35 photos capture extreme weather events that hammered the US in 2018

By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather staff writer
December 28, 2018, 2:49:29 PM EST

(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

A pickup truck drives on a road along the Atlantic Ocean as a wave breaks over the seawall Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, in the Green Harbor area of Marshfield, Massachusetts. The storm, which was dubbed a bomb cyclone, brought high winds, coastal flooding and blizzard conditions to New England.

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

A vehicle parked on Abbott Avenue is engulfed by snowdrifts during a snowstorm that hit the New Jersey Shore, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, in Ocean Grove, N.J.

(AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

A person walks a dog past plowed snow as wind-whipped snow swirls in Boston's Seaport district on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, following Thursday's snowstorm.

(Photo/Ventura County Air Unit)

This aerial view shows the town of Montecito overrun with mud on Tuesday, Jan. 9.

(Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

This photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department shows a home that has been buried in flood debris in Montecito, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018.

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

A Cal Fire search and rescue crew looks over a home damaged by debris flows in Montecito, California, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018.

(Photo/Mike Eliason Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

A resident's home in Montecito was overwhelmed by mud following the storm.

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Waves crash against a seawall and houses, Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Scituate, Mass.

(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Cassie Peterson trudges through wind-driven snow during the latest winter storm, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in Portland, Maine.

(Photo/Max Robinson)

Feet of water flowing through Ellicott City, Maryland.

(Photo/Max Robinson)

A car that was swept away in flood waters in Ellicott City, Maryland.

(Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Verdura/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

This Sunday, April 15, 2018 image taken from video provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows flooding along Kauai's Hanalei Bay, Hawaii.

(AP Photo/David McFadden)

Residents gather by a bridge to look at cars left crumpled in one of the tributaries of the Patapsco River that burst its banks as it channeled through historic Main Street in Ellicott City, Md., Monday, May 28, 2018.

(Photo/AccuWeather/Reed Timmer)

A tornado near Keenesburg, Colorado, on Tuesday June 19, 2018.

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

A local resident runs past a tornado-damaged building on Main Street, Thursday, July 19, 2018, in Marshalltown, Iowa. Several buildings were damaged by a tornado in the main business district in town including the historic courthouse.


Damage in Marshalltown, Iowa, following severe thunderstorms.

(Photo/Wisconsin Department of Transportation via AP)

This photo provided by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation shows flash flooding along Wisconsin Highway 35 over Black River in Pattison State Park in Douglas County, Wis., on Monday, June 18, 2018.

(Chris Cheney/Minnesota Department of Transportation via AP)

This Sunday, June 17, 2018, photo provided by the Minnesota Department of Transportation shows Minnesota Highway 23 damaged by flash flooding at the south fork Nemadji River crossing near Wrenshall, Minn.

(AP Photo/Jimmy May)

Debris and damaged vehicles sit in front of a car dealership on Thursday, June 14, 2018 in Wilkes-Barre Township, Pa. (AP Photo/Jimmy May)

(AP Photo/Jimmy May)

This aerial photo taken on Thursday, June 14, 2018 shows damage after Wednesday's severe weather system passed through Wilkes-Barre Township, Pa.

(AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Huge waves slam the cliffs near the Halona Blowhole, Friday, Aug. 24, 2018, in Waimanalo, Hawaii. As Hurricane Lane approaches Oahu, large oceans swells have impacted the coastline.

(Photo/County of Maui)

Flooding in Maui following Hurricane Lane.

(Photo/County of Maui)

Fires burning in Maui during Hurricane Lane in August 2018.

(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

Sheds sit in flooded waters due to Hurricane Florence in Kinston, North Carolina, U.S., September 19, 2018. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A pickup truck drives on a flooded road past a farm house that is surrounded by flooded fields from tropical storm Florence in Hyde County, NC., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.

(Texas Parks and Wildlife Department via AP)

This photo from video provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shows a helicopter crew from the Texas Department of Public Safety performing a rescue from the South Llano River near Junction, Texas, on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018.

(Photo/Jonathan Petramala)

One house survived hurricane michael in mexico beach, Fla.

(Photo/Natalie Jennifer Buchholz)

A Florida neighborhood is left decimated by Hurricane Michael.

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Rescue personnel perform a search in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla., Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.

(AP Photo/David Goldman)

A home stands damaged from hurricane Michael as members of a South Florida urban search and rescue team look for survivors in Mexico Beach, Fla., Friday, Oct. 12, 2018.

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The Camp Fire rages through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Tens of thousands fled a fast-moving wildfire Thursday in Northern California, some clutching babies and pets as they abandoned vehicles and struck out on foot ahead of the flames that forced the evacuation of an entire town.


The Camp Fire rampages in Paradise, California.

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

The ruins of a classic Camaro car stands in front of one of at least 20 homes destroyed just on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif.,Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.

(AP Photo/Christopher Weber)

A child's bike stands outside burned homes and vehicles at Seminole Springs Mobile home Park in Agoura Hills, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018.

(Photo/Blake Naftel

A funnel cloud is spotted in Beardstown, Illinois, on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.

Other Galleries you might like...

Bomb cyclones, major hurricanes, wildfires, mudslides, tornadoes and major flooding produced stunning and often tragic imagery in 2018.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there were 11 billion-dollar disasters in the United States as of Oct. 9, a number that will surely increase following Hurricane Michael's impact in Florida and the Camp and Woolsey fires that scorched portions of Northern and Southern California in November.

Here is a look back at some of the biggest weather stories of the year.

Bombcyclones, nor'easters pummel Northeast

2018 kicked off with a stormy pattern in the Northeast that brought brutal cold to invade and maintain a relentless grip on the region.

After a bomb cyclone rocked coastal areas in January, a string of nor’easters walloped the Northeast, with snow, heavy winds and coastal flooding, in March.

From March 2 to 21, a time span which included the transition of winter to spring, four nor'easters developed. The spring snowstorm set snowfall records in parts of the Northeast including in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York City on March 21.

Dry, windy conditions fuel deadly California wildfire season

With a wildfire season that is becoming close to year-round, California once again was forced to deal with deadly and destructive wildfires that sent thousands from their homes and impacted air quality for millions.

While there were several notable wildfires that will be remembered for destructive impacts, including the Carr Fire during July and August, none were as severe as the Camp Fire which burned the town of Paradise to the ground shortly after igniting on Nov. 8.

The Camp Fire is the state's deadliest wildfire on record as it claimed 85 lives. It also ranks as California's 16th-largest wildfire with a total acreage of 153,336. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Over 7,500 wildfires burned more than 1.6 million acres, across the state, according to Cal Fire.

When devastating wildfires weren't unfolding, powerful storms were threatening flooding and mudslides. Nowhere was this more severe than in Montecito, California, where at least 21 people were killed in early January.

Photos: Michael, Florence to go down as 2 of most devastating US hurricanes ever amid active 2018 Atlantic season
20 photos that sum up the ferocity of winter 2017-18
AccuWeather predicts 2018 wildfires will cost California total economic losses of $400 billion

Ellicott City, Maryland, overwhelmed by raging floodwaters for second time in three years

Thunderstorms dropped more than two months' worth of rain on Ellicott City, Maryland, on May 27, turning the town’s Main Street into a raging river that washed cars away and tore buildings apart.

Numerous water rescues were conducted around the town, which is located about 30 minutes west of Baltimore, by emergency crews amid the high flood waters.

One fatality was confirmed in the wake of the flooding.

Many cities in the eastern U.S. had record-challenging years in terms of rainfall. Pittsburgh had received 53.54 inches of rain as of Dec. 14, which is just shy of the all-time record of 57.41 inches in 2004.

Wilmington, North Carolina, easily set a yearly rainfall record thanks in part to Hurricane Florence. As of Dec. 17, the city had received more than an unprecedented 100 inches for the year. The city’s annual average is 57.61.

Washington D.C., officially broke its record for wettest calendar year on record. The city has received 64.22 inches of rain, breaking the previous total of 61.33 inches in 1889.

Atlantic hurricane season was intense, but not nearly as much as 2017

The Accumulated Cyclone Energy for 2018 in the Atlantic Basin was 128.9. This means the season was above normal in intensity, as any value that’s 111 or above is considered above average.

The season, which featured two highly destructive storms in hurricanes Florence and Michael, still fell below the ACE value of the 2017 season when the ACE total was 226.

Michael and Florence will be known as two of the most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history. Florence will be remembered for its historic amounts of rain in North Carolina, while Michael will be remembered for winds that approached Category 5 status near landfall.

Above-average activity wasn't limited to strictly the Atlantic. Tropical cyclone activity was well above normal in the East Pacific with 22 named storms, 12 hurricanes and nine major hurricanes. The long-term averages for the basin include 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The East Pacific season's ACE value was the third-highest on record.

Report a Typo


Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News