Climate Impact Report – 03/10

Quick Facts

11 Million

people are under winter weather alerts, from western Illinois to Utah and Arizona.

34,000 acres

burned in Florida Panhandle from three sweeping wildfires that started last week.


study finds that urban neighborhoods that were redlined by federal officials in the 1930s have higher levels of harmful air pollution eight decades later.

Key Facts Of The Day 3/10

Storms and Flooding

  • A strong winter storm is expected to impact a large swath of the US, bringing snow Thursday to the central region before forming into a bomb cyclone on its way east over the weekend.
    • About 11 million people were under winter weather alerts Thursday, stretching from western Illinois to parts of Utah and Arizona.
    • In the Midwest, snow was expected to begin falling overnight Wednesday into Thursday in northwest Missouri and eastern Kansas.
      • Up to 8 inches of snow is expected in Kansas City, Kansas.
      • In anticipation of those conditions, schools in Kansas City, Missouri, announced they would close Thursday.
    • Parts of Nebraska and Flagstaff, Arizona, could see up to 3 inches of snow.
    • The storm is also expected to deliver heavy rain and possible thunderstorms to areas in the South, including Atlanta, Birmingham, Alabama, and Charleston, South Carolina, as it moves in Friday night to Saturday morning.
    • A wintery mix and snow will come into play in some areas as temperatures plummet well below average. Forecasts show parts of Alabama and Mississippi could see snow, while some flakes could also mix with Louisiana’s rain.
    • As the storm travels to the east, it’s expected to strengthen into a bomb cyclone.
    • Strong winds and snow are in store for the Northeast as the cyclone reaches hurricane-level strength off the Atlantic coast.
    • Concerns in the interior areas of the Northeast include blizzard-like conditions and widespread wind damage.


  • As of Feb. 25, there are currently 6 large active wildfires that have burned 12,214 acres across CA, FL, MS, and OK. As of Friday, 7,087 wildfires have burned 149,774 acres across the country.
  • As of Wednesday evening, three sweeping wildfires that started last week in the Florida Panhandle have burned more than 34,000 acres and are threatening surrounding communities amid dry and windy weather.
    • A series of severe storms and substantial rainfall on Wednesday helped firefighters in the Florida Panhandle in their efforts to contain wildfires that are threatening nearby communities.
    • As of Wednesday evening, the largest blaze in the Chipola Complex, the Bertha Swamp Road fire, was more than 33,000 acres in size and was 20% contained.
    • As of Wednesday evening, the two other Chipola Complex fires — the Adkins Avenue and Star Avenue fires — have combined to burn a little over a thousand acres and are nearly contained.
    • Gov. Ron DeSantis said during the news conference on Tuesday that the state was working to provide $6.1 million to help families affected by the fires.

Extreme Heat

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has launched a new $162 million grant program aimed at water restoration and drought resolution efforts in the Klamath Basin.
    • Over the next five years, these funds from the bipartisan infrastructure bill will help expand ongoing fish and habitat recovery efforts and water quality improvements in the Klamath Basin.
    • The wildlife service is accepting grant proposals from state and local groups, Native American tribes, nonprofits, and conservation groups. 
    • Earlier this month, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a state of emergency for Klamath County’s severe drought conditions. The order gives state agencies greater ability to aid with local drought mitigation efforts.
  • New legislation would direct California’s Division of Occupational Health and Safety to develop a new “ultrahigh” heat standard and strengthen air quality protections. 
    • The bill was supported by research from students in UCLA School of Law’s California Environmental Legislation and Policy Clinic.
    • The future standard would include mandatory measures like work breaks, increased monitoring for heat sickness, and access to cool water and shade structures when temperatures exceed 105 degrees, building on existing rules that kick in at 80 degrees. 
    • If passed, the bill would also direct Cal/OSHA to lower the air quality threshold for employers to distribute respiratory protective equipment to workers, reducing workers’ exposure to harmful particulate matter pollution from wildfires and other sources. 
    • Research by UCLA public policy professor R. Jisung Park finds that high temperatures increase risks of both heat illness and workplace accidents in indoor and outdoor settings, estimating that excess heat causes around 15,000 injuries in the state each year. 
    • Heat waves in California often coincide with wildfires — exacerbating harmful health effects on outdoor workers.
  • Kansas farmers are planting more cotton as climate change redraws agricultural maps.
    • As temperatures increase in Kansas, farmers need to get creative and cultivate more drought-tolerant crops such as cotton.
  • Santa Barbara County, California sees third year in a row of drought. 
    • The inches of rain that fell early in the water year — nearly two feet at San Marcos Pass — sank to just about zero through January and February. 
    • Lake Cachuma was at 47% capacity, with nearly all the water in the lake allocated downstream or for fish passages.

New Reports And Data

  • A March 2022 study found that urban neighborhoods that were redlined by federal officials in the 1930s tended to have higher levels of harmful air pollution eight decades later. 
  • A March 2022 study found that Florida’s 76,000 stormwater ponds emit more carbon than they store.
  • A March 2022 study found that Caribbean coral reefs have been warming for at least 100 years. 
  • A March 2022 study found that streams around North America that were altered by human activity are at greater risk of floods and drought. 


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