Sandy may be 2nd costliest USA weather disaster; “December Thaw” ahead

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2.6″ snowfall Tuesday in Duluth – NWS totals here

39F High temp at MSP Airport Tuesday at 3:13pm CST

5 days string of continuous sub-freezing temps in the metro since Thanksgiving PM

“Seasonable” temps through Friday (30s for highs)

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December Thaw kicks in this weekend with 40s likely

50s possible in metro by Monday?

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Mr. Cuomo said the recent storm would cost New York State nearly $42 billion, and he huddled in his Midtown office with the state’s Congressional delegation, as well as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester County executives, to strategize on lobbying Washington for financial assistance.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo

Source: New York Times

Superstorm Hurricane Sandy: 2nd costliest on record in USA?

Whatever we end up calling “Sandy” after all is said and done, she will be expensive.

With this week’s estimate that Sandy may cost New York alone up to 42-billion, Sandy’s final damage costs are skyrocketing.

With extensive devastation in New Jersey and Connecticut, It’s now reasonable to estimate total damage costs from Sandy could reach the $80-billion mark… at least.

That would make Sandy the 2nd costliest U.S. weather disaster on record according to NOAA figures, 2nd only to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

WxUnderground’s Jeff Masters recently put together this list of the costliest U.S. weather disasters, before New York’s damage claims rose to $42-billion.

As you can see, if Sandy hits the $80-billion mark she will move into 2nd place, behind only Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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The top-ten list of most expensive U.S. weather-related disasters from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is dominated by hurricanes and droughts. Three of the top five disasters are droughts. The numbers for Hurricane Sandy and the 2012 drought are preliminary numbers from media sources, and are not from NCDC.

Source: Jeff Masters with Paul Huttner edit

This week’s NYT piece quotes New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as he compares Sandy to Katrina.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, making a case for tens of billions of dollars in federal aid, declared on Monday that Hurricane Sandy had been “more impactful” than Hurricane Katrina, the deadly storm that struck the Gulf Coast in 2005.

Hurricane Sandy, which arrived in New Jersey and New York on Oct. 29, “affected many, many more people and places than Katrina,” Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, told reporters at a news briefing. He said the comparison between the two hurricanes “puts this entire conversation, I believe, in focus.”

Mr. Cuomo acknowledged that more people had been killed by Hurricane Katrina, but said that Hurricane Sandy had had a greater economic impact because of the dense population in the New York City area. He said Hurricane Sandy had destroyed or damaged more units of housing, affected more businesses and caused more customers to lose power.

Mr. Cuomo said he believed it would cost nearly $33 billion to pay for storm cleanup, including more than $15 billion in New York City, and an additional $9 billion to prepare for future storms. Aides to Mr. Bloomberg said he was expected to meet with House and Senate leaders on Wednesday.

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Images: NOAA

Katrina vs. Sandy: Running the numbers

The Times also did a little truth squadding on the numbers for Katrina & Sandy.

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Source: New York Times

What jumps out here is the amazing amount of damage Sandy….a “Category 1 post-tropical cyclone” did.

Because she hit the most populous area of the USA, Sandy knocked out power to more than twice as many homes as Category 4 Latrina….8 million vs. 3 million.

We won’t know the total damage costs from Sandy for months, but it is starting to look like Sandy may move into the top few costliest USA weather disasters on record.

PH