Interpretation of time series:
The number of billion dollar disasters within the California Current ecosystem is quite variable over time, fluctuating between zero and three disasters a year. The number of disasters over the past 5 years is substantially higher than historical levels of events, although there is no recent trend in the number of events.
Interpretation of gauge:
The gauge value of 92 indicates that the number of billion dollar disasters between 2015 and 2019 for the California Current was higher than 92% of all years between 1980 and 2019.
Description of billion dollar disasters:
In the United States the number of weather and climate-related disasters exceeding 1 billion dollars has been increasing since 1980. These events have significant impacts to coastal economies and communities. The Billion Dollar Disaster indicator provides information on the frequency and the total estimated costs of major weather and climate events that occur in the United States. This indicator compiles the annual number of weather and climate-related disasters across seven event types. Events are included if they are estimated to cause more than one billion U.S. dollars in direct losses. The cost estimates of these events are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and are based on costs documented in several Federal and private-sector databases. We Present the total annual number of disaster events for all regions.
Extreme Gauge values
A value of zero on the gauge means that the average number of disasters over the last 5 years of data was below any annual level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual number of disasters up until that point.
Source and analysis of data:
Billion dollar disaster event frequency data are taken from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The number of disasters within each region were summed for every year of available data. Although the number is the count of unique disaster events within a region, the same disaster can impact multiple regions, meaning a sum across regions will overestimate the unique number of disasters.