Severe weather comes in different forms depending on the time of year. Summer is an especially notorious time for weather-related disasters, with billions of dollars in property damage occurring every year across North America. Can you guess the top five most common summer weather hazards? Here’s a look at each one.
Hurricanes are one of nature’s most destructive forces. They generate strong winds, storm surges, and torrential rainfall that can leave destruction in its wake. Hurricanes typically form over tropical or subtropical waters and can make landfall along the east coast of the United States or the Gulf of Mexico. Typhoons and cyclones are different names for the same type of storm that forms in different parts of the world.
Hurricanes start out as tropical depressions until winds exceed 39 miles per hour. Then, they are known as tropical storms, and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) gives them a name. At wind speeds of 74 mph or greater, the storm becomes a hurricane.
Tsunamis are 60- to 300-mile-wide waves that can reach 32 feet tall and travel at speeds of 500 to 600 miles per hour. When you realize that two inches of rushing water can knock you off your feet, and two feet of water can carry away most cars, the threat of a tsunami wave becomes a sobering thought. Tsunamis are caused by earthquakes on the ocean floor, which displace huge amounts of water and cause enormous waves to form. They can affect every coast in North America.
More than 1,200 tornadoes occur in the US every summer, making them one of the most common summer weather hazards to watch out for. Tornadoes most often touch down in the Midwest, earning it the nickname “Tornado Alley.” Still, every state has experienced at least one tornado since 1950.
Heavy rain, storm surges, snowmelt, and broken levees or dams can all cause flooding. Because floods come in so many forms, they can happen just about anywhere. Densely populated urban areas are especially at risk because concrete surfaces reduce water absorption and increase runoff. Flooding causes 90% of all property damage related to natural disasters. Floods also cause more deaths each year than tornadoes, hurricanes, or lightning strikes.
Heatwaves in the middle of prolonged droughts increase the risk of wildfires across North America. Dry western states are most at risk for megafires, which cover huge swaths of land and deal devastating destruction. In addition to human-caused blazes, other major causes of wildfires include lightning strikes, sparks from falling rocks, volcanic eruptions, and spontaneous combustion. Even if nearby buildings escape the flames, they may experience significant smoke damage and be rendered uninhabitable.
If your property is affected by a weather hazard this summer, turn to DKI for assistance with storm damage recovery. We are North America’s largest disaster restoration company, with locations from coast to coast to help you in your time of need. Contact us today at 877-533-0210 to begin the process of returning your property to its pre-storm condition.