Climate Impact Report – 8/17

Quick Facts


large wildfires that have burned 2,272,904 acres across CA, CO, ID, MN, MT, NM, NV, UT, WA and WY. 


of outdoor workers in the United States, including construction workers, emergency responders and farmworkers could experience at least one week of workdays where extreme heat makes it too dangerous to work by 2050.


of flights in the United States canceled due to extreme weather effects including storms and wildfire smoke.

Facts Of The Day 8/17

Extreme Heat

  • By 2050, 60% of outdoor workers in the United States, including construction workers, emergency responders, and farmworkers could experience at least one week of workdays where extreme heat makes it too dangerous to work.

  • At least 384 workers have died in the last decade from environmental heat exposure in the United States.

  • The United States has a 70% chance of seeing La Niña return for the second straight winter this year.

  • A water shortage for the Colorado River has been declared by the federal government for the first time, which will trigger mandatory water consumption cuts for Southwestern states.

  • The Portland Housing Bureau in Oregon will require developers to include air conditioning in any future affordable housing project that is funded by the city.

  • Trees and plants in the Pacific Northwest are turning brown due to the extreme heat as a sign of stress.

  • On average, Washington sees 55 claims for worker compensation on a yearly basis for heat-related illnesses.

  • California’s almond harvest is projected to be 2.8 billion pounds this year, which is a drop from the original record forecast of 3.2 billion pounds due to drought.

  • Intense heat and drought conditions are contributing to stressed tomato crops in Wisconsin, which may lead to a drop in production.

  • Extreme heat has likely led to a yield decrease for this year’s corn crop in the United States.

  • Extreme weather effects including storms and wildfire smoke are increasingly affecting air travel, as canceled flights in the United States due to weather rose from 35% in 2004 to 54% in 2019.

  • Idaho’s onion and potato crops are likely to be smaller this year due to extreme heat from earlier this summer.

  • Red tide continues to be a presence on Florida beaches as of Monday.

  • Florida’s tourism industry lost more than $184 million in revenue as a result of the 2018 red tide outbreak.

  • The Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas are behind schedule on developing new regulations for the power grid that address climate change and extreme weather.

  • Vermont set a new record of 5 straight days where low temperatures remained above 70 degrees last week.


  • There are currently 104 large wildfires that have burned 2,272,904 acres across CA, CO, ID, MN, MT, NM, NV, UT, WA, and WY.

  • 9 new large fires were reported in California, Idaho, Montana, and Washington and 2 large fires were reported contained on Monday.

  • Governor Tim Waltz of Minnesota has authorized the state’s National Guard to assist with fighting wildfires.

  • Longer wildfire seasons have worsened the financial and mental health stress of firefighters.

  • California utility provider PG&E announced it could cut power to 48,000 customers across 16 counties on Tuesday to reduce wildfire risk from energized power lines.

  • One new fire sparked in California on Monday – the Walkers Fire burned 350 acres and was 0% contained.

  • One new fire was sparked in Idaho on Monday – the Boundary Fire burned 309 acres and was 30% contained.

  • Four new fires were sparked in Montana on Monday – the Dorothy Draw Fire burned 2,000 and was 0% contained, the Pine Grove Fire burned 5,000 acres and was 0% contained, and the Twin Fire burned 120 acres and was 0% contained. One fire was contained – the Duck – McCone Fire burned 1,099 acres.

  • Three new fires sparked in Washington on Monday – the Fork Corkscrew Fire burned 7,500 acres and was 0% contained, the Mack Mountain Fire burned 623 acres and 0% contained, and the Twenty Five Mile Fire burned 4,000 acres and was 0% contained.


  • Tropical Storm Fred made landfall near Cape San Blas, Florida with winds of 65 MPH on Monday.

    • Although Fred had weakened to a tropical depression over the weekend which barely registered in satellite imagery, it restrengthened into a hurricane-force by the time it reached the Gulf Coast on Monday afternoon.

    • Fred was located about 25 miles from Columbus, Georgia, moving north-northeastward at about 14 MPH and with maximum sustained winds of 35 MPH as of Tuesday morning.

    • Although Fred is forecast to weaken through midweek, it can still risk damage to lives and property through flooding and thunderstorms with the potential to spawn tornadoes.

    • Fred brought 6-10 inches of rain to the Panama City, Florida, area and could bring 1-4 inches to eastern Alabama and northern and western Georgia to northern Pennsylvania and part of upstate New York through Thursday night.

    • Parts of the mountains and foothills of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee, as well as northern Georgia and southwestern Virginia, could see up to 12 inches of rain, which heightens the risks of flooding, mudslides, and rock slides from Tuesday night through Thursday night.

    • The Mississippi-Alabama border and southern Georgia on northward into West Virginia and central Virginia could experience 2-4 inches of rain as the week progresses.

  • Tropical Storm Grace was located west-southwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with wind speeds of up to 45 MPH and moving west-northwest at 16 MPH as of Tuesday morning.

    • Grace is expected to pass between Cuba and Jamaica sometime on Tuesday before possibly reaching hurricane strength Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula Wednesday night.

    • The southern coast of Haiti, most of the southern coast of Cuba, and the Cayman Islands are under tropical storm watches.

  • Tropical Storm Henri was located 135 miles south-southeast of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds near 50 MPH moving at about 5 MPH as of Tuesday morning.

    • Bermuda remains under a tropical storm watch as tropical storm conditions are possible on Tuesday.

    • Henri is forecast to eventually weaken this week as it passes south of Bermuda on Tuesday.

    • Henri is expected to turn west by Tuesday night, move west-northwest or northwest by late Thursday and then gradually turn towards the open waters of the Atlantic and away from the southeastern part of the United States.

  • Hurricane Linda was a category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds at 90 MPH located about 1,900 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii as of Monday night.

    • Linda is expected to continue weakening as it turns west and then west-northwest over the next few days.

    • Hawaii may see increased swells and dangerous rip currents across the Hawaiian Islands from Linda.

  • Florida officials are concerned that summer rains and hurricanes could cause reservoirs at the Piney Point fertilizer plant to overflow, sending polluted water into the Bishop Harbor, habitat for marine life.

  • Flooding attributed to climate change risks washing away the oldest Black cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.

Climate Studies

  • An August 2021 study found that treating coral reefs with bacteria can help the reefs endure extreme heat.

  • An August 2021 study found that robotic floats may be able to provide valuable data for understanding the ocean as it changes due to climate change.

  • An August 2021 analysis found that tens of millions of outdoor workers in the United States could lose up to $55.4 billion in earnings each year by 2050.




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