Damage from Natural Disasters Falls in 2014
In the spring of 2014, weather forecasters thought the U.S. would experience from three to six hurricanes for the year, out of a total of eight to 13 named storms. In fact, there were eight names storms and six hurricanes, including two major (category 3, 4, or 5) hurricanes. Only one hurricane made landfall, and it was rather inconsequential.
Tornadoes were also fewer in 2014. 720 twisters occurred, making this the lowest in tornado numbers since 2006. Also, hail greater than three inches in diameter was at its lowest point since 2006.
Like hurricanes and tornadoes, flooding also declined. Total flood damage was expected at $4.2 billion, well below the long-term average of $5.3 billion in losses. One of the worst flooding events of the year happened on August 11 in Detroit, Michigan. Flash flooding caused nearly $1 billion of damage with just this single event.
Obviously, the lower number of disasters doesn't mean each individual event is any less tragic. There is also worry the temporary respite may continue for a while, but it's unlikely to last far into the future.