Climate Impact Report – 01/31

Quick Facts


Parts of the Northeast were buried in up to 30 inches of snow Sunday


people lost power at the height of the nor'easter


The annual cost of flooding across the U.S. will hit $40 billion annually by 2050, with Black communities at most risk

Key Facts Of The Day 1/31

Storms and Flooding

  • Parts of the Northeast were buried in up to 30 inches of snow Sunday as a “historic nor’easter” released its grip on the region while bitter cold and strong winds swept across the entire East Coast.

    • The storm became a bomb cyclone when it rapidly strengthened, or underwent bombogenesis, between Friday and Saturday afternoon as it rolled up the East Coast.

    • Four people died on Long Island during Saturday’s powerful winter storm.

    • Boston tied its record for biggest single-day snowfall on Saturday, with 23.6 inches.

    •  Stoughton, Massachusetts, recorded the most snow of the storm with30.6 inches.

    • Some parts of New York City were blanketed by more than a foot of snow.

    • The temperature in Tallahassee, Florida, dipped below 20 degrees for the first time in more than 10 years.

    • At the height of the storm more than 100,000 people lost power. By Sunday afternoon it dropped to 35,000.

    • Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, along with much of the Delmarva Peninsula in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia all faced blizzard warnings Saturday.

    • Providence, Rhode Island, broke a daily snow record after reporting 18.8 inches Saturday.

  • Winter Storm Landon a major snow and ice threat to intensify by Groundhog Day in Central and Eastern U.S.

  • The annual cost of flooding across the U.S. will hit $40 billion annually by 2050, with Black communities at most risk.

    • The United States faces a 26% increase in flood risk within the next 30 years.

    • Climate risk is intimately linked to race in the U.S.

  • As storms intensify, the job of a TV weather person gets more serious. Many TV meteorologists are now addressing the impact climate change has on weather.

  • Home generator sales are booming with mass outages, climate change and COVID.


  • As of Jan. 21, there are currently 5 large active wildfires that have burned 2,382 acres across AK, FL, LA, OK, and TX. As of Jan. 21, 929 wildfires have burned 20,686 acres across the country.

  • As of Monday, the Colorado Fire in California has burned 687 acres and is 98% contained.

    • Full containment of Big Sur’s Colorado fire expected Wednesday.

    • All evacuation and road closure orders have been lifted.

    • The fire in total threatened 225 structures, but just one, a yurt, was damaged.

  • The State of California has embarked on a pilot program that will grant up to $40,000 to homeowners who retrofit their homes to make them more fire resistant.

    • Working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) the funds in the $100-million project will be available in areas that are commonly threatened by fires.

Extreme Heat

  • The City of Tempe has plans to repurpose one of its buildings into a shelter to help those during climate emergencies, like extreme heat during Arizona’s summer months.

    • Being close to a light rail station, Tempe said they wanted to make sure it was easily accessible for people who would need to use it.

    • When open, the center will primarily be used as a community center, a daily place where people will be able to utilize resources to help find jobs or housing. During stretches of extreme heat, it will also be used as a temporary cooling center for people to beat the heat.

  • Program aims to help cities map out urban heat islands.

    • Raleigh and Durham, North Carolins were one of almost a couple dozen regions to receive a grant in 2021 for the CAPA Heat Watch program, a national program looking at heat on a granular scale.

    • The program is put on by a partnership between the National Integrated Heat Health Information System and CAPA Strategies.

    • The data can help form better solutions from more trees to better cooling options in different neighborhoods.

  • Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe, leading to an increase in direct impacts on wildlife. On January 19, 2019 temperatures in a shady spot at Punta Tombo, along Argentina’s southern coast, reached 111.2 degrees and 354 Magellanic penguins died.

  • While much of the intermountain west, the southwest and parts of the northern plains have been in drought for much of the past 18 months or more, drought is expanding dramatically now in the central and southern plains of the U.S.

  • Drought is exposing new layers of risk posed by PFAS contamination in drinking water nationwide.

    • As the historic drought hitting much of the country decreases the flow of rivers and streams, more municipalities are drawing water from underground aquifers and wells. And emerging data shows PFAS contamination could be prevalent in some of those groundwater sources.

    • Last year, a Tucson, Arizona water treatment plant was forced to shut down after high levels of PFAS were found in its water supply.

    • As the drought threatened the city’s reservoir capacity, Portsmouth, New Hampshire officials reactivated a well found in 2014 to be contaminated with PFAS from Air Force firefighting operations.

      • The city had spent seven years building a system to remove the contamination from the well, an ion-absorption and activated-carbon system that treats the drinking water supply for PFAS, and adds up to $400,000 to Portsmouth’s annual water treatment costs.

    • The U.S. Geological Survey, which monitors water quality nationwide, has so far found PFAS in 715 domestic, public water supply, and monitoring wells.

New Reports And Data

  • A January 2022 study found that lower crowding for trees can increase chances of survival after fire.

  • A January 2022 study  found that thawing permafrost in the Arctic could be emitting greenhouse gases from previously unaccounted-for carbon stocks, fuelling global warming.

  • A January 2022 study found a way to improve prediction of brief but intense rainstorms that can cause devastating flash floods and landslides.

  • A January 2022 study found that a heatwave in January 2019 was responsible for the death of Magellanic penguins in Argentina.


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