Climate Impact Report – 8/23

Quick Facts


killed in flash flooding in central Tennessee on Saturday from heavy rains and storms.


large active wildfires that have burned 2,503,430 acres across CA, CO, ID, MN, MT, NM, NV, UT, WA, AK, OR, SD and WY.


wildfires have burned 4,586,155 across the country this year.

Facts Of The Day 8/23

Extreme Heat

  • NOAA extended drought predictions for much of the Western United States into the Fall. Above-average temperatures are likely across almost all of the West, except for Washington and parts of Idaho, Montana and North Dakota.
  • Over the next three months, drought fueled by high temperatures and lack of rainfall may develop in northeastern Colorado and western Nebraska.
  • As of August 19th, 47% of the land in the contiguous 48 states is under drought conditions.
  • As of August 19th, the entire states of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota are experiencing drought conditions.
  • As of August 19th, 49% of California is under extreme drought conditions – the most severe drought category. About half of Utah, one-third of Nevada, and one-quarter of Oregon are in the most severe category as well.
  • Drought conditions are hammering California’s $6 billion almond industry, which produces around 80% of the world’s almonds. More growers are expected to abandon their orchards as water becomes scarce and expensive.
  • Drought conditions are weakening bee colonies and slashing honey production in North Dakota, the nation’s top honey producer.
  • A landslide earlier this summer in Colorado’s Blue Gulch blocked off part of the Colorado River, further complicating water shortages spurred by drought conditions.


  • There are currently 93 large wildfires that have burned 2,503,430 acres across CA, CO, ID, MN, MT, NM, NV, UT, WA, AK, OR, SD and WY.
  • This year to date, 41,122 wildfires have burned 4,586,155 across the country.
  • 2 new large wildfires were reported on Sunday – one in Colorado and one in Minnesota.
  • 1 new large wildfire was reported on Monday in South Dakota. The Little Sheep Fire near Wanblee burned 300 acres and was 0% contained.
  • 1 wildfire in Idaho, the Bedrock Fire, was reported contained on Monday after burning 11,167 acres.
  • 3 large wildfires were reported contained on Sunday – one each in Colorado, Oregon, and Utah.
  • For the first time in nearly half a century, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness closed due to wildfire threat in northeastern Minnesota.
  • Wildfires across California lead the U.S. Forest Service to announce the closure of nine national forests, including the Tahoe National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin, through Labor Day.
  • In California, the Caldor Fire has burned 104,309 acres and was 5% contained as of Monday morning.
    • The fire has destroyed a reported 475 structures and damaged a further 22.
    • 1,618 personnel are tackling the blaze, which jumped across Highway 50 Saturday night.
    • The fire threatens Grizzly Flats again, after causing massive destruction to the town last week.
    • In much of El Dorado County, the air quality was hazardous to breathe early Sunday and was considered very unhealthy by the afternoon.
  • In California, the Dixie Fire burned 724,110 acres and was 38% contained as of Sunday.
    • The fire has destroyed a reported 1,259 structures and damaged a further 91.


  • At least 5 people are dead and 1 are still missing in western North Carolina after heavy rainfall from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred caused flooding.
    • All 5 of the people who died were from Cruso, N.C., where homes were swept off their foundations.
    • County officials estimated that flooding had caused at least $300 million worth of damage and destroyed 225 structures in Cruso.
  • Rainfall from Tropical Storm Fred caused a 2.8 million gallon sewage spill in Georgia’s DeKalb County.
  • In central Tennessee, catastrophic flash flooding on Saturday from heavy rains and storms severely impacted rural communities about 90 minutes west of Nashville on Saturday.
    • From 9 inches to 17 inches of rain fell within a 6-hour period Saturday morning, and another round of severe weather impacted the same area Saturday night.
    • At least 22 people were killed, including twin 7-month-olds, when flash floods swept through Dickson, Hickman, Houston, and Humphreys counties, and the city of Waverly.
    • At least two dozen others remained missing as of early Monday morning.
    • A flash flood watch issued Friday quickly became a “flash flood emergency” Saturday as rainfall inundated the area, including the city of Waverly which was devastated by flooding.
    • One observation site recorded 17 inches of rain in 24 hours, blowing past the state’s nearly 14-inch record set in 1982.
    • The area has been battered by three floods in less than a year. The last one, in March, was also deadly.
    • More than 10,000 customers in the storm area were without power on Sunday, and boil water notices were in effect for the cities of Waverly and Bon Aqua, with Waverly reporting outages at its water treatment facility.
  • Tropical Storm Henri made landfall along the coast of Rhode Island near Westerly at 12:15 pm on Sunday with sustained winds of 60mph and gusts of 70mph.
    • The storm was downgraded from a hurricane before making landfall.
  • Henri was downgraded to a tropical depression on Sunday night as it moved across Connecticut towards the New York state line with sustained winds of 30 mph.
  • Rhode Island shut down major bridges, and all roads to the beach community of Misquamicut were closed because of wind-driven flooding.
  • More than 49 million people across the Northeast remained under flood watch as of Monday morning, with coastal flood watches in place from New Jersey to New Hampshire.
    • Henri produced 19ft waves in some places.
  • Up to 12 inches of rain is possible throughout northern New Jersey and southern New York, which could cause flash urban and small stream flooding.
    • Through Monday, three to six inches of rain is expected in New England, southeast New Jersey, northeast Pennsylvania, and Long Island, and other parts of New York.
  • A record 4.45 inches of rain fell in Central Park on Saturday, with the park recording what could be its wettest hour ever with 1.94 inches of torrential rainfall between 10 and 11 p.m.
  • Some communities in central New Jersey saw as much as 8 inches of rain by midday Sunday.
    • In Newark, police, and firefighters rescued 86 people in 11 incidents related to the storm.
  • Rainfall crippled railroad service on Long Island and in southern New England and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights on Sunday at NYC airports. Widespread roadway flooding was reported in New York and New Jersey.
  • Rain from Tropical Storm Henri resulted in the collapse of a road in Manchester, Connecticut.
  • Henri caused more than 140,000 customers to lose power throughout the Northeast. As of Monday morning, more than 56,000 customers were without power across the region as temperatures are set to soar into the low 90s.
    • As of early Monday morning, more than 44,000 customers were without power in Rhode Island and nearly 10,000 were without power in Connecticut.
  • On Sunday afternoon, President Biden approved emergency declarations for Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York due to Henri.
  • Remnants from Tropical Storm Linda are expected to bring torrential rain, potential flash flooding, and strong winds to portions of Hawaii through Monday.
    • A flash flood watch is in effect statewide through 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Climate Studies

  • An August 2021 report by the United Nations Children’s Fund showed 1 billion children are at ‘extremely high risk from climate change. Young people in the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau are the most at risk.
  • An August 2021 report, commissioned by Virginia’s General Assembly, concluded that climate change is expected to have an “increasingly disruptive effect” on residents of Virginia’s coastal areas.
  • An August 2021 study found that preventing deforestation and other destruction of wild nature can help avert future pandemics like COVID-19.


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