Historic winter storm causes $2 billion in economic losses, report finds

Editor’s Note: Prophet Rick Joyner warns that when you see strange and extreme weather (record breaking highs, lows, floods, droughts, tornadoes, storms), it is a prophetic sign that the Revelation Days are upon us.

The deadly winter storm that brought historic snowfall totals throughout the mid-Atlantic last month caused more than $2 billion in economic losses, a reinsurance company said Tuesday.

The storm was just one of the instances of extreme weather chronicled in Aon Benfield’s most recent monthly report on global catastrophes, which recap the economic effects of the events.

The report also detailed the impacts of extreme cold weather in Asia, flooding fueled by the El Nino weather pattern and earthquakes, wildfires and droughts that occurred in January.

The mid-Atlantic snowstorm, which The Weather Channel was calling Winter Storm Jonas, killed 58 people and led 11 states and the District of Columbia to declare states of emergency, according to the Aon Benfield report. The report noted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently named the storm the fourth-biggest winter storm to hit that part of the United States in the past 66 years, according to its Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale.

The National Weather Service has said that snowfall totals reached double digits in 14 states, and portions of Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia all received more than a foot and a half of snow.

That included a storm-high 42 inches near Glengary, West Virginia, the service reported. Totals also topped 30 inches in parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Maryland.

Some areas received record snow, spurring road closures and hundreds of flight cancellations. The Aon Benfield report’s $2 billion figure includes both physical damage and lost business.

Last month, the NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information reported the United States experienced 10 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2015. If Aon Benfield’s numbers are accurate, the winter storm appears to be the first such disaster of the New Year.

Aon Benfield’s report also covers events that occurred outside the United States.

The company said Asia saw rare snowfall and some of its coldest temperatures in six decades, which killed at least 116 people in Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea and China last month. The report estimated the weather led to $2 billion in losses, $1.6 billion of which were in China.

Aon Benfield’s report also detailed several other January events with high economic impacts:

  • A hurricane-force windstorm led to hundreds of millions of dollars of losses in Europe
  • Severe drought caused South Africa’s agricultural industry to lose at least $250 million
  • Floods that killed 13 people in Ecuador and Brazil caused total losses to top $110 million
  • A five-day stretch of severe storms in California fueled more than $125 million in losses
  • A magnitude 6.7 earthquake in India killed 22 people and spurred $75 million in losses
  • A 176,000-acre wildfire in Western Australia led to $42 million in insurance claims alone

The report linked the California storms, South American flooding and South African drought to the El Nino weather pattern, which several scientists have said is one of the strongest on record.

The pattern occurs when a portion of the Pacific Ocean is warmer than usual, setting off a far-reaching ripple effect that brings atypical and often extreme weather across the world.

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