Climate Impact Report – 12/10

Quick Facts


Hawaiian Electric customers impacted by storm-related outages had their power restored, leaving 950 without power


was lost by one grape grower in Oregon after the grapes were tainted by smoke

11 million

people are under winter weather alerts stretching from the Sierra Mountains, across the Rockies and stretching into the Central Plains and the Upper Midwest

Key Facts Of The Day 12/10

Storms and Flooding

  • A large storm system will cross from California to Michigan the rest of this week producing up to 2 feet of snow, wind gusts above 70 mph and the risk for nighttime tornadoes.

    • As of Thursday morning, 11 million people are under winter weather alerts stretching from the Sierra Mountains, across the Rockies and stretching into the Central Plains and the Upper Midwest.

    • Almost 8 million Michiganders are under High Wind Watch until Saturday morning.

    • Denver, Colorado is not expected to get big snow totals out of this, with a forecast for an inch or less.

    • Salt Lake City, Utah is expected to see 3 to 6 inches of snow, locally higher amounts, which will break their 258-day snow drought.

    • On Friday, the heavy snow will track across the southern Plains and into the Upper Midwest with 6 to 8 inches of snow possible through Friday night.

    • On Friday, 16 million people are at risk for tornadoes, damaging winds of 75 mph or stronger and large hail.

  • Hawaiian Electric crews restore power to 3,000 customers impacted by storm-related outages, but 950 customers remain without power.

  • Companies large and small, some with longtime roots in their neighborhoods, are looking for new real estate that is less prone to weather and climate extremes.

    • This indicates that vulnerable communities that are prone to flooding, sea level rise, and/or wildfires may see a decrease of large employers in the coming decades.

    • Within the past three years, tech giant Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a major hospital in South Carolina, and the nation’s eighth-largest airline by passengers carried have all decided to move their infrastructure to higher ground.


  • As of Friday, there are currently 13 large active wildfires that have burned 105,279 acres across AK, CA, KY, MT, NC, OK, and WV. As of Friday, 54,350 wildfires have burned 6,802,729 acres across the country.

    • As of Friday, the KNP Complex fire burned 88,307 acres and was 80% contained.

  • The Giant Forest at Sequoia National Park will reopen to the public Saturday nearly three months after it was closed when the KNP Complex Fire burned through the historic tree groves.

  • As the climate crisis continues with intense wildfires, the wine industry is increasingly vulnerable and growers across the world are scrambling to find solutions.

    • In Oregon, one wine grape grower lost about $300,000 after the grapes were tainted by smoke.

    • The total area burned during the 2020 wildfire season was among the largest in Oregon’s recorded history.

  • In Lubbock, Texas wildfire risks rise with regional drought and high winds.

Extreme Heat

  • Native Americans’ farming practices may help feed a warming world by trying to fit the crops to the environment rather than remaking the environment.

    • Tohono O’odham members run the San Xavier Cooperative Farm and grow “traditional desert cultivars” such as 60-day corn, a fast-maturing desert-adapted vegetable, and the tepary bean, a high-protein legume particularly suited to the climate because of leaves that can fold to withstand direct sunlight during the peak of summer.

    • They use dryland farming methods such as capturing precipitation during the Arizona monsoon season to sustain crops on their field in the desert lowlands.

    • In Tucson, the Santa Cruz River is now dry because of too much diversion and burgeoning demand.

  • Supply chain issues, extreme weather events and shipping container shortages have led to problems for Christmas tree growers and retailers.

    • Increased incidents of flooding, fires, drought and extreme heat have put a strain on growers in the Pacific Northwest, the country’s leading region for Christmas trees.

  • Virginia regulators voted to reject a standard to protect workers from extreme heat, two years after they initiated the rulemaking process with a unanimous decision.

  • Weather extremes challenge the health of the unhoused as cities’ warming and cooling centers are open during the day, but nighttime options are more sparse, especially during winter.

New Reports And Data

  • A December 2021 study found that live oaks and American sycamores are champions among 17 “super trees” that will help make cities more livable by improving climate and health in vulnerable urban areas.

  • A December 2021 study found that tundra fires are accelerating the permafrost collapse in Arctic Alaska by contributing disproportionately ‘thermokarst,’ the abrupt collapse of ice-rich permafrost as a result of thawing.

  • A December 2021 study found that crop pests and diseases in China have significantly increased, with climate change being one of the relevant drivers.


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