Climate Impact Report – 02/04

Quick Facts


and more people were without power Thursday evening due to winter storm


One person was killed in a tornado near Sawyerville, Alabama and eight were injured


active wildfires are currently burning

Key Facts Of The Day 2/4

Storms and Flooding

  • Ice plagued a large swath of the United States Thursday evening as the multifaceted winter storm continued its trek, contributing to power outages and life-threatening travel conditions across the nation.

    • More than 304,000 people were without power Thursday evening.

      • In parts of Tennessee, significant icefall of up to half an inch coupled with sizable sleet and snow accumulation has damaged trees and downed power lines.

        • More than 100,000 residents in Memphis alone reported outages by Thursday afternoon.

      • As of Thursday evening, Ohio was reporting the second highest number of outages in the country, with 74,930.

      • More than 70,000 people were without power Thursday morning in Texas.

      • Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania also reported power outages.

    • As of Thursday evening, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 17 counties.

    • The storm slowed air travel at airports in Texas, Illinois, Colorado and Ohio, with a total of over 5,200 flights in the U.S. canceled on Thursday.

    • The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) in New Mexico reported a fatality in a rollover crash on a mountainous road just outside of Albuquerque.

    • A crash involving 16 vehicles in Memphis sent six people to the hospital, two of whom had critical injuries.

    • Taos, New Mexico; Security, Colorado; Macomb, Illinois; and New London, Missouri; all saw over a foot of snowfall from the storm by Thursday evening.

    • Flint, Michigan, set a new daily maximum snowfall record Wednesday as snow piled up to 11 inches.

    • Detroit, Michigan also set a new daily maximum snowfall record with 6.2 inches on Wednesday.

    • Heavy snow is projected in northern parts of New York and New England, with ice the primary concern farther south.

    • As of Friday morning between 4 and 8 inches of snow had accumulated in pockets of New York State.

    • Buffalo and northern Vermont could see snow accumulation of up to 14 inches.

  • One person was killed in a tornado near Sawyerville, Alabama and eight were injured.

  • Hurricanes with high tides and heavy rain that cause compound flooding in coastal areas will become much more frequent by the end of the century, they found.

    • In the future, people living on most of the Gulf Coast and East Coast will likely experience such a storm over the course of a lifetime.


  • As of Friday, there are currently 12 large active wildfires that have burned 2,621 acres across AL, FL. and OK. As of Friday, 2,388 wildfires have burned 40,822 acres across the country.

  • California Gov. Newsom’s administration quietly recertified Pacific Gas & Electric Co.(PG&E) as a “safe” company – despite officials making the utility company responsible for the wildfires.

    • The news comes as PG&E’s past wildfire victims lost money because they were paid partly in shares of company stock.

    •  Governor Gavin Newsom received more than $200,000 of PG&E campaign money.

    • The certificate was approved before activists from Reclaim Our Power were able to meet with Newsom’s lead staff to lobby against the approval.

    • PG&E was found responsible for the Dixie Fire which burned down the town of Paradise and led to 85 felony convictions. However, Gov. Newsom signed a law that bailed PG&E out of bankruptcy.

    • PG&E is already planning to take 150 million dollars from a state insurance fund to help pay for damage the Dixie Fire caused.

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will launch a new weather satellite on March 1 that will monitor weather that impacts the western United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, Central America and the Pacific Ocean including wildfires.

    • The satellite will be able to find wildfire hot spots, detect changes in the behavior of the fire, and predict its motion, as well as estimate the intensity, smoke output and air quality.

    • It will also have the accuracy to identify the lightning strikes most likely to cause these fires and detect the pyrocumulonimbus clouds that form over wildfires.

  • Wildfires are still a concern around peak season in South Carolina, despite no drought.

    • Over 50% of the fires are people trying to burn their leaf pile, something to clean up their yard, and it escapes.

Extreme Heat

  • As the Earth warms, air conditioning use could exceed power supply in the next decade.

    • As climate change pushes temperatures ever higher, Californians could lose air conditioning for roughly one week each summer because the demand for cooling will have exceeded the capacity of the electrical grid.

    • The study worried 51-year-old Myrna Rivas who lives at a mobile home park in an area of Riverside County where power outages are common during the summer.

      • She said the outages have lasted anywhere from a few hours to at least three days in recent years.

      • Above all, she worries about her 86-year-old mother whose bed and medical equipment need power.

    • Researchers also predicted an average of 13.9 air conditioner-less days for Missouri and 13.5 air conditioner-less days for Illinois.

  • On Wednesday, Oregon lawmakers heard testimony on two bipartisan proposals that would help low-income homeowners and renters pay for air conditioning and heat and find relief in extreme weather.

    • The Emergency Heat Relief for Communities Act, would allocate $5 million to the Oregon Health Authority to distribute emergency air conditioners and air filters to low-income Oregonians on Medicaid and the state-subsidized Oregon Health Plan.

    • It would also allocate $10 million to the state Energy Department to help low-income households that typically rely on wood, oil and propane for heat to install new heating and cooling pumps.

    • The Emergency Heat Relief for Renters Act, would guarantee renters the right to install portable air conditioners, allocate money to landlords to create cooling centers for tenants in their buildings and require cooling to be installed in newly constructed rental units or if major renovations are undertaken.

New Reports And Data

  • A February 2022 study found that hurricanes that cause both extreme high tides and heavy rain will occur much more frequently by the end of the century.

  • A February 2022 study found that absent any improvement to the power infrastructure or the efficiency of air conditioners somes states in the U.S. could expect rolling blackouts by the early 2030s.

  • A February 2022 study found that implementing roadside technology to detect high-emitting vehicles improves urban air quality.


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