Drought and heat wave (2012), $34.8 billion in damage
Back in 2012, there was one of the most extensive droughts in the entire history of the U.S. since the Dust Bowl era of the ’30s. Over half of the country was deeply affected by moderate to extreme drought conditions, from California to Georgia, for more than half a year.
Naturally, a costly drought hurts America’s agricultural heartland, leading to a “widespread harvesting failure in corn, sorghum, and soybean crops”, according to government scientists. The heat wave was the one that brought “derecho” into common usage, especially when one straight-line windstorm brought winds of over 90 miles/hour between Chicago and Atlantic City.