Climate Impact Report – 03/30

Quick Facts

50 million

is at risk for life-threatening extreme weather as line of storms race across eastern OK and western AR

At least 187

preliminary reports of tornadoes have been produced in March by the Storm Prediction Center


As of Wednesday, there are currently 39 large active wildfires that have burned 178,122 acres across AL, AZ, CA, FL, KY, OK, NC, SD, TN, TX, and VA

Key Facts Of The Day 3/30

Storms and Flooding

  • The Southeast is once again at risk for extreme weather in a month that has seen near-record tornadic activity in the US.

    • A line of storms racing across eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas will intensify through the day, putting over 50 million at risk for life-threatening extreme weather.

    •  A tornado watch will last into the early afternoon for portions of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and Louisiana.

    • As the storms move across Arkansas, the risk for severe storms will increase throughout the day.

    • One difference between this week’s storms and last week’s deadly tornado outbreak is how much more widespread the risk area is, how intense the winds will be and the longevity of damaging winds.

    • A moderate risk — level 4 of 5 — for severe storms covers the entire state of Mississippi and includes portions of Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee.

    • All across the South, winds are forecast to be strong ahead of the main line of storms which will have even stronger winds. Even before the storms approach, there could be damaging wind gusts of nearly 60 MPH out of the south.

    • High wind warnings are in effect ahead of the line of storms stretching from northwestern Tennessee to the Louisiana Gulf Coast.

    • The storm threat will continue through the evening hours and overnight, with storms hitting places like New Orleans, which is at a severe risk level 3 of 5, just about sunset.

  • As of Wednesday morning, the SPC has tallied at least 187 preliminary reports of tornadoes in March.

    • This is more than 233% of normal and just four shy of the highest March tornado count in recorded history (191 in March 2021).

    • On average, March averages about 80 tornadoes across the country.

  • Severe storms and a possible tornado damaged buildings and downed power lines in northwest Arkansas early Wednesday as tornadoes and hurricane-force winds were forecast in much of the Deep South.

    • The possible tornado struck about 4 a.m. and investigators were being sent to the Springdale area.

    • According to Springdale police, at least seven people were injured after a storm went through Northwest Arkansas.

    • There are still over 8,000 customers without power in the Northwest Arkansas area.

    • Damage was extensive in Springdale, including to an elementary school gymnasium and a warehouse.

    • The Springdale School District, which is the largest in Arkansas, canceled all classes Wednesday because of the storms.

  • Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning for various counties throughout Oklahoma.

    • In Seminole, one storm produced a 60 MPH wind gust and one-inch hail.

  • March tornadoes cause estimated $32 million in damages to homes in Round Rock, Texas.

    • These preliminary assessments show out of 680 damaged homes in Round Rock, 13 were “destroyed,” and 93 had “major damage.”


  • As of Wednesday, there are currently 39 large active wildfires that have burned 178,122 acres across AL, AZ, CA, FL, KY, OK, NC, SD, TN, TX, and VA. As of Wednesday, 15,068 wildfires have burned 544,164 acres across the country.

  • As of Wednesday,  the Eastland Complex Fire in Texas has burned 54,513 acres and is 90% contained.

  • As of Wednesday, the Crittenberg Complex in Texas has burned 33,175 acres and is 70% contained.

    • It consists of three wildfires in Coryell County, Texas.

    • About 80 people have been assigned to fight the fire.

  • As drought pushes east, more intense wildfires are sparking in new areas.

    • Many of the recent wildfires haven’t been popping up in the Pacific Northwest but  in places like Colorado and Texas, and have burned hundreds of thousands of acres in the past few weeks alone.

    • The drought has expanded eastward, pushing 70% of Texas — which was less impacted over the last two years — into severe drought.

    • More than 700 fires scorched around 164,000 acres in Texas this month, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.

    • In Colorado, around 19,000 residents were allowed to return to their homes Tuesday after a wildfire broke out near the Boulder area.

    • Nearly 10 million people in the Plains were under red flag warnings on Tuesday as forecasters warned a significant wildfire outbreak was possible, with the most dangerous conditions in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles and southwest Kansas.

Extreme Heat

  • Severe drought and mandatory water cuts are pitting communities against each other in Arizona.

    • In the Rio Verde Foothills community, hundreds of homes here get water trucked in from Scottsdale, but those deliveries will end on January 1, 2023.

      • Last summer, for the first time ever, drought conditions forced the federal government to declare a tier 1 water shortage in the Colorado River, reducing how much Arizona can use.

      • Residents are hoping to find another water source to purchase for their homes, but in order to do that they must get certain approvals from their county, which has not happened yet.

    • On the western border of Arizona, acres of farmland are luring big-city investment firms to rural Cibola. The land there comes with water rights to the Colorado River.

      • Greenstone, a Phoenix-based investment firm, bought nearly 500 acres with the intent to sell the land’s water allotment to Queen Creek, a growing Phoenix suburb about 200 miles away.

      • A district supervisor in La Paz County, home to Cibola, is fighting the plan.

    • Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts and Rep. Ro Khanna, a Democrat from California, recently introduced a bill aimed at preventing large corporations from profiting off water rights.

  • In mid-March, temperatures in parts of East Antarctica soared 70 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

    • The comparably balmy temperatures, which reached around 10 degrees Fahrenheit, arrived because of a history-making atmospheric river — a plume of concentrated moisture that flows through the sky.

      • This one brought an incredible dump of snow in the inner reaches of the ice sheet, something quite rare for the area.

    • Inland winter temperatures routinely fall beneath 60 degrees below zero.

    • The Conger Ice Shelf — a hunk of ice similar in area to Los Angeles — collapsed into the sea right around the same time.

    • March 17 was the fourth-wettest day since 1980 for the ice sheet.

New Reports And Data

  • A March 2022 study found that plastic bag bans may unintentionally drive other bag sales.

  • A March 2022 study found that temporary nature-based carbon removal can lower global peak warming levels but only if complemented by ambitious fossil fuel emission reductions.


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