Severe weather, winter weather and flood-related economic losses topped $1 billion last month in the United States, according to Aon's monthly catastrophe report.
The most notable damage in the United States was flooding throughout the Midwest, which was part of a series of storm systems that left rivers cresting well beyond flood stage in Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana and Missouri. The report noted that, in total, 19 river gauge locations established new record crest heights. Losses have been assessed in the hundreds of millions as a result.
Preliminary data from the Storm Prediction Center indicated that only 83 tornadoes touched down in April. If this can be verified, Aon points out that it would represent a 60-percent decrease from the 206 tornadoes in 2012 and an 89-percent decrease from the record 758 tornadoes in 2011.
Most of the severe weather damage occurred from hail and damaging wind events in the Plains, Midwest and Southeast. At least five events combined to cause a minimum of $700 million in economic losses. In particular, softball-sized hail and high winds across Texas on the first two days of the month caused an economic loss of more than $250 million. Also, nationwide storms from April 7 to 11 caused three deaths and 23 tornadoes, as hurricane-force wind gusts across California and the West coast turned into heavy snowfall in the Rockies and high plains before turning back to severe thunderstorms across the Midwest and Southeast United States.
Outside of the United States, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake left 196 dead and 13,484 injured in China, and record flooding in Buenos Aires caused extensive damage as well.