Climate Impact Report – 01/07

Quick Facts

Day 5

Friday marks day five without power for thousands of Virginia residents, and now they are facing even more snow


homes destroyed in Marshall fire, according to latest report


weather stations around the world beat heat records in 2021

Key Facts Of The Day 1/7

Storms and Flooding

  • Friday marks day five without power for thousands of Virginia residents, and now they are facing even more snow.

    • After the snowstorm, there was a peak of about 400,000 people and businesses without power in Virginia. Of those, about 146,000 were in Northern Virginia.

    • Stafford County and the Fredericksburg area were two of the hardest-hit spots.

    • A resident of Stafford County who has Lupus, along with some elderly people who are up to 85 years old struggled to stay warm and keep their food from spoiling. She said the temperature plunged to 30 degrees in her living room, while she and her neighbors pooled together what lunch meat, bread and Vienna sausages they had to eat and took turns using a small generator to turn on heaters in their room for short spurts.

    • A Dominion Energy spokesman said they are hoping to have almost all power restored by Friday evening.

    • At least 1,100 residents in Aquia Harbor have been without power since Monday morning’s storm dropped more than a foot of snow and started bringing down trees.

    • Local residents have spent the last four days cutting up fallen trees and moving them off roads, in hopes of clearing a path for utility crews.

    • The downed trees and power lines have made it challenging for ambulances there. Residents said one of their neighbors died this week after suffering a heart attack.

    • Schools in Virginia announced more closures Friday because of a second storm due to strike overnight.

  • As of Friday, the Virginia National Guard was deployed to help with snow response  after a traffic disaster left hundreds of drivers stranded on I-95 in the middle of a snowstorm.

  • Winter storm warnings have been extended in Michigan as more snow showers and bitter cold wind chills remain in place Friday.

    • Two Michigan State Police vehicles hit during snowy conditions on I-94.

    • Heavy lake effect snow has fallen overnight in Berrien County and Cass County, Michigan.

    • Some places are approaching 2 feet of snow as the moderate snow bands continue.

    • Winter storm warnings in both counties have been extended through 4pm due to the lingering snow showers.

    • The hazardous driving conditions will likely be through the afternoon and into the evening.

  • As the overnight snowstorm continues in the Friday morning hours, parts of New Jersey may get up to 6 inches of snow.

    • Many Monmouth and Ocean County schools have cancelled classes for the day.

    • Gov. Phil Murphy also placed New Jersey under a state of emergency ahead of the landing of the nor’easter.

    • A number of New York schools will also close, delay opening or pivot to remote learning.


  • As of Friday, there are currently 0 large active wildfires. As of Friday, 165 wildfires have burned 1,729 acres across the country.

  • Updated numbers show 1,084 homes destroyed in Marshall Fire.

    • 550 homes in Louisville, 378 in Superior, and 156 in unincorporated Boulder County were destroyed.

    • The total damage to homes is more than $513 million, according to the Boulder County Assessor.

    • 149 residential structures were damaged, including 43 in Louisville, 58 in Superior, and 48 in unincorporated Boulder County.

    • 7 commercial structures were destroyed including 4 in Louisville and 3 in Superior.

    • 30 commercial structures were damaged, including 14 in Louisville, 14 in Superior and two in unincorporated Boulder County.

  • Avista Adventist Hospital in Colorado is cleaning up after it was spared by Marshall Fire.

    • There is no timeline for when the hospital will reopen, but crews are cleaning in and around the hospital after it took smoke and soot from the fire.

    • As the flames from the Marshall Fire approached, those in the hospital started to leave, in an evacuation process organized by the hospital wing.

    • In total, 51 patients were evacuated, along with around 100 staff members.

    • There are 200 air scrubbers filtering the air to clean out particulates of smoke and ash that may have gotten in the hospital.

    • Hospital beds and equipment have been emptied out of the rooms so everything, including the equipment, can be properly cleaned.

