Total aggregated economic losses from U.S. severe weather in May could surpass $4 billion, according to the latest global catastrophe report from Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting.
A number of major severe weather outbreaks swept across the central and eastern U.S. during the month, which resulted in widespread damage from large hail, straight-line winds, tornadoes and isolated flash flooding. The Denver, Colo., metro area witnessed insurance payouts of more than $1.4 billion courtesy of softball-sized hail in the region. Additionally, severe storms in parts of the Plains, Midwest, Southeast, and the Mid-Atlantic resulted in significant damage to homes, businesses and vehicles.
Outside the U.S., strong thunderstorms led to extensive hail and wind damage in parts of Canada, Russia, China and Bangladesh resulting in total combined economic losses of more than $100 million.
Separate spells of excessive rainfall in Canada led to major flooding events in Ontario, Quebec, the Canadian Maritimes and British Columbia. China saw agricultural losses of at least $122 million in the northern provincial areas of Inner Mongolia, Hebei and Liaoning, while the ongoing drought in South Africa saw costs likely to exceed $100 million.
In Sri Lanka, the combination of the arrival of the southwest monsoon and a developing tropical cyclone led to significant rainfall across the country, where total economic losses were preliminarily projected at $197 million. Cyclone Mora made landfall resulting in widespread flood and wind damage in Bangladesh which affected Myanmar as well. Total combined losses are expected to exceed $100 million.
Brazil, Kenya, Tanzania and Indonesia were also affected by major flood events in the month of May. Cyclone Donna became the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere during the month of May. Separate moderate earthquake events struck Iran and China.