Climate Impact Report – 8/24

Quick Facts


large active wildfires that have burned 2,528,611 acres across CA, CO, ID, MN, MT, NV, UT, WA, AK, OR, SD and WY. This year to date, 41,284 wildfires have burned 4,665,285 acres across the country.


months’ worth of rain dumped on New York City within a day and a half by Tropical Storm Henri.


of the U.S. spring wheat crop is in poor or very poor condition, versus 6% at this time last year.

Facts Of The Day 8/24

Extreme Heat

  • Texas grid operators say they expect record-breaking power demands this week from the heat.
  • Drought conditions are scorching key U.S. cash crops, further raising prices for staples including corn and wheat.
  • North Dakota and Minnesota are experiencing near-record lows in soil moisture thanks to drought conditions.
  • Due to persistent drought, the USDA forecast ending stocks for corn, wheat, and soybeans all at their lowest level since 2013.
    • Some 63% of the U.S. spring wheat crop is in poor or very poor condition, versus 6% at this time last year.
  • Excessive Heat Warnings were issued across the lower Mississippi River Valley with more widespread Heat Advisories stretching into the mid-Mississippi River Valley and Plains through midweek as heat indices climb into the 105 to 115-degree range.
  • Tuesday marks the sixth straight day of heat advisories and/or excessive heat warnings for much of the Baton Rouge area in Louisiana.
  • Triple-digit temperatures are forecast for some parts of Southern California by Friday, elevating the risk of wildfire.
  • As drought and wildfires threaten California’s power supply, the state’s Energy Commission approved licenses for five emergency gas generators in order to avoid blackouts.


  • There are currently 92 large active wildfires that have burned 2,528,611 acres across CA, CO, ID, MN, MT, NV, UT, WA, AK, OR, SD, and WY.
  • This year to date, 41,284 wildfires have burned 4,665,285 acres across the country.
  • Smoke from wildfires in North America has reached Europe – traveling as far as Spain and Portugal.
  • Smoke from wildfires raging in Northern California will start to filter into Southern California this week, causing poor air quality in the mountain regions of the San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire.
  • The fire potential in most of California’s mountains and foothills is forecast to be higher than normal through September and through October in areas prone to offshore winds.
  • The Caldor Fire burned 114,166 acres and was 9% contained as of Tuesday.
    • In a press conference Monday, the director of the CA Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said fire is encroaching on the Lake Tahoe basin.
    • Officials said that evacuation orders could remain in place for up to two weeks in El Dorado County.
    • The fire has destroyed a reported 615 structures and damaged a further 29.
  • The Dixie Fire burned 727,896 acres and was 40% contained as of Tuesday.
    • The fire has destroyed a reported 1,262 structures and damaged a further 91.


  • Abnormally warm water in the Atlantic has provided extra moisture to storms, possibly increasing rainfall.
  • The corridor from Hartford to Boston and the area around New York City have seen about twice the normal amount of rain in the last 90 days.
  • Tropical Storm Fred brought more rain in four days than parts of Western North Carolina, including Asheville, normally witness the entire month of August.
    • Asheville’s average August precipitation is 4.4 inches, but from Aug. 14-17 Asheville Regional Airport recorded 8.1 inches.
    • In Cruso, 10-15 bridges were destroyed or severely damaged by Fred.
    • At least eight roads were partially or totally closed in North Carolina due to storm damage on Monday.
      • Two were in Haywood, including U.S. 276, three were in Transylvania County with both lanes shut on N.C. 215 north of Rosman. Multiple landslides in the Nantahala Gorge closed U.S. 19 near Bryson City.
    • Asheville’s storm sewage system was overwhelmed, causing about 845 gallons of wastewater to spill.
    • Farms across several counties in Western North Carolina were severely damaged from flooding from Tropical Storm Fred.
  • Tropical Storm Henri was downgraded to a slow-moving post-tropical cyclone on Monday evening
  • Henri dumped almost two months’ worth of rain on New York City within a day and a half.
    • Henri produced New York’s rainiest Aug. 21 on record (4.45 inches), which was followed by the rainiest Aug. 22 on record (2.67 inches).
    • Over the weekend, the city saw more than 42 billion gallons of water from 8 inches of rain. New York City’s storm-sewer system was built to handle only 3.8 billion gallons of water a day.
  • Henri caused multiple trees to fall down across Massachusetts, damaging homes, cars and roads.
  • Henri spawned several tornadoes across Massachusetts a day after making landfall. Three EF0 twisters occurred in eastern Massachusetts between Worcester and Boston, with peak winds at around 65 mph.
  • Parts of New Jersey saw up to 9 inches of rain, triggering major flooding in several areas.
    • In Middlesex County, numerous roads were closed and vehicles submerged. Homes were flooded with 3 feet of water in Cranbury, some residences and businesses were flooded in Milltown, and evacuations were enforced in Helmetta.
    • Henry flooded Rossmor, a retirement community in central New Jersey, turning streets into rivers.
  • Extreme rainfall from Henri caused flooding across eastern Pennsylvania. Homes were flooded in Smithfield Township, vehicles were submerged in Scranton, and flooding shut down a stretch of Interstate 80 between Bartonsville and Tannersville.
  • Through Tuesday, rainfall of 1-2 inches and localized 2-4 inch totals are possible in southern New England.
  • Henri’s slow westward then eastward loop across southern New England over a period of more than 24 hours, while still classified as a tropical cyclone, is considered extremely unusual.
  • On Monday, the National Hurricane Center highlighted three areas for potential development in the Atlantic.
    • A disturbance in the eastern Atlantic south of the Cape Verde Islands, classified as Invest 98L, may be the first of the three to develop. 98L has a 10% chance of developing into at least a tropical depression by Wednesday and a 40% chance by Saturday.
    • A disturbance located a few hundred miles west of the Cape Verde Islands in the central Atlantic, classified as 97L, has a 10% chance of developing into at least a tropical depression by Wednesday and a 40% chance by Saturday.
    • A third disturbance over the southeast Caribbean has near-zero chance of development through Thursday but a 40% chance between Thursday and Saturday.
  • Tropical Storm Linda was downgraded to a remnant low by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.
    • Linda could bring as much wind and rain to parts of Hawaii as Henri brought to New York and southern New England.
  • In Tennessee, rescue efforts continued to locate missing people following deadly flash flooding in the central part of the state on Saturday.
    • Homes and cars were destroyed by flash floods, with some having moved blocks away from their original locations, and fires from blown electrical and gas lines still burned Monday evening.
    • President Biden approved a federal disaster declaration for Tennessee following flash flooding.

Climate Studies

    • An August 2021 study found that climate change worsened extreme rainfall and catastrophic flooding across Europe last month, increasing rainfall intensity between 3% and 19%.
    • An August 2021 study found that low-income Black, indigenous and Nevadans of color are more likely to work near harmful pollution, lack access to clean energy, live in urban heat islands, pay more for energy bills and transportation costs, and get left out of clean energy solutions that could lower bills and improve health.
    • An August 2021 study found that leaky sewer pipes are responsible for large amounts of human medicines contaminating rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water.
    • An August 2021 study found that drought and climate change are shifting tree diseases in the Sierra Nevada.


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