Climate Impact Report – 04/20
A major winter-like storm unloaded up to 18 inches of snow in some parts of the interior Northeast and set new April snowfall records in Pennsylvania and upstate New York.
30% of normal
California is seeing more precipitation in mid-April than it did between January and March, but snowpack is still 30% of normal.
As of Wednesday, there are currently 12 large active wildfires that have burned 26,358 acres across AK, AZ, NC, NM, OK, and TX
Key Facts Of The Day 4/20
Storms and Flooding
- A major winter-like storm unloaded up to 18 inches of snow in some parts of the interior Northeast and set new April snowfall records in Pennsylvania and upstate New York.
- In Maryland’s capital of Annapolis, one man was found dead and three others were injured after a tree collapsed on a home Monday night.
- In New York City, the heavy rain caused all southbound lanes of the Major Deegan expressway to close during Tuesday morning’s commute due to flooding.
- Other low-lying areas in New Jersey and Connecticut experienced flooding Tuesday morning.
- 18 inches of snow was reported in Virgil and Bleecker, New York.
- New Milford, Pennsylvania reported 16 inches of snow.
- Many residents were shocked to see so much snow in April.
- The combination of heavy snow and windy conditions led to more than 310,000 power outages across the Northeast.
- In New York, more than 196,000 customers were without power Tuesday morning and in Pennsylvania, more than 52,000 customers were without power. Maine and Vermont also reported more than 50,000 power outages combined.
- Broome County in New York experienced a high volume of power outages, with nearly half of the customers in the county without power on Tuesday morning.
- By Tuesday afternoon, Binghamton, New York recorded 14.2 inches of snow, breaking the all-time April record for two-day snowfall.
- California is seeing more precipitation in mid-April than it did between January and March, but snowpack is still 30% of normal.
- The wet pattern will likely delay what would have been a very early start to the fire season, but it won’t be enough to recover this winter’s missed precipitation or the entrenched drought.
- More than three feet of snow has fallen in some locations, and another hefty storm is set to impact the region late Wednesday into Friday.
- At lower elevations, rain will be widespread and heavy, with up to 3 inches in the foothill regions and up to an inch in the Sacramento Valley, the Bay Area, and the Central Coast.
- As of Wednesday, there are currently 12 large active wildfires that have burned 26,358 acres across AK, AZ, NC, NM, OK, and TX. As of Wednesday, 19,612 wildfires have burned 831,685 acres across the country.
- As of Wednesday, the Cooks Fire in Arizona has burned 1,600 acres and is 0% contained.
- As of Wednesday, the McBride Fire in New Mexico has burned 6,159 acres and is 89% contained.
- Billowing black smoke during wildfire disasters has caused atmospheric carbon monoxide levels to increase.
- Wildfires raging across the west can impact the air locally and afar, with the potential to affect millions across the country.
- The toxic output from fires is dangerous, contributing to an estimated loss of more than 15,000 lives in the US each year. Some scientists say that number will double by the end of the century.
- Smoke from western fires has also been attributed to up to 5,900 asthma-related emergency department visits a year.
- The Colorado River earned the title of “most endangered” waterway in the nation in 2022.
- That Colorado River basin, which spans seven Western states and Mexico, is in the midst of a 20-year drought, as warming temperatures and aridification have sharply reduced its water supply.
- Utah’s Governor Spencer Cox warned a new state of emergency for drought is likely this year.
- As of Monday, 99% of Utah was listed in severe drought. On top of that, about 38% of the state was in “extreme” drought.
- The “Excess Urban Heat Mitigation Act of 2022,” from Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) would create a competitive grant program to fund projects by local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and nonprofits that address extreme heat.
- The $30 million grant program would fund projects like lighter-colored pavement and roofs that can reflect heat, tree planting, bus stop covers, cooling centers, and heat mitigation education.
- The bill would mandate that at least 50% of funding go toward projects in low-income and environmental justice communities.
- Scientists have found that natural climate cycles and human-caused climate change are the reason for Antarctic sea ice hitting a stunning record-low minimum at the end of February, dropping below 772,000 square miles.
New Reports And Data
- An April 2022 study found that billowing black smoke during wildfire disasters has caused atmospheric carbon monoxide levels to increase.
- An April 2022 study found how fine air pollution particles might cause lung cancer.
- An April 2022 study found that natural climate cycles and human-caused climate change are to blame for Antarctic sea ice hitting a record low minimum.
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