case study of Hurricane Hugo, which struck South Carolina in 1989, it provides for the first time information on the full range of economic costs caused by a major coastal hazard event.

The Natural Catastrophes and Developing Countries (CAT) Project of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The project has developed a modeling technique to integrate direct estimated costs of natural disasters to macro-economic planning models for developing countries. The modeling work will create a platform to help interested parties evaluate tools for financing the cost of post-disaster reconstruction. The long-term objective of the project is to build a planning tool to assist developing countries in evaluating options to prevent, mitigate, or transfer the costs of natural catastrophes.

Report of the Workshop on the Societal and Economic Impacts of Weather (table of contents)
Many useful statistics on a broad range of phenomena and their impacts on different sectors of society.

Selected Sources of Data on Disasters and Disaster Costs
What constitutes a "disaster"? What constitutes a "cost"? Do we want to look at insured losses or all losses? How can we be sure that loss estimates are accurate for individual disasters and/or that they are comparable across disasters? How can we possibly compare the relatively high property losses in developed countries with the relatively high social costs (such as deaths, injuries, and homelessness) in developing nations? Which indirect costs should be included? To respond to these questions, the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado recently added this page to its Web site. The page does not provide statistics but rather links readers to sources of such information.

Significant Weather Events Maps
Yearly maps from 1994 - present showing the location of significant U.S. weather events along with information about the type/date of the event, the number of deaths, and the amount of damage caused.

Storm Data
Produced by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, NC. Copies can be obtained from the NCDC by calling (704) 271-4800 or by email to

Summary of Natural Hazards Statistics
The National Weather Service's Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services prepares this annual summary of fatalities and damage by phenomena, state, and other criteria.

Temporal Fluctuations in Weather and Climate Extremes That Cause Economic and Human Health Impacts: A Review.
Kenneth E. Kunkel, Roger A. Pielke Jr., Stanley A. Changnon.
This paper reviews recent work on trends during this century in societal impacts (direct economic losses and fatalities) in the United States from extreme weather conditions and compares those with trends of associated atmospheric phenomena. Most measures of the economic impacts of weather and climate extremes over the past several decades reveal increasing losses. But trends in most related weather and climate extremes do not show comparable increases with time. This suggests that increasing losses are primarily due to increasing vulnerability arising from a variety of societal changes, including a growing population in higher risk coastal areas and large cities, more property subject to damage, and lifestyle and demographic changes subjecting lives and property to greater exposure.

Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin
The USDA's weekly summaries of the weather's effects on crops.

Worldwide Weather Events of 1991-2007
NCDC maintains this site with reports on major weather events. These reports contain background meteorological information and occasionally damages and impacts data.

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