The United States is Earth's punching bag for nasty weather.

The nation's weather chief and other experts say the U.S. gets hit by stronger, costlier, more varied and frequent extreme weather than anywhere on Earth.

Those include tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, droughts, blizzards and the like.

The reason is geography.

Two oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, mountains, the jet stream and jutting peninsulas all combine to brew up severe storms.

But nasty weather by itself isn't a disaster.

What makes nature's bad hand a disaster is humans.

It's where people build, what they build and how.

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