Atlantic hurricane season is about to swing into its peak (see Harvey), and the U.S. Climate Prediction Center thinks end of the season could be very active.
Experts are fairly certain that the hurricane-squashing Pacific El Nino won't happen this year, leaving plenty of ocean for the above-average 14 to 19 expected named storms to disrupt energy and agriculture markets in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic coastline of the U.S.
An estimated $28.3 trillion worth of homes, businesses and infrastructure in the 18 Atlantic coastal states are vulnerable to hurricane strikes. The Gulf of Mexico, where hurricanes grow quickly in warm water, is home to 5% of U.S. natural gas production, 17% of U.S. crude oil production and over 45% of the U.S.'s total petroleum refining capacity, according to the Energy Information Administration. Even a weak Tropical Storm Cindy in June shuttered 17% of the Gulf's oil output.
But it's not just hurricanes that brings U.S. business to its knees.
TheStreet looks back at the 30 costliest storms from 1980 to today, adjusted for inflation. Data is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
30. Hurricane Iniki, 1992 -- $5.5 billion
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