The devastating tornadoes that hit Oklahoma this May bring to mind a powerful string of tornadoes that hit Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Georgia and 13 other states in 1999. Those tornadoes resulted in $1.5 billion in insured losses ($2.0 billion in 2012 dollars) in all the affected states, according to ISO. The damage to Oklahoma was nearly $1.0 billion ($1.4 billion in 2012 dollars), according to ISO. The costliest U.S. catastrophe involving tornadoes, based on insured losses, occurred in April 2011. It hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and other areas and cost $7.4 billion in insured damages in 2012 dollars. That event was the 10th costliest U.S. catastrophe, based on insured losses, according to ISO. The second costliest catastrophe involving tornadoes, based on insured losses, struck Joplin, Missouri, and other locations in May 2011. The catatastrophe cost $7.0 billion in insured losses in 2012 dollars. (See chart below). Updated information on 2013 tornados from the National Weather Services is posted at http://www.spc.ncep.noaa.gov/climo/online/monthly/newm.html
Severe U.S. thunderstorms, including tornado events, cost $14.9 billion in insured losses and $27.7 billion in economic losses in 2012, according to Munich Re. The U.S. experiences more tornadoes than any other country in the world, according to a 2013 report by Lloyd’s of London. (See Executive Summary, page 4 of Tornadoes a Rising Risk? for additional findings and statistics).
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