Climate Impact Report – 7/9

Quick Facts

28 million

people in the Western U.S. could see temperatures in the triple digits in the coming week


people lost power in Virginia due to Tropical Storm Elsa


acres have burned so far this year across the U.S.

Facts Of The Day 7/9

Extreme Heat

  • At least 28 million people in the Western United States could see temperatures in the triple digits in the coming week in what may be the hottest heat wave ever recorded on Earth.

    • Areas set to experience high heat include parts of California and the Desert Southwest to the Great Basin and Oregon.

    • Las Vegas, Nevada, could match or beat its all time high of 117 degrees and Death Valley, California, could see a high of 129-131 degrees.

  • As of Thursday, Washington State has identified 78 deaths that are likely linked to the late June heatwave, compared to seven such deaths in all of 2020.

    • 19 counties reported deaths, with the majority in King and Pierce counties.

    • The highest number of deaths was 33 on June 29th.

    • More than 2,000 heat-related visits to the emergency department were reported between June 25th and July 1.

  • As of Thursday, Oregon has identified 116 people whose deaths are linked to the extreme heat from late June’s heatwave.

    • 46 deaths have been officially confirmed as linked to the heat wave, with a total of 71 deaths confirmed or suspected as linked to the heat wave.

  • Small businesses face unexpected costs due to climate change, including increased expenses for air conditioning upgrades, higher electricity bills and irrigation systems to protect property in case of wildfires.

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom urged residents to conserve water as he issued an emergency proclamation.

    • The proclamation added nine counties designated as being in a drought emergency.

    • 50 of the state’s 58 counties are now in a drought emergency.

  • The California Independent System Operator called for a Flex Alert on Friday, asking residents to conserve energy between 4 PM and 9 PM.

  • Officials warn migrants that crossing the border continues to remain very dangerous because of issues including high heat. At least 15 “unnecessary deaths” of migrants have occurred in 2021 due to extreme heat.

  • The heatwave that covered the Pacific Northwest and parts of Canada in late June may have killed millions of shellfish.


  • There are currently 56 large wildfires active across AZ, CA, CO, FL, ID, MT, NM, UT and WA. Nationally, 566,525 acres have burned so far this year.

  • Unauthorized drones over or near wildfires have become an increasing problem as they can interfere with firefighting aircraft and increase risks to firefighters on the ground.

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom is set to approve an additional $500 million for wildfire prevention, which is more than double what is allocated in the current budget deal.

  • In California, the Beckwourth Complex Fire has burned more than 12,400 acres and was 30% contained as of Thursday night. Nearby areas were ordered to evacuate on Wednesday and Thursday.

  • In California, Salt Fire burned almost 12,644 acres and was 35% contained as of Friday morning. The fire has burned 27 homes and 14 outbuildings and Gregory Creek Road at Interstate 5 remains closed as of Thursday.

  • In California, the Tennant Fire has burned 10,580 acres and was 81% contained as of Thursday morning. The fire spawned a fire tornado which lasted 30 minutes and uprooted trees.

  • In California, the Lava Fire has burned 25,003 acres and was 70% contained Thursday. A highly-trafficked Union Pacific rail line suffered significant damage, including damage to the 1,100 foot long Dry Canyon Bridge.

  • In Colorado, the Muddy Slide Fire has burned 4,093 acres and had unknown containment as of Thursday night. The cost of fighting the fire stands at over $8 million.

  • In Colorado, the Sylvan Fire has burned 3,972 acres and was 68% contained as of Thursday night. The cost of fighting the Sylvan Fire stands at $6.79 million.

  • With 80% of the state in drought, fire potential in Idaho has been rated “significant” from July through September.

  • In Idaho, the Big Horse Fire has burned about 50 acres and had unknown containment as of Thursday evening. Homes on nearby farmland are threatened but no evacuations have been ordered.

  • Smoke from Idaho and Washington fires began to drift into Montana on Wednesday night.

  • Lightning has caused 17% of Montana wildfires this year to date.

  • In Oregon, the Bootleg Fire has burned at least 16,800 acres and was 1% contained as of Thursday evening. Evacuation orders have been expanded as of Thursday evening.

  • In Washington, the Batterman Fire has burned 14,300 acres and was 50% contained as of Thursday. Full containment is expected by Sunday.


  • Tropical Storm Elsa was located 90 miles southwest of Montauk Point, NY, as of Friday morning with maximum winds at 50 MPH and was moving northeastward at 31 MPH.

    • Gusts from Elsa were reported at 78 MPH at Ludlam Bay and 71 MPH at Beach Haven in New Jersey on early Friday morning.

    • The New England waters are warm enough for a possible restrengthening of Elsa.

    • Elsa is projected to travel along the New England coast on Friday and may possibly make landfall again somewhere in southeastern New England after brushing Long Island, NY.

    • As Elsa is forecast to move over cooler waters in east of New England and around Atlantic Canada at the end of the week, the storm is likely to be downgraded to a non-tropical system.

      • Before Elsa loses strength the storm is still projected to bring heavy rain, gusty winds and the risk of severe thunderstorms over New England.

    • Multiple cities are forecast to see hours of heavy rain and gusty winds, including New York City, NY; Hartford, CT; Providence, RI; Boston, MA, and Portland, ME.

    • The Atlantic coast is forecast to see 1-2 inches of rain and local amounts are expected to be 2-4 inches from the Atlantic coast to about 100 miles inward. Some parts may see up to 6 inches of rain.

    • Elsa could exacerbate flooding issues in multiple cities:

      • New York City saw 2.27 inches of rain on Thursday that caused street flooding. Heavy rains are forecast for Friday.

      • Boston has already seen 5.26 inches of rain during the first week of July, which is more than 8 times the normal rainfall for the seven-day period. Already soaked soil may cause rapid runoff and flooding in some areas.

    • Areas including the mid-Atlantic capes and barrier islands, southeastern Massachusetts, as well as eastern Long Island could all see winds of up to 70 MPH.

    • Areas near and southeast of Elsa’s track, including the coastal parts of Virginia to New Jersey and southeastern New England, are at risk for severe weather such as severe thunderstorms, isolated tornadoes and waterspouts.

    • From Thursday night into Friday morning, the area from Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay saw potential tornado activity.

    • On Friday, the northern mid-Atlantic coast and along the southeastern New England coast and the eastern portion of Long Island may see a storm surge of 1-3 feet, which may lead to flooding.

    • Parts of New York City’s subway system and a highway also suffered from flooding due to the heavy rains brought by Elsa.

    • Elsa also brought rain, tornado activity and winds up to 50 MPH to Virginia.

      • Suffolk saw one tornado, with another possible in Chesapeake.

      • As of Thursday night, over 9,700 people were without power across Hampton Roads, 3,211 people were without power in York County and over 1,000 each in Isle of Wight County, and the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk and Newport News also had no power.

Climate Studies

  • A report published in July 2021 found that changes in climate affected the size of human bodies.

  • A report published in June 2021 found that multiple coastal locations in the United States will see an increase in flooding at high tide.

  • A report published in July 2021 found that the late June 2021 heatwave that affected the Pacific Northwest was impossible without human climate change.


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