AP – Since 1980, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has tracked billion-dollar disasters, adjusting for inflation, with four happening in August including the western wildfires. NOAA applied meteorologist Adam Smith said that this year, with at least 14 already, has a high likelihood of being a record.

Fifteen of the 22 billion-dollar droughts in the past 30 years hit states west of the Rockies, while 23 of the 28 billion-dollar non-hurricane flooding events were to the east.

For more than a century scientists have looked at a divide — at the 100th meridian — that splits the country with dry and brown conditions to the west and wet and green ones to the east. They found that the wet-dry line has moved about 140 miles east since 1980.

And it’s getting more extreme.

Find out how costly these natural disasters truly are at AP News.

World on the Run | Jo Lee Magazine

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