  • Boulder County, Colorado already faced a brutal housing shortage before the Marshall Fire burned hundreds of homes.

    • Many of those displaced by the Marshall fire will face an uphill battle in finding new housing.

    • The rental vacancy rate in Boulder County will likely be pushed as close to zero as possible.

    • Everything anywhere close to Superior and Louisville will be rented very quickly, and that’s going to force people farther from the area.

    • In addition to the more than 1,000 homes destroyed, initial research shows perhaps another 2,000 have smoke and water damage requiring remediation.

    • Rebuilding burned homes will also be difficult with supply chain and labor shortages, and a long permitting process.

    • Case managers have already signed up more than 700 households at the Boulder County Disaster Assistance Center.

  • Large wildfires have become so frequent and severe in the United States that they have reversed many gains of the Clean Air Act.

    • Wildfires are not only increasing in frequency, but also persisting longer and affecting a larger geographic extent across the country.

    • In 2020, more than 68% of the western U.S. – representing about 43 million people – were affected by wildfires in just one day.

Extreme Heat

  • More than 400 weather stations around the world beat heat records in 2021.

    • Maximiliano Herrera, a watcher of extreme weather, says last year was likely to be in the top five or six hottest in history.

    • The ten countries of Oman, UAE, Canada, the United States, Morocco, Turkey, Taiwan, Italy, Tunisia and Dominica, broke or tied their national highest record.

    • 107 countries beat their monthly high temperature record.

    • Five beat their monthly low temperature record.

    • July had already brought 54.4C (130F) in Furnace Creek in the US’s Death Valley – the highest reliably recorded temperature on Earth.

    • Meteorologists deemed the heat in Alaska in December, where a number of records were broken by a large margin ‘extraordinary.’

    • 2022 has begun with a number of records already shattered in the UK and the US in the first few days of the year.

  • Winter temperatures in East Texas have been on the rise since the 1970s leading to warmer lake and river temperatures.

    • A warmer climate puts stress on human health to the health of Texas wildlife and outdoor recreation.

    • Toxic algae blooms can stress or kill fish by clogging their gills or reducing oxygen in the water. This can put fish at risk of disease or parasites, which in turn can make fish more susceptible to predators and ultimately impact a fish’s ability to reproduce.

  • San Antonio, Texas hit record setting warmth in December as temperatures continued to stay above average reaching weather milestones before the end of 2021.

    • San Antonio failed to gain many strong cold fronts leading the city to hit 27 days above average last month.

    • On Dec. 1 San Antonio reached 76 degrees and 83 degrees on Dec. 31.

    • The average high for the month of December is around 63 degrees.

    • San Antonio ranked number two in the list of top 5 warmest Decembers on record.

  • 2021 goes down in the record book as the 10th lowest runoff season for the Missouri River Basin.

    • Runoff in the Missouri River basin above Sioux City, Iowa, in 2021 was 59% of average.

    • With no relief in sight for the ongoing drought, the US Army Corps expects runoff into the reservoir system will remain below normal.

  • The Western megadrought is revealing America’s ‘lost national park.’

    • Despite recent rain and record snowfall in California’s Sierra Nevada, the Western U.S. is experiencing one of its driest periods in a thousand years — a two-decade megadrought that scientists say is being amplified by human-caused climate change.

    • The drought is forcing water cutbacks in at least three states.

    • At Lake Powell, the nation’s second-largest reservoir, record low water levels are transforming the landscape, renewing a longstanding dispute over the land the reservoir drowned — Glen Canyon.

New Reports And Data

  • A January 2022 study found that in 2020, more than 68% of the western U.S. was affected in one day by the resulting harmful-levels of air pollution.

  • A January 2022 study found that nearly 2 million children worldwide develop asthma as a result of breathing in traffic- related pollution.

  • A January 2022 study found that bleached coral reefs continue to supply nutritious seafood.


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