Climate Impact Report – 04/13

Quick Facts


A line of severe thunderstorms was expected to sweep across parts of the Midwest and the Mississippi Valley on Wednesday


On Tuesday, 23 people were injured, including 12 who were hospitalized, after a confirmed tornado struck Salado, Texas, a rural town in Bell County


As of Wednesday, there are currently 13 large active wildfires that have burned 65,189 acres across AZ, KS, LA, NE, NM, OK, and TX

Key Facts Of The Day 4/13

Storms and Flooding

  • As of Wednesday, a line of severe thunderstorms was expected to sweep across parts of the Midwest and the Mississippi Valley on Wednesday, raising the risk of tornadoes, flash floods and damaging winds.

    • More than five million people were under a moderate risk for severe weather.

    • Several million more were under an enhanced and slight risk for storms, from Michigan and Wisconsin to as far south as Louisiana.

    • The heaviest rainfall, capable of creating flash flooding, was likely from southeastern Louisiana to southern Michigan.

    • Around the Little Rock area, forecasters were expecting storms to begin around the afternoon and evening hours, producing hail the size of golf balls and winds up to 80 MPH.

      • Periods of heavy rainfall were also expected to lead to local flooding

    • Meteorologists with the Weather Service in Memphis said they were expecting two rounds of storms on Wednesday, with heavy rain.

      • Storms could spawn tornadoes with winds exceeding 150 MPH.

  • On Tuesday, 23 people were injured, including 12 who were hospitalized, after a confirmed tornado struck Salado, Texas, a rural town in Bell County.

    • Texas was still experiencing tens of thousands of power outages Wednesday morning.

    • Grapefruit-size hail also accompanied the tornado, which was part of a severe storm system stretching from Austin to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Hail that measured up to 5.5 inches in diameter pelted the Salado area.

  • A confirmed tornado in Iowa tore through farmland near Gilmore City, Iowa.

  • Tornadoes accompanied by hail also hit Arkansas near Bloomer, Charleston and Scranton.

  • Several people were rescued in Bossier City, Louisiana, after storms toppled trees into homes.

  • A potentially historic blizzard slammed into North Dakota on Tuesday, closing highways, stopping flights, snarling in-city traffic, and prompting numerous closings and cancellations.

    • No travel was advised in the southwest and south central regions including Burleigh and Morton counties, and authorities closed Interstate 94 from the Montana border to Jamestown late in the afternoon, U.S. Highway 52 from Jamestown to Carrington, Interstate 29 from Fargo to the Canada border, U.S. Highway 2 from Devils Lake to Grand Forks, and state Highway 20 from Fort Totten to Devils Lake.

    • Bismarck declared a snow emergency, prohibiting parking on all designated snow emergency routes.

      • Vehicles stuck in the street were a common sight around town.

      • In many places on the edge of the metro area it was difficult to define clearly where the road was from the ditches surrounding it, and visibility was reduced to about 50 feet.

      • Bismarck police by about 4 p.m. had responded to seven crashes.

      • The blizzard could bring record snowfall to Bismarck, which could get 2 feet of snow, and could rank as “one of the worst storms in recent history.”

      • Numerous flights were canceled at the Bismarck Airport on Tuesday.

      • Public and private schools in Bismarck-Mandan called off in-person classes through Wednesday.

    • Conditions were expected to continue to deteriorate during what is likely to be a three-day storm.

  • Climate change worsened the record-breaking 2020 hurricane season.

    • In 2020, climate change increased hourly rainfall rates from tropical storms by as much as 10%, while hourly rainfall rates from hurricanes were as much as 11% higher than pre industrial conditions.

    • The most extreme three-day rainfall totals were 5% higher for tropical storms and 8% higher for hurricanes.

      • Extreme rainfall is one of the most significant threats from tropical storms, often triggering flooding and fatal events.

      • Rainfall from Hurricane Laura flooded coastal areas along the Gulf, taking numerous lives.

    • Human-induced climate change has increased the global average surface temperature by more than 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since preindustrial times. As the atmosphere warms, research has shown how the elevated temperatures increase threats by hurricanes.

    • Oceans absorb more than 90% of Earth’s excess heat, primarily attributed to greenhouse gases. Warmer ocean waters provide more energy for hurricanes to form and intensify more quickly.

      • Sea surface temperatures in 2020 rose by 0.72 degrees to 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit across the Atlantic.


  • As of Wednesday, there are currently 13 large active wildfires that have burned 65,189 acres across AZ, KS, LA, NE, NM, OK, and TX. As of Wednesday, 18,255 wildfires have burned 786,295 acres across the country.

  • As of Wednesday, the McBride Fire in New Mexico has burned 4,312 acres and is 0% contained.

    • The fire has destroyed or damaged 150 structures.

    • Many of the 7,600 residents were told to evacuate and more evacuation orders are possible.

    • Crews knocked the fire back near the middle school, and 1,700 students from the high school, middle school and elementary school were evacuated to the convention center.

  • As of Wednesday, the Big Hole Fire in New Mexico has burned 904 acres and is 0% contained.

    • At least one firefighter suffered a minor burn injury Monday.

    • One home and 18 outbuildings have been damaged or destroyed.

    • The area was seeing 40-50 MPH wind gusts.

    • About 200 structures are still threatened by the blaze.

Extreme Heat

  • More than 1,000 farmers and ranchers who draw water from a river that flows from the Upper Klamath Lake to the Pacific Ocean will have access to roughly one-seventh the amount they could get in a wetter year.

    • Downstream salmon will receive about half the water they’d get if the reservoir was full.

    • It’s the third year in a row that severe drought has affected farmers, fish and tribes in a region where there’s not enough water to satisfy competing demands.

    • Last year, no water at all flowed through the Klamath Reclamation Project’s main irrigation canal, and thousands of downstream juvenile salmon died without reservoir releases to support the Klamath River’s health.

  • Great Plains could see its most significant drought in a decade.

    • 70% of the Southern Plains is experiencing a severe drought or worse.

    • The Southern Plains area has received between 2 and 8 inches less than average of precipitation for the last six months.

    • As a result, farmers have abandoned a large amount of winter wheat, affecting both supplies in the country as well as potential exports. Winter wheat conditions for the country are the poorest they have been in the last 20 years for the beginning of April.

      • In the Plains, the amount of winter wheat in good to excellent condition is a mere 30%, and the amount in poor to very poor conditions is 36%.

    • The combination of dry air, below average precipitation and dry vegetation is also increasing the risk of wildfire.

New Reports And Data

  • An April 2022 study found that protecting tropical forests can yield climate benefits that enhance carbon storage in nearby areas.

  • An April 2022 study found a link between silica exposure and recent high rates of severe coal workers’ pneumoconiosis in West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky.

  • An April 2022 study found that exposure to a group of widely used ‘forever chemicals’ may increase diabetes risk in middle-aged women.


Wanna know more? Sign up for regular updates on extreme weather impacts and how you can fight for bold climate action.