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Biden walks to Marine One on May 22. Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to invest $1 billion helping states prepare for extreme weather ahead of the 2021 hurricane season, alongside an initiative to track natural disasters through a new NASA program.

Why it matters: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects above-average storm activity during the next hurricane season, which would make this the sixth unusually active season in a row.

  • The administration's $1 billion pledge doubles the amount of money the government had previously spent helping communities brace for extreme weather through the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program.
  • Floods, hurricanes, and wildfires are key areas of focus for preparing localities for disaster, the White House said. The administration plans to use NASA's Earth System Observatory to forecast and monitor natural disasters.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: By increasing sea levels, climate change is making hurricanes more destructive and costly. There is also evidence showing that warming sea and air temperatures are causing nature's most powerful storms to become even stronger.

  • More storm resilience funding, in addition to launching the NASA program, demonstrates the Biden administration's continued focus on the impacts of extreme weather events on the economy.

What to watch: The first named storm of the season, Subtropical Storm Ana, formed and dissipated over the weekend in the North Atlantic.

Go deeper: Get ready for another unusually active Atlantic hurricane season, NOAA says

Go deeper

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

Bourbon Street during a citywide power outage caused by Hurricane Ida in New Orleans on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Updated Aug 31, 2021 - Science

Tropical Depression Ida brings threat of flash flooding across Southeast

A truck drives through high water near Highway 61 in Destrehan, Louisiana. Photo: Patrick Fallon/AFP via Getty images

The deadly former Hurricane Ida was bringing heavy rains, "dangerous" flash flooding, storm surge and extreme winds as the tropical depression moved northeast across Mississippi overnight.

Threat level: "Ida will continue to produce heavy rainfall tonight through Tuesday morning across portions of southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, and western Alabama, resulting in considerable flash and urban flooding and significant river flooding impacts," the National Hurricane Center warned.

Hurricane Ida's economic toll

A woman looks over damage caused by Hurricane Ida, Aug. 30, in Kenner, La. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Wall Street is only slightly adjusting estimates for how the economy will fare to reflect the impact of Hurricane Ida.

Why it matters: The muted national economic impact that’s been penciled in doesn’t capture the human cost of the historic storm: millions displaced or without power as Southeast residents now brace for flash flooding.

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