Climate Impact Report – 01/04

Quick Facts


governor declared a state of emergency after storms caused flooding, property damage, multiple tornados, and landslides

death count

The Texas Department of State Health Services has officially raised the death count from the February 2021 winter storm to 246

nearly 1000

homes in Boulder County, Colorado was destroyed by the Marshall fire and forced 35,000 people to evacuate

Key Facts Of The Day 1/4

Storms and Flooding

  • Chicago, Illinois has seen its first fall season on record with no measurable snowfall as of December 22nd, 2021.

  • Kentucky’s governor declared a state of emergency on Saturday after storms caused flooding, property damage and multiple tornados. At least 7 landslides have been reported, with at least 75 road closures as of Saturday.

    • Multiple road closures and water rescues were reported in the southern and central parts of the state.

    • Hopkinsville, Kentucky reported a possible tornado, which caused damage to multiple businesses. Other properties reported roof damage and there were also multiple downed power lines.

    • As of Tuesday, 10 tornadoes have been confirmed by the National Weather Service.

      • Christian County saw an EF-2 tornado with winds measuring 115 MPH and 125 miles wide, causing roof damage. It also removed a wall from a brick home, destroyed a gas station’s canopy as well as multiple gas pumps.

      • Taylor County experienced damage from an EF-1 with winds measuring at 110 miles per hour.

      • A 110 MPH tornado that traveled in Marion County ripped off a trailer roof and tipped over a trailer.

      • A 110 MPH tornado in Madison County damaged hundreds of trees and one property.

      • Barren county saw an EF-1 tornado measuring at 95 MPH which hurled debris at least 400 yards and destroyed a barn.

      • An EF-1 tornado measuring at 95 MPH in Estill County destroyed a barn and damaged roofs.

      • Todd, Allen, Hart and Warren counties also experienced EF-0 tornadoes with less severe wind speeds and caused damage to trees and the exterior of homes.

  • As of December 31st, 2021, 33% of California was in severe drought, down from 79% in the previous week, with multiple cities in the southern part of the state being drenched with record rainfall.

    • Los Angeles saw 2.57 inches of rain, breaking its previous record of 1.85 inches set in 1981.

    • Los Angeles International Airport saw 3.14 inches of rain, breaking its previous record of 1.5 inches set in 1981.

    • Long Beach saw 2.07 inches of rain, breaking its previous record of 0.98 inches set in 1981.

    • Burbank saw 1.98 inches of rain, breaking its previous record of 0.84 inches set in 1951.

  • After year-end winter storms, the Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu, California will be closed to the public due to flood damage after remaining campers leave the area.

    • About 50 campers who were in the area were rescued on Thursday.

    • As of Monday morning, multiple cars were still stuck in the mud, awaiting to be towed.

    • The damage includes mud and debris that impacted multiple campsites, restroom facilities and other infrastructure in the park.

  • Parts of New Jersey received more than a foot of snow after a winter storm on Monday.

    • Governor Phil Murphy announced a state of emergency for Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, and Ocean counties on Sunday night.

    • As of Monday evening, multiple cities and townships reported accumulation of snow in double digits: Ocean City reported 14 inches and Wildwood got just over 11 inches. Little Egg Harbor Township in Ocean County saw 13 inches with  Barnegat Township reporting just over 10 inches. In Atlantic County, Absecon got 13 inches and Mays Landing got 11 inches.

    • Because of the snowfall, several New Jersey counties were under a Coastal Flood Advisory, meaning minor flooding was expected.

    • The Atlantic City International Airport shut down on Monday afternoon due to the storm.

    • As of Monday afternoon, 160 motor vehicle accidents were reported, with 245 motorists requiring assistance.

  • Snow in Virginia has stranded drivers on Interstate 95 from Monday and into Tuesday morning.

    • As of 8:35 local time, the I-95 remains closed, with travel conditions expected to remain hazardous.

    • On Tuesday morning, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia said he had been at a standstill for 19 hours, with other motorists expressing concern about food and turning off their cars to conserve gas

    • Throughout the state, black ice and downed trees continue to be a concern as of Tuesday morning.

    • As of Monday evening, the Virginia Department of Transportation had no estimate as to when travel could resume on I-95.

    • As of Tuesday morning, about 279,000 customers in Virginia and 27,000 in Maryland were without power.

  • The Texas Department of State Health Services has officially raised the death count from the February 2021 winter storm to 246.

    • Most of the deaths were attributed to the extreme cold, with 158 attributed to hypothermia and 3 to frostbite.

