Climate Impact Report – 01/21

Quick Facts


acres across AK, FL, LA, OK, and TX were burned from 5 large active wildfires

10 mil

and more people along coastal parts of Virginia and Carolinas are under winter weather alerts


A 91-year-old woman remains missing from Colorado’s December wildfire after she reentered her home to attempt to rescue her dogs

Key Facts Of The Day 1/21

Storms and Flooding

  • Rare ice storm expected to hit Carolina beaches, including Myrtle Beach and Charleston.

    • More than 10 million people along coastal parts of Virginia and the Carolinas are under winter weather alerts.

    • The governors of North and South Carolina and Virginia have issued states of emergency in preparation for the winter weather.

    • That cold front and low pressure system will usher in precipitation and a very cold air mass behind the front that’s cold enough to bring winter weather elements Thursday night through Saturday.

    • Eastern North Carolina and South Carolina are likely to see widespread freezing rain late Thursday into Friday. On Saturday, conditions could shift to sleet and snow.

    • By Saturday night, temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s across much of the Carolinas, making for dangerous conditions if customers lose power.

  • School closures, cancellations and virtual learning days due to snow in Virginia.

    • Chesapeake Public School canceled all afterschool activities and programs Thursday and closed all schools Friday for all students and staff.

    • Hampton City Schools dismissed students two hours early Thursday and switched to virtual learning Friday.

    • Mathews County Public Schools will be closed Friday.

    • All Newport News Public Schools switched to virtual learning on Friday

    • Norfolk Public Schools has canceled all Thursday athletic activities and afterschool programs and will be closed Friday.

    • Suffolk Public Schools has canceled all extracurricular activities for Thursday night and will be closed Friday.

    • Virginia Beach City Public Schools canceled all after-school activities and programs Thursday and Friday.

    • The York County School Division switched to virtual learning on Friday.

    • Hampton Roads Transit will end service early on Friday and have snow routes in effect on Saturday.

  • Strong to severe storms are possible in South Florida Friday evening into Saturday morning as a cold front moves into the area.

    • The main threats for Friday are isolated strong to severe thunderstorms, damaging winds that could gust up to 60 MPH, and the possibility of hail.

  • Last month’s wet winter storms led California officials on Thursday to announce they’ll release more water than initially planned from state storage to local agencies that provide water for 27 million people and vast swaths of farmland.


  • As of Friday, there are currently 5 large active wildfires that have burned 2,382 acres across AK, FL, LA, OK, and TX. As of Friday, 929 wildfires have burned 20,686 acres across the country.

  • Starting in June, the Phoenix Fire Department in Arizona will begin using drones for mountain rescues.

    • The department says they will get three to four drones this year and certify about a dozen people to start with.

    • The drones will also be used for brush fires to help them access remote areas and plan ahead.

  • Officials said that the Rolling Pines Fire in Bastrop County, Texas that forced evacuations likely a result of planned burn.

    • Officials had proceeded with Tuesday’s scheduled 10:30 a.m. burn despite the reservations of some residents who noted a warm forecast in the mid-70s and light winds.

    • No injuries or structure losses had been reported, according to the forest service.

  • A 91-year-old woman remains missing from Colorado’s December wildfire after she reentered her home to attempt to rescue her dogs.

Extreme Heat

  • January, typically one of California’s wettest months, has proved unusually dry.

    • The odds now favor less-than-average rainfall through the rest of winter.

    • State officials are pleading with Californians to save water as reservoirs continue to run low.

    • This month, state officials announced $500 daily penalties for people who water their lawns after rainfall or allow runoff into the streets.

    • Even after the storms, 99% of the state remains in some level of drought.

  • Intense drought or flash floods can slow down the global economy.

  • Climate change could lead to blackouts, higher power costs on U.S. West Coast.

    • A study led by a North Carolina State University researcher showed what electricity consumers on the West Coast might face in a scenario in which excessive heat due to climate change puts a strain on power supplies.

    • The researchers discovered a higher likelihood of power outages in the summer and early fall, owing to excessive heat in California, which generates a surge in demand for electricity as people try to cool their houses.

    • They also discovered that climate change might directly influence the Pacific Northwest by restricting hydropower supply.

New Reports And Data

  • A January 2022 survey found that air pollution significantly reduces pollination by confusing butterflies and bees.

  • A January 2022 study  found that the world’s most famous ‘mega iceberg’ released 152 billion tons of fresh water into the ocean as it scraped past the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia.

  • A January 2022 study found that resilient, frequent-fire forests have far fewer trees.


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