Climate Impact Report – 03/23

Quick Facts

TX tornadoes

A storm system that on Monday brought 25 tornadoes to Texas, including two that may have damaged about 1,000 homes, was spawning more twisters Tuesday as it pushed east


A tornado tore through parts of New Orleans and its suburbs Tuesday night injuring multiple people and killing one person


A volunteer firefighter died while battling wildfire in Comanche County, Oklahoma

Key Facts Of The Day 3/23

Storms and Flooding

  • A tornado tore through parts of New Orleans and its suburbs Tuesday night.

    • While people in the metropolitan region are used to dealing with severe weather such as hurricanes or heavy rains, it’s rare that a tornado moves through the city.

    • Ahead of the severe weather, many schools closed early or canceled after-school activities Tuesday in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi to allow students to get home before the weather deteriorated.

    • Louisiana’s federal and state authorities reminded thousands of hurricane survivors living in government-provided mobile homes and recreational vehicle trailers to have an evacuation plan because the structures might not withstand the expected weather.

    • The tornado injured multiple people and killed one person.

    • Some houses were destroyed while pieces of debris hung from electrical wires and trees.

    • Power poles were down and leaning over, forcing emergency workers to walk slowly through darkened neighborhoods checking for damage.

    • One resident of the Arabi suburb noted that their neighbor’s house was now in the middle of the street.

    • About 13,000 homes and businesses were reportedly without power in the three parishes around New Orleans after the storm.

  • A storm system that on Monday brought 25 tornadoes to Texas, including two that may have damaged about 1,000 homes, was spawning more twisters Tuesday as it pushed east.

    • Tornado watches were in effect for eastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, much of Alabama and a portion of the Florida Panhandle.

    • As of Tuesday evening, about 52,000 customers had no power in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana — almost 32,000 of them in Texas.

    • The National Weather Service determined the tornado in Jack County, Texas was an EF-3, with winds between 140 and 150 MPH.

    • An EF-2 tornado that blew through Houston County damaged 20 to 25 homes.

    • A reported tornado in Beasley, Texas injured five people in a trailer early Tuesday.

    • A reported tornado moved through Round Rock in Williamson County around 6 p.m. Monday. An emergency declaration was already in effect in Williamson County due to the recent fires.

    • The storm has also dumped widespread rainfall of 1 to 2 inches, with some areas getting as much as 6 inches.


  • As of Friday, there are currently 21 large active wildfires that have burned 129,168 acres across CA, FL, KS, MO, NE, NM, OK, SD, TX. As of Friday, 12,514 wildfires have burned 320,144 acres across the country.

  • The majority of active blazes on Monday were burning in Central Texas between Dallas and Midland, while a number of smaller fires that erupted late last week and over the weekend were contained or put out.

    • 178 Texas fires have burned more than 108,000 acres in the past week.

    • Despite some rain Monday, it wasn’t significant enough to extinguish the larger wildfires.

  • As of Monday,  the Eastland Complex blaze burned more than 54,463 acres and is 60% contained in Texas.

    • The complex consists of seven fires.

    • At least 158 structures in Eastland and Brown counties have been destroyed by wildfires.

    • Hundreds of animals have died in the Eastland Complex fires, and animal shelters in the affected areas are coping with an influx of displaced pets in recent days.

    • At least 400 head of livestock have died in the wildfires.

  • In Ranger, Texas, a man was arrested over the weekend on felony arson charges in connection with a fire that destroyed several structures, including a 103-year-old church.

  • A volunteer firefighter died while battling wildfire in Comanche County, Oklahoma.

Extreme Heat

  • Climate change is causing Michigan dog sledders to shift from snow to dry land.

    • Richard Rood, a professor of climate science at the University of Michigan, said that principally because of man-made climate change, Michigan’s cold seasons are different now — and, in portions of southern parts of the state, winters are often wetter.

  • The ozone hole is set to heal by 2060, but wildfires could slow its progress.

    • Researchers discovered that Australia’s “Black Summer” wildfires in late 2019 and early 2020 created a cloud of smoke so large that it rose into the stratosphere, circled the southern hemisphere, and triggered a chain of chemical reactions that destroyed ozone.

    • The smoke was associated with a 1% decrease in ozone at southern midlatitudes in March 2020.  The ozone layer is rebuilding itself by about 1-3% every decade.

    • Researchers suspect that other major wildfire events, like the 2017 and 2020 blazes across the Pacific Northwest, could have a similar ozone-depleting effect.

  • Weather in Puerto Rico is becoming more and more unpredictable, making work more difficult for farmers.

  • San Benito County, California farmers will receive zero state water for the rest of 2022 due to the drought.

    • The San Benito County Water District is usually tasked with distributing water to 500 agriculture accounts.

    • The last time the San Benito County Water District received its full allocation of state water was in 2017.

    • The water that’s imported and allocated for San Benito farmers comes from the San Luis Reservoir, the largest off-stream reservoir in the country. Last year, the reservoir’s water levels hit historic lows.

New Reports And Data

  • A March 2022 study found a 14% increased risk of atrial fibrillation in firefighters for every additional five fires fought annually.

  • A March 2022 study found that corals may look healthy, but coastal urbanization is destroying their delicate biorhythm which are responsible for coral metabolism, coral growth and reproduction cycles.

  • A March 2022 study found that ocean life may adapt to climate change but will be vulnerable to new stresses, like low food


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