Climate Impact Report – 8/31

Quick Facts


people in Louisiana and Mississippi have died in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida as of Tuesday morning.


people in Louisiana have been rescued by boat, helicopters and high-water trucks as of Monday.


customers are still without power in Mississippi as of Monday evening.

Facts Of The Day 8/31

Extreme Heat

  • The ongoing drought in California has forced restaurants to remove items such as potatoes or even entire dishes due to ingredient shortages.

  • North Dakota has reactivated its emergency feed program to assist eligible producers who have lost feed supplies due to drought conditions.

  • A Utah vegetable farmer has had to plant 20% fewer acres of crops such as sweet corn due to the drought in the West.

  • Brunswick County, Virginia schools are releasing students early on Monday and Tuesday due to excessive heat.

  • Bracken, Paradise, Whitney, and Winchester neighborhoods and parts of Las Vegas and Henderson in Nevada have all been identified as heat islands due to factors such as zoning laws, uneven investment, and dislocation.

  • The Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women near Pewee Valley has been without power for several days, subjecting the people inside to intense heat, which puts them at risk for heat-related illnesses.

  • Kansas City, Missouri, is participating in a study on its urban heat island effect to assess the most vulnerable communities and recommend how to help them.

  • Florida will not open snook fishing season this year as fish have been heavily impacted by the red tide.


  • Some daily wildfire statistics have not been updated yet at their source as of 12 pm Eastern, August 31. Please check here for the latest data as it becomes available.

  • As of Monday, there are currently 83 large active wildfires that have burned 2,563,634 acres across CA, CO, ID, MN, MT, NV, WA, OR, UT, WA, and WY.

  • Studying how wildfire smoke moves in real-time may provide firefighters valuable information on how wildfires behave and how to contain them.

  • All national forests in California have been closed to visitors due to extreme fire danger.

  • In California, the Caldor Fire burned 168,387 acres and was 19% contained as of Monday.

    • Governors in both California and Nevada declared states of emergency Monday.

    • All of the city of South Lake Tahoe and portions of the southern part of the lake were ordered to evacuate on Monday.

    • The evacuation order covers more than 53,000 people in El Dorado County, which includes South Lake Tahoe.

    • Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe evacuated all its patients on Sunday to partner facilities on Sunday and said it would close all its services and offices, including the urgent care and emergency departments.

    • Bears have damaged donations of food and other supplies given to firefighters in northeastern Minnesota as supplies have outstripped demand and there is no place to store the donations.

  • The conditions in the Chaparral Fire are so intense that firenadoes are being spawned in the wildfire. Firenados form when intense rising heat and turbulent wind conditions create swirls of air that become a tornado-like vortex that can suck up debris and gases.


  • At least 4 people in Louisiana and Mississippi have died in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida as of Tuesday morning.

    • Search and rescue operations are underway in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

    • More than 1 million people in Louisiana continue to have no power as of Monday afternoon and officials said it could take days to assess the damage.

    • At least 670 people in Louisiana have been rescued by boat, helicopters, and high-water trucks as of Monday.

    • 18 water systems in the state are out, affecting the drinking water supply for about 312,000 people, with another 14 systems affected which placed 329,000 people under boil water advisories.

  • New Orleans, Louisiana remains without power as of Tuesday morning due to Ida.

    • Parts of the city may have to wait weeks before power is restored, as road closures, flooding, and high winds hamper the ability of utility workers to reach certain areas.

    • A giant tower that carries key transmission lines over the Mississippi River to New Orleans collapsed during the storm, knocking out more than 2,000 miles of transmission lines and 216 substations.

    • City officials told residents that there is no reason to stay or return to New Orleans, at least for several days.

    • Despite upgrades post-Hurricane Katrina, the 911 call center crashed and was offline for 13 hours, forcing officials to tell residents to seek help in person from police or fire departments.

  • Ida forced 3 Southeastern Louisiana hospitals to evacuate, with a 4th requiring the rescue by the Coast Guard.

    • 65 patients from St. Anne Hospital in Raceland and Chabert Medical Center in Houma were evacuated on Monday.

    • Terrebonne General requested assistance to move about 100 patients, who are being sent to other hospitals in Louisiana.

    • The Lady of the Sea General Hospital in coastal Lafourche Parish had its roof ripped off during the storm, requiring the Coast Guard to rescue 7 patients.

    • A hospital official said that injuries from the storm as of Monday afternoon have been issues such as broken bones.

  • At least 20 people in Mississippi needed water rescues as of Tuesday morning.

    • At least 2 people are dead and 10 injured, 3 with life-threatening injuries after a highway collapsed in the aftermath of Ida.

    • 7 cars plunged into a 50-foot ditch after the highway collapse.

    • 8 of Mississippi’s counties reported damage as of Monday from Ida.

    • Almost 86,000 customers are still without power in Mississippi as of Monday evening.

    • Damage from Ida in Mississippi includes downed power lines and trees.

    • At least 5 hospitals and 4 nursing homes and other care facilities in Mississippi were running completely or partially off of generator power.

    • At least 20 water rescues have been performed in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties.

    • A person died in a traffic accident on the way to pick up sandbags in anticipation of Ida.

  • Alabama remains threatened by possible flash flooding from Ida as of Tuesday morning.

    • Central Alabama is under a flash flood watch as of Tuesday morning.

    • Parts of Alabama could see 1-2 inches of rain, sustained winds of 15 to 25 MPH and gusts of 30 to 35 MPH, which may mean smaller trees could be at risk of being knocked out of already saturated soil.

    • The eastern counties in the state could see an isolated tornado or two in the early afternoon on Tuesday.

  • Ida hit one of the nation’s largest hubs for chemical, petroleum and natural gas, including flooding a Phillips 66 levee in Plaquemines and causing two dozen barges to damage the Valero Refinery dock in St. Bernard Parish.

  • Tropical Storm Kate formed in the Atlantic on Monday and would move over the open waters of the ocean on Wednesday and Thursday.

    • Models suggest that significant strengthening is not currently likely and Kate could be absorbed by a larger extratropical low near Atlantic Canada.

    • Kate is the 6th earliest appearance of a storm named with the letter “K” in the past 55 years.

Climate Studies

  • An August 2021 study found that extreme wind-wave events will become more frequent due to climate change.

  • An August 2021 study found that social norms and social support are critical for understanding protective health behaviors during wildfire smoke events, which may have implications for how to improve public health outcomes.

  • An August 2021 study found that a more environmentally friendly fertilizer can be created by judiciously decomposing organic matter.


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