Losses from sleet storms in the United States

Stanley A. Changnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing losses of life and property and damages to the environment due to sleet and related winter storm conditions have increased the need for long-term sleet storm data to better assess the point and regional risks of sleet and their long-term variations. The areas of greatest losses and frequency of catastrophes caused by sleet during 1971-2007 are the Northeast and Central regions of the U.S. These two regions experienced 72% of all the nation's sleet losses. Most of the western U.S. had no damaging sleet-related events or losses. When sleet losses occurred, they tended to be in 2, 3, or 4 adjacent states. Sleet catastrophes were most common in January with 15 of the 30 events. The earliest storm occurred in October and the latest in March. The temporal distributions of catastrophes and their losses during 1971-2007 were similar. Both showed a secondary peak in 1976-1979, a low in 1988-1991, and then high values during the 1996-2007 period. The temporal distributions of damaging storms and losses indicate an upward trend over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-470
Number of pages6
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008


  • ISWS
  • Winter storms
  • U.S. catastrophes
  • Climate variations
  • Economic impacts
  • Sleet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science


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