Climate Impact Report – 7/12

Quick Facts

130° F

record-breaking heat in Death Valley, CA


large wildfires active across AZ, CA, CO, FL, ID, MT, NM, UT and WA

30 million

people in the U.S. are under heat warnings and advisories as of Monday

Facts Of The Day 7/12

Extreme Heat

  • About 30 million people are under heat warnings and advisories as of Monday.

  • California’s Central Valley was under an excessive heat warning from Thursday through Monday, putting the region’s farmworkers at an elevated risk.

  • Multiple cities broke or tied their records for high temperatures over the weekend.

    • Needles, CA, reached a new record at 122 degrees on Saturday.

    • Barstow, CA, reached a new record at 117 degrees on Sunday.

    • Lancaster, CA, reached a new record at 113 degrees on Sunday.

    • Tonopah, CA, reached a new record at 105 degrees on Sunday.

    • South Lake Tahoe, CA, reached a new record at 92 degrees on Sunday.

    • Death Valley, CA, reached a new record at 130 degrees on Friday.

    • Grand Junction, CO, reached a new record at 107 degrees on Friday.

    • Las Vegas, NN, tied its record at 117 on Saturday.

    • Bishop, CA, tied its record at 111 on Saturday.

    • Kingman, AZ, tied its record at 111 on Saturday.

  • 15 states have been blanketed by extreme heat this year: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

    • Eight of these states saw their hottest June on record while another six saw their second hottest June.

    • The average June temperature across the continental U.S. was 72.6 degrees, which is 4.2 degrees above average.

    • This surpassed the record set in June 2016 by 0.9 degrees, marking the hottest June in the 127 years of record-keeping.

  • Parts of Utah remain under an excessive heat warning from Sunday to 9 PM Monday.

  • The California Independent System Operator issued a Flex Alert for Monday, asking residents to conserve power between 4 PM and 9 PM.

  • On Saturday, California ordered a stage 2 power emergency, which is one stage away from rolling blackouts.

  • At least 50 flights were cancelled at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Friday due to the heat.

  • West coast vineyards and wineries are at risk from damage to their crops due to the recent heat waves and potential wildfire smoke.

  • The U.S. Forest Service has been accused of being less aggressive in suppressing wildfires despite California battling dry conditions and people moving into wildfire-prone areas.


  • There are currently 63 large wildfires active across AZ, CA, CO, FL, ID, MT, NM, UT and WA. Nationally, 863,976 acres have burned so far this year.

  • The Hawaiian islands are seeing abnormally dry conditions, putting the state at high risk for wildfires.

  • In Arizona, the Middle Fire has burned more than 2,784 acres and was 0% contained as of Saturday. Parts of Tonto National Forest were closed as of Saturday.

  • In Arizona, Cedar Basin Fire has burned 300 acres and had unknown containment as of Sunday morning. Two firefighters died in a plane crash on Saturday in Mohave County while fighting the Cedar Basin Fire.

  • From January 1st to July 6th 2021, California saw 4,902 wildfires burn through a total of 83,237 acres statewide. This represents 720 more fires and more than double the 35,623 acres burned in California during the same period in 2020.

  • In California, the Beckwourth Complex Fire has burned more than 86,000 acres and was 20% contained as of Sunday night. The Beckwourth Complex Fire is the largest wildfire in the state. The fire spread into Doyle, burning more than two dozen homes over the weekend.

  • In California, the Sugar Fire, which is part of the Beckwourth Complex Fire, created its own lightning after a massive cloud of smoke and ash from the fire combined with dry heat.

  • In California, the Lava Fire has burned 25,159 acres and was 70% contained Friday. The fire has destroyed 20 structures, including 13 homes, and damaged two structures.

  • In Colorado, the Morgan Creek Fire has burned more than 1,920 acres and had unknown containment as of Sunday night. Areas in the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness and Continental Divide Trail were closed on Sunday, and air quality advisories were issued for Routt, Grand, Jackson, and Summit counties due to wildfire smoke.

  • In Montana, the The West Lolo Complex Fires had burned at least 1,018 acres with unknown containment as of Sunday afternoon.

  • Air quality advisories are in effect on Friday for parts of South and Central Oregon due to two large wildfires.

  • In Oregon, the Jack Fire, located in Douglas County, has burned 10,937 acres and was 10% contained as of Sunday evening. Evacuation orders remained in effect for nearby communities as of Sunday evening.

  • In Oregon, the Bootleg Fire has burned at least 150,000 acres and was 1% contained as of Thursday evening. The fire was so intense that firefighters were forced to retreat and more personnel had to be deployed last Tuesday. The fire threatens a major power grid, Path 66, that connects Oregon and California.


  • Hurricane Elsa was downgraded to a post-tropical storm on Friday.

    • Elsa moved past the U.S. and into portions of Atlantic Canada on Friday night.

    • Elsa had maximum sustained winds of 50 MPH by late Friday afternoon as the storm moved from Boston, Massachusetts to Maine.

    • Parts of Maine saw 4 inches of rain from Elsa on Friday.

    • Elsa brought 3.5 inches of rain to areas of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, which caused street flooding and stranded cars on Friday

      • Route 9 at Route 126 west of Boston was closed due to high water on Friday.

    • The rains from Elsa caused a small rock slide near West Haven, Connecticut, causing trains in the area to switch tracks for a few hours on Friday.

    • New Jersey saw two tornadoes from Elsa overnight on Friday, with winds downing trees and damaging buildings:

  • FEMA has denied Black-majority counties in the South disaster aid due to title issues at a rate that is twice as high as non-Black majority counties.

    • This included denying 20,000 applicants after Hurricane Katrina and more than 80,000 applicants after Hurricane Maria.


Climate Studies

  • A report published in July 2021 found that California’s system of dams and canals have deprived trees the resources needed to regenerate.
  • A report published in July 2021 found that Arctic wildlife are especially vulnerable to warming temperatures caused by climate change.


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