A remarkable blitz of extreme weather events during 2011 caused a total of 32 weather disasters costing at least $1 billion worldwide.
It was difficult to pick a top ten list of top weather events of 2011 from this bewildering list of candidates, and I cheated a bit by giving a tie for tenth place, so that eleven events would make the list.
The deadliest weather disaster of 2011 was a quiet one that got few headlines–the East African drought in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
Heavy monsoon and tropical cyclone rains from July through October, enhanced by La Nina conditions, led to unprecedented flooding that killed 657 people and caused Thailand’s most expensive natural disaster in history. Brazil suffered its deadliest natural disaster in history on January 11, when torrential rains inundated a heavily populated, steep-sloped area about 40 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. 2) Heavy rains in September and October in Cambodia triggered flooding that killed 250 and did $521 million in damage–by far the most expensive natural disaster in Cambodian history. Looking at the long list of images at google search for Arctic Methane, there are many images that people have used to add to their studies of the Arctic.

And just in the wake of the floods, leading French reinsurer the CCR Group informed its partners in New Zealand, Australia and Thailand to stop underwriting in those countries, citing the high frequency of severe natural disaster losses in the past 12 months. The natural forces of the planet were in full swing this year, with some spectacular and devastating consequences. Five nations experienced their most expensive weather-related natural disasters on record during 2011 — Thailand, Australia, Colombia, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. My list of top weather events were chosen based on their impact to society and meteorological significance. This is the 2nd most expensive weather-related disaster in El Salvador’s history, behind the $939 million price tag of their Nov. The wildfire was the second-costliest natural disaster in Canadian history at more than $1 billion, including $400 million in uninsured losses.
From the massive Haiti earthquake to a bevy of explosive volcano eruptions, 2010 saw its share of natural disasters across the planet.

Brazil experienced its deadliest weather-related natural disaster — a flash flood that killed 902 people in January, and the Philippines had its second deadliest flood ever, when Tropical Storm Washi killed over 1200 people in December. Washi’s rains fell on regions where the natural forest had been illegally logged or converted to pineapple plantations, and the heavy rains were able to run off quickly on the relatively barren soils and create devastating flash floods.
The World Bank’s estimated economic cost was US$235 billion, making it the most expensive natural disaster in world history. Here are some of the headline-grabbing natural disasters that OurAmazingPlanet and its sister sites covered in 2010.

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