Climate Impact Report – 04/26

Quick Facts


On Sunday, a spring blizzard knocked out power to thousands of people across western North Dakota and northwest South Dakota


As of Tuesday, there are currently 11 large active wildfires that have burned 219,147 acres across AK, AZ, FL, NE, NM, and VA

250 Glaciers

The Olympic peninsula's remaining 250 glaciers should be gone in another 50 years as humanity's pollution continues to overheat the planet

Key Facts Of The Day 4/26

Storms and Flooding

  • On Sunday, a spring blizzard knocked out power to thousands of people across western North Dakota and northwest South Dakota, and utility officials said it will likely take at least several days to restore power to everyone.

    • The strong winds that gusted up to 60 MPH and freezing rain created hazardous driving conditions.

    • More than 14,000 utility customers in North Dakota and another nearly 1,500 in South Dakota lacked power late Sunday afternoon.

    • The National Weather Service said more than a foot of snow was reported in places across western North Dakota, including 18 inches near Niobe in the northwest corner of the state.

  • Four months after the severe tornado events, Kentucky focuses on rebuilding.

    • In Mayfield, a candle factory, a nursing home and government buildings were destroyed. Homes were ripped from foundations and splintered by fierce winds.

    • Crews worked day and night to clear debris and restore power.

    • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said removing debris and finding temporary housing were early priorities after the tornado. More recently, attention has turned to keeping residents in Kentucky.

    • In Graves County, tiny homes were approved for displaced residents, and several larger homes are being built in Mayfield.

    • In some places, progress remains slow, and many residents are deciding to move away.

    • About $64 million in federal assistance has been approved for storm victims in Kentucky, with some aid targeting temporary housing.

  • National Weather Service officials say that last Friday, a storm rolled through numerous Kansas cities, including Grainfield, Mingo and Winona. Large hail was reported in Leoti, Colby, Holcomb, Ulysses, Hugoton and Garden City.

    • Sharon Springs, located in far western Wallace County, seems to have taken the brunt of the damage.

    • Photos posted on social media sites show roofs on large buildings that are caved in or gone and debris scattered around city streets.


  • As of Tuesday, there are currently 11 large active wildfires that have burned 219,147 acres across AK, AZ, FL, NE, NM, and VA. As of Tuesday, 20,408 wildfires have burned 872,431 acres across the country.

  • As of Tuesday, the Tunnel Fire in Arizona has burned 21,235 and is 20% contained.

  • As of Tuesday, the Hermits Peak fire in New Mexico has burned 56,654 acres and is 12% contained.

  • Hotter, drier weather has combined with a persistent drought to worsen fire danger across many parts of the West, where decades of fire suppression has resulted in overgrown and unhealthy forests and where increasing development has put more communities at risk.

  • Destructive fires in the U.S. Southwest have burned dozens of homes in northern Arizona and put numerous small villages in New Mexico in the path of danger.

  • Last Friday, more than 1,600 firefighters were battling six blazes in New Mexico and three in Arizona that have consumed more than 100 square miles of timber and brush.

  • Elected officials in Arizona and New Mexico have declared emergencies related to the latest wildfires, freeing up disaster aid.

  • Local, state and federal land managers in some areas have started to impose burn bans and fire restrictions, citing the continued dry conditions that plague much of the region.

  • On Monday, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order urging municipalities and counties around the state to ban the retail sale of fireworks.

  • The Nebraska wildfire killed one person and injured at least 11 firefighters.

Extreme Heat

  • On Monday, Gov. Kate Brown issued drought declarations for four Oregon counties including Deschutes, Grant, Lake and Malheur.

    • The governor said the low snowpack, low reservoir levels and low streamflow have caused or will cause natural and economic disaster conditions in the counties.

    • Water supply conditions and precipitation levels are not expected to improve and the governor expects the extreme conditions will affect local growers and livestock and increase the potential for fire.

  • The Olympic peninsula’s remaining 250 glaciers, which covered about 2 square miles at last estimate, should be gone in another 50 years as humanity’s pollution continues to overheat the planet.

    • The Olympic Peninsula has already lost 45% of its glacier coverage since 1980.

    • Worldwide glaciers are receiving less snow in the winter and more melt in the summer.

    • Glaciers serve as frozen reservoirs and provide water during the hottest, driest parts of the year.

    • Salmon and people rely on glaciers to keep rivers flowing and cool each summer.

    • Researchers said a rapid end to fossil fuel burning could delay the glacial melt-off by a few decades.

  • According to the new Global Assessment Report by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, human activity is contributing to an increasing number of disasters, with 350 and 500 medium-sized or large disasters a year occurring globally in the past two decades and more frequent events expected.

    • These disasters include weather-related events such as extreme heat and floods, but also include other hazards such as pandemics and chemical accidents.

    • The number of disasters could reach 560 a year, or 1.5 a day, by 2030, putting millions of lives in danger.

    • Humans have made decisions which are too narrow in focus and have been over-optimistic about the risk of potential disasters, leaving them unprepared.

    • The impact of disasters has also been heightened by growing populations in areas more prone to natural catastrophes.

New Reports And Data

  • An April 2022 study found that human activity is contributing to an increasing number of disasters which could reach 560 a year, or 1.5 a day, by 2030.

  • An April 2022 study found that New Mexico’s oil counties have some of the worst air pollution in the state.

  • An April 2022 study found that the Olympic Peninsula glaciers are expected to disappear in 50 years.


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