Climate Impact Report – 3/22
On Tuesday, at least two people were killed, and several others were injured by falling trees due to the storm in California.
Although recent storms have helped alleviate some drought conditions in the West, experts warn that the region still has not escaped longer-term conditions.
Farmers and ranchers face ongoing drought conditions in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
Key Facts Of The Day 3/22
Storms and Flooding
- On Tuesday, a strong late-season Pacific storm brought damaging winds and more rain and snow to saturated California.
- On Tuesday, at least two people were killed, and several others were injured by falling trees in California.
- As snow covered portions of Interstate 80 in Northern California, flooding prompted the temporary closure of other roadways further south, including several in Santa Cruz County and a portion of the Pacific Coast Highway south of Los Angeles.
- As of Wednesday, more than 125,000 utility customers in California were without power.
- On Tuesday evening in Southern California, the Weather Service issued a rare tornado warning for parts of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.
- An Amtrak commuter train carrying 55 passengers struck a downed tree and derailed near the East Bay village of Porta Costa.
- A severe windstorm across the ocean blasted Santa Cruz County with wind gusts up to 80 MPH at midday.
- Locally heavy rain and snowmelt may cause flooding Wednesday in southern California and central Arizona.
- On Tuesday, some residents of north-central Arizona were told to prepare to evacuate because of rising water levels in rivers and basins.
- As of March 17, 8 large active wildfires have burned 5,090 acres across the country.
- As of March 17, 5,972 wildfires have burned 77,759 acres across the country.
- In Florida, 4 fires have burned 4,032 acres as of March 17.
- In North Carolina, 1 fire has burned 150 acres as of March 17.
- Although recent storms have helped alleviate some drought conditions in the West, experts warn that the region still has not escaped longer-term conditions.
- California’s infrastructure was designed to rush water from north to south without much concern for recharging underground aquifers; as a result, stormwater runoff largely flows out to sea.
- This winter’s bountiful rainfall in the West has already triggered considerable growth in grasses and scrub that will dry out by summer, leaving a larger, thicker fuel bed for wildfires.
- The basin of the Colorado River, which runs through seven Western states and part of Mexico, received comparatively little rainfall from the atmospheric rivers.
- Although snowfall in the mountains was substantial, the long-term state of the river remains dire.
- Farmers and ranchers face ongoing drought conditions in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
New Reports and Data
- A March 2023 study found that people might be more favorable to removing fuel subsidies if told where the money would instead be spent.
- A March 2023 study found that the forest growing season in the eastern U.S. has increased by a month due to temperature warming.
- A March 2023 study found that the removal of prevention programs and climate change have increased the rates of Malaria in Peru.
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