Climate Impact Report – 01/10

Quick Facts

60 million

winter alerts were from last Friday's weather threat and prompted government and school closures in the Northeast


of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and Central Virginia Electric Cooperative members are still without power after the winter storm that happened last Monday


of Americans live in counties that experienced dangerously high temperatures last year

Key Facts Of The Day 1/10

Storms and Flooding

  • Last Friday’s winter weather threat prompted government and school closures in the Northeast with over 60 million under winter alerts.

    • After snow slammed more than a dozen states from Tennessee to Maine, millions across the Northeast were blasted with heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures.

    • New Jersey declared a state of emergency.

    • Slick conditions sent cars sliding during the morning commute with more than an inch of snow falling per hour in Massachusetts.

    • Nashville, Tennessee recorded its snowiest day in 6 years.

    • Some areas of West Virginia saw more than a foot of snow.

  • An arctic air mass is slated to blast the tri-state area for the next two days at least, plunging highs into the mid-20s to low 30s on Monday before they topple below 20 on Tuesday.

    • Wind chills will be near or below zero through the frigid span.

    • A wind chill advisory has already been issued for Sullivan and Ulster counties in New York for projected wind chills of -15 to -25 degrees, though more counties are expected to be added.

      • Frostbite can set in on exposed skin in 30 minutes in those conditions.

    • Poorly insulated pipes are more likely to freeze or burst under such conditions, so homeowners and building managers alike should be on alert.

  • As of Sunday, thousands of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and Central Virginia Electric Cooperative members are still without power after the winter storm that happened last Monday.

    • Some members are on their sixth day with no heat.

    • One resident said that there are people who burned their furniture and belongings to stay warm.

  • Flooding inundated farmland and curtailed access to a Native American reservation in Washington state on Sunday as the Pacific Northwest slowly recovered from a series of storms that have engulfed the region with rain and snow.

    • Southwest Washington has experienced its worst flooding in a decade and some rivers crested at more than 18 feet (5.5 meters) last week.

    • Moderate flooding in the Chehalis River was affecting road access to the Chehalis Reservation near Oakville.

    • In Washington’s Grays County, authorities were searching for a man reported missing after driving into floodwaters in Elma early Sunday, but it wasn’t known if the man was swept away or walked out on his own.

    • Emergency workers recovered the body of a 72-year-old man whose vehicle was swept away by flooding near Cosmopolis.

  • On Christmas Eve, the historic rock arch along a San Luis Obispo beach in California’s Montana de Oro State Park collapsed in on itself.

    • The rock formation’s collapse has been blamed on the record-breaking weather in California during the month of December, which seemingly weathered the ancient arch until it could no longer stand.

    • The December rainfall totals in San Luis Obispo County were as high as 12 inches, and the storms that have pelted the coast have brought high waves, pounding fragile coastal features.


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

  • Judge pauses California luxury development in Guenoc Valley wine region over wildfire evacuation concerns.

    • The LNU Lightning Complex fire enveloped the development’s only evacuation route, a two-lane highway that winds through a steep canyon.

    • Critics said the development plan was a potential disaster not only for future residents, but for those who already lived nearby.

    • Had the project been completed, they said, thousands of evacuees could have spilled onto the road and created a bottleneck similar to the one that doomed residents of Paradise in the 2018 Camp fire.

  • Colorado winter wildfire shattered the illusion of safety in Western suburbs.

    • While the direct cause of the Marshall Fire is being investigated, climate change made it more intense.

    • The Marshall fire was preceded by severe drought and record warming along the Front Range, which had one of its driest and warmest July 1-to-Dec. 29 periods on record.

    • The Boulder area saw only 1 inch of snow during that time, when it gets about 30 inches on average.

    • All 20 of Colorado’s largest wildfires have occurred in the last 20 years, an increase scientists have linked to climate change.

    • About 1 in 3 housing units in the United States is now located within one of these fire-prone areas that climate change will continue to dry out for decades into the future.

Extreme Heat

  • 80% of Americans live in counties that experienced dangerously high temperatures last year.

    • The Pacific Northwest bore the deadliest brunt of the heat with several record-breaking heatwaves, including one in late June and early July that killed hundreds of people in the region.

      • The people who suffered and died in the Pacific Northwest heat waves were overwhelmingly the houseless, the elderly, and those without access to steady air conditioning.

    • At one point, in late July, 81 million Americans were under heat watches or warnings, as searing temperatures hit basically every part of the country except New England and the Great Lakes.

    • In New York, city dwellers were told in June to conserve their power as the region recorded 100 degree heat.

    • California’s Death Valley in July recorded a temperature of 130 degrees, a planetary record.

    • The heat damaged wheat crops in the Midwest, deprived iconic California glaciers of the snow they need to survive, cooked mussels alive in the Pacific Northwest, caused an “ice quake” in Alaska, helped worsen the mounting water crisis in the West, and made strange lesions and fungus grow on salmon in Washington.

    • The heat across the U.S. in 2021 broke a longstanding record for hottest summer.

  • Detroit, Michigan’s December 2021 is among the warmest on record.

    • With a high temperature of 61 degrees at its warmest and an average of 37.2 degrees, December 2021 came a few degrees short of being the warmest twelfth month in Detroit history.

    • 3 of the 10 warmest Decembers, and 7 of the top 20, occurred in this century.

    • The warm temperatures have led to less ice cover on the Great Lakes, which means a later shipping season but fewer recreational activities on what might otherwise be frozen inland lakes and streams.

  • Tampa, Florida’s December 2021 will go down as the third warmest on record.

    • The December average temperature of 71.5 degrees is 6.6 degrees above normal for the month.

    • This warmth, combined with the rest of 2021, resulted in the fourth-warmest year on record for Tampa.

    • It was also a dry month with 0.59 inches of rain at Tampa International Airport, only 23% of the normal rainfall for the month.

  • Grand Forks, North Dakota’s 2021 among warmest years on record.

    • 6 of the 10 warmest years for which there are full records have occurred since 2005.

    • The average 2021 temperature in Grand Forks was about 43.1 degrees, which makes it the fifth-hottest year in the area.

    • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration measured North Dakota’s precipitation from September 2020 to August 2021 as among the driest such periods on record.

  • Drought-stricken Oregon farmers embark on a water bank pilot program.

    • In the Deschutes Basin the water bank pilot program will provide a cash payment to Central Oregon Irrigation District patrons who volunteer not to use irrigation water for the 2022 irrigation season.

    • The unused water will be sent to North Unit Irrigation District, a junior water rights holder that has experienced limited water resources during the current drought.

    • The point of the program is to help with drought relief for North Unit Irrigation District, as well as to restore flows in the Upper Deschutes River.

    • One North Unit farmer says he is in the process of selling cows now because he can’t grow enough grass to feed them due to the water shortage.

    • The project will also help the Deschutes River ecosystem, as North Unit will be required to release 25% of the water it gets the following winter, helping to increase flows during the months when the river runs at its lowest level.

New Reports And Data

  • A January 2022 study found that sea anemones’ growth, development, and feeding ability are drastically impacted by present levels of common pollutants found in one of its native habitats, the U.S. East Coast.

  • A January 2022 study found that at warmer temperatures, mainly smaller, goby-like fish species became dominant and pushed back important food fish such as the anchovy.

  • A January 2022 study found that 80% of Americans live in counties that experienced dangerously high temperatures.


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