Extreme Weather

Extreme events are occurrences of unusually severe weather or climate conditions that can cause devastating impacts on communities and agricultural and natural ecosystems. Weather-related extreme events are often short-lived and include heat waves, freezes, heavy downpours, tornadoes, tropical cyclones and floods. Climate-related extreme events either persist longer than weather events or emerge from the accumulation of weather or climate events that persist over a longer period of time. Examples include drought resulting from long periods of below-normal precipitation or wildfire outbreaks when a prolonged dry, warm period follows an abnormally wet and productive growing season.

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There is growing concern that the frequency and severity of extreme weather events are increasing under the changing climate. Scientists continue to study the impacts these extreme weather events can have on natural and managed ecosystems. Progress has been made in…

Changes in the timing and availability of water resources across the Northwest are affecting rangelands. Warming winter temperatures are reducing mountain snowpack and resulting in earlier snowmelt and less available water in the summer months. Reduced water availability,…

Drought impacts information helps the State of Utah in drought monitoring, planning and response efforts, and U.S. Drought Monitor authors in categorizing drought severity.  However, drought impacts in Utah have historically been under-reported, meaning that important…

Nutrient leaching is a process by which percolating rainwater carries dissolved nutrients down through the soil profile. Leached nutrients that reach shallow groundwater may then move towards surface water features like drainage ditches and streams. Nitrogen and phosphorus are…

Tree planting is a tangible action that can retain and increase carbon storage on natural lands. Planting trees is one of many actions that we can take to address climate change that can also help to promote resilient, healthy, and productive forests and communities. The…

The USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) have partnered with the regional partners to develop a series of brochures designed to help private landowners consider climate change in the context of their woods. The brochures…

The USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science have partnered with the Southern Plains Climate Hub and the City of Austin, Texas to assess the vulnerability of Austin’s urban forