Destroyed homes and buildings on the waterfront in Lahaina on August 10 in the aftermath of wildfires on Maui.
CNN  — 

It’s been a record-smashing year for the most expensive weather and climate disasters in the United States after severe storms, the deadly Maui wildfire and Hurricane Idalia tipped the scales last month.

With four months still left in the year, the US has been hit with 23 disasters that each cost at least $1 billion, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, surpassing the previous annual record of 22 events in 2020.

This year’s billion-dollar disasters have caused 253 direct and indirect fatalities and have resulted in $57.6 billion in damage, NOAA data shows. That price tag does not yet include Hurricane Idalia.

NOAA is still analyzing whether other events, including drought in the South and Midwest and Tropical Storm Hilary, which hit southern California this summer, may have surpassed the billion-dollar mark.

The impact of extreme weather is being amplified by decisions to build and rebuild in high-risk areas, and the events themselves are being supercharged by the climate crisis, said Rachel Cleetus, a policy director at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“These record-breaking and sobering numbers are the latest confirmation of a worsening trend in costly disasters, many of which bear the fingerprints of climate change,” Cleetus told CNN. “In addition to climate change, our choices about how and where we develop and build are also putting more people and more valuable economic assets in harm’s way, raising the toll of disasters when they do happen.”