In July, severe drought and heat waves effected great swaths of the United States, causing billions in insured losses, according to Aon Benefield’s “July 2012 Global Catastrophe Recap.” Up to 64 percent of the continental United States is experiencing at least moderate drought, according to the National Climatic Data Center, and half of all U.S. counties have been declared disaster areas.

Half of the nation’s corn crop and more than one-third of soybeans are in poor to very poor condition, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Crop losses could be in the billions of dollars.

Nationwide, more than 100 people died in heat waves, where temperatures exceeded 100 degrees. More than 4,313 high-temperature records were set in July, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Severe heat caused transportation problems as main roads and highways buckled and train tracks expanded, prompting delays in the mid-Atlantic and the northeast.

Storms in the Midwest, Ohio Valley and the Northeast caused wind and hail damage, downed trees and power lines, causing $450 million in damages, insurers received more than 50,000 claims totaling more than $275 million.

In late July, severe weather in the central and eastern United States killed at least two people. Thunderstorms stretching from Texas to Connecticut prompted 471 local storm reports to the Storm Prediction Center, including 426 for damaging winds and tornado touchdowns, causing damage in 15 Northeastern states caused by downed trees and power lines onto homes, businesses and vehicles. Economic losses are in the millions of dollars.

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