Economic Cost of Weather May Total $485 Billion in U.S.

A picture of clouds in the blue sky
June 2011

The National Center for Atmospheric Research has published the following press release. One of the authors, a researcher in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, participated in this work while a graduate student at Cornell University.

BOULDER—Everything has its price, even the weather. New research indicates that routine weather events such as rain and cooler-than-average days can add up to an annual economic impact of as much as $485 billon in the United States.

The study, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), found that finance, manufacturing, agriculture, and every other sector of the economy is sensitive to changes in the weather. The impacts can be felt in every state.

"It's clear that our economy isn't weatherproof," says NCAR scientist Jeff Lazo, the lead author. "Even routine changes in the weather can add up to substantial impacts on the U.S. economy."