    • 22 deaths were attributed to vehicle accidents.

    • 10 deaths were attributed to fire-related causes as residents attempted to warm themselves through alternative means.

    • 9 deaths were attributed to trauma or fractures sustained during falls, slips on ice.

    • 1 death was from drowning after crashing through ice.

    • Other days were attributed to a delay in care due to the lack of power, including dialysis treatment, oxygen treatment and hospice care.

    • Harris County had the highest number of deaths in Texas, with 43 deaths. Travis County followed with 28 deaths.


  • As of Monday, there are currently 2 large active wildfires that have burned 7,219 acres across CO, and NC. As of Monday, 23 wildfires have burned 285 acres across the country.

    • As of Monday, the Marshall fire burned 6,219 acres and was 74% contained.

      • The violent blaze that erupted in Boulder County, Colo., on Dec. 30 was the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history, despite occurring after the traditional fire season of May through September.

      • Experts said the winter fire was rare but that similar events will become more common as climate change warms the planet and suburbs grow in fire-prone areas.

      • A severe multi year drought nurtured the brittle-dry conditions that allowed the fire to sweep through residential areas.

      • From July 1 through Dec. 29, Denver recorded its lowest amount of precipitation by over an inch, with snowfall at record low levels, too.

      • Boulder, which typically gets about 30 inches of snow from September to December, got just 1 inch in that period leading up to the day of the fire.

      • Investigators seeking the cause of the Colorado wildfire have narrowed their search to an area near Boulder, but it could be days or weeks before details are released,

      • Teams continued searching Monday for two people who were still missing.

      •  About 35,000 people were forced to evacuate the area last week, and many families remain in shelters.

      • The fire has destroyed nearly 1,000 homes in Boulder County.

      • The blaze also burned through eight businesses at a shopping center in Louisville, including a nail salon and a Subway restaurant.

      • In neighboring Superior, 12 businesses were damaged, including a Target, a Chuck E. Cheese pizzeria, a Tesla car dealership, a hotel and the town hall.

      • The areas impacted by the Marshall Fire have since seen about 8 inches of snow, dousing the flames but also temporarily knocking out power.

      • Over the weekend, authorities distributed thousands of space heaters to families who endured several days of freezing temperatures inside homes spared by the fire.

Extreme Heat

  • Alaska saw a warm winter spell in late December that brought daytime temperatures to 60 degrees and torrential rain instead of the usual cold and snow.

    • Kodiak, Alaska, saw a high of 67 degrees, the highest temperature recorded in Alaska.

    • The community of Cold Bay also saw a record high of 62 degrees

    • Unalaska experienced the warmest Christmas Day in Alaska on record at 56 degrees.

    • Usually December is a dry month for the interior of Alaska, but so much snow fell in the town of Delta Junction that the sole grocery store’s roof collapsed.

  • Due to an ongoing drought and brutal heat wave in July, only 2.6% of the Chinook salmon juvenile population survived the hot, dry summer in the Sacramento River in California.

    • The winter-run species, which was listed as endangered since 1994, is now almost solely kept alive by workers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who collect eggs and sperm from a few of the adults that survive.

    • The 2021 survival rate in 2021 is the lowest since the 4% survival rate of 2005.

  • Moderate drought covering almost half of the U.S. is now starting to spread into Michigan.

  • Rising temperatures, extreme drought and giant wildfires negatively impact the Colorado ski industry.

    • Experts say ski seasons could be permanently shortened in coming decades if large strides aren’t made in fighting climate change.

  • Deaths of undocumented migrants crossing the United States-Mexico border between between Nogales, Mexico and Three Point, Arizona are increasingly clustered in hot and dry areas of the desert region and is expected to increase with climate change.

    • Many migrants do not have the knowledge to identify a path that has the least cost.

    • By 2050, the cost of traveling across the desert will likely increase by 30%.

  • Florida researchers are looking into the long-term health effects on people who live or work near red tide and blue green algae blooms.

    • One of the questions the researchers are attempting to answer is whether people who have had COVID-19 are more susceptible to the blooms as people who have underlying conditions such as pulmonary disease or asthma often are.

New Reports And Data

  • A January 2022 study found that climate change drives native trout declines by reducing stream habitat and facilitating the expansion of invasive trout species.

  • A December 2021 study found that the 21st century will see an expansion of hurricanes and typhoons into mid-latitude regions, which includes major cities such as New York, Boston, Beijing, and Tokyo.

  • A December 2021 study found that prescribed burning can actually lock in or increase carbon in the soils of temperate forests, savannahs and grasslands.


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