The geographical nature of the United States makes it unique among nations in that it has several very distinct climate areas. Whereas many countries of the world experience the same or similar weather from border to border, the U.S. has a plethora of severe weather patterns that have been known to strike different areas of the country. Here's a look at some of those regions and the weather patterns that affect homeowners.
The west coast of the United States has a unique blend of weather patterns that can affect homeowners because of its vast differences in climate from north to south.
Heavy snowfall in the northwestern states of Washington and Oregon are common, starting in the Autumn months. It can be especially costly when it comes early in the year, when homeowners aren't prepared to deal with the effects. This is especially true when the temperatures hover right around the freezing point, which causes the snow to be very wet and heavy, resulting in excessive pressure on rooftops and frozen pipes.
The west coast is synonymous with earthquakes. Thanks to the location of the San Andreas Fault running right along the east coast of California, the west coast is no stranger to ground shaking weather patterns. Though most quakes are very small and hardly detectable by the average person, major earthquakes can be absolutely devastating. This risk is a major factor in home insurance rates for customers along the fault and the west coast in general.
California, Washington, and Oregon are no strangers to flooding, either. Heavy rainfall during the rainy season usually begins around November and lasts through April, and has been known to cause elevated flood risks. The risk is magnified by the wildfires that have scorched the region in recent years, leaving the ground susceptible to mudslides and clearing it of vegetation that helps absorb the moisture.
Southwest and Midwest
The southwestern and midwestern states have their own weather threats that loom each year.
Due to regular dry seasons, the southwest and midwest states are extremely vulnerable to wildfires, which have been known to blaze across the region, leaving charred, devastated land in their wakes.
Twisters run rampant in the midwest and southwestern states, most of which are part of the notorious Tornado Alley. Thankfully Texas homeowners insurance providers cover property loss and damage that result from tornadoes across the state.
Flooding caused or worsened by heavy rainfall, rapid snow melting, erosion, and tornado activity leave this area vulnerable to the occasional flood. The Great Flood of 1993 turned much of the midwest into a giant lake, claiming the lives of at least 50 people and causing damages amounting to nearly $15 million. Flood damage is generally not covered by home insurance, so homeowners should take care to procure separate coverage for this risk.
Extreme cold and snowfall associated with blizzards that blanket the midwest with several inches to several feet of snow each year cause concern for homeowners as well. Though some are worse than others (the Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888 is still revered as the deadliest and most terrifying in history, taking 235 lives), blizzards usually entail slippery sidewalks and driveways, which are a liability to homeowners. Furthermore, sudden temperature drops can cause pipes to freeze as well.
Southeast and East Coast
The southeast and east coast regions of the U.S. are prone to devastation as well.
Tropical Storms and Hurricanes
Proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean leave the southeast and east coast regions susceptible to hurricanes as they spin their way into the Gulf and onto the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The effects of these storms is often felt across the southeast, dropping heavy rainfall and causing flooding. As made evident by the lasting effects of Hurricane Katrina's landfall in 2005, these storms are notorious for wrecking havoc on towns and cities.
East coast homeowners are also familiar with the devastation of Atlantic hurricanes, as storms like Sandy pelt the coast with massive winds and rain too.
Tropical storms and hurricanes have been known to produce tornadoes that rip through the region with little warning. As with the midwest, these storms can level homes and businesses, leaving home insurance companies and individuals to clean up the mess.
As you can see, the United States has several regions that are notorious for severe weather that affects residents and their property. What severe weather pattern worries you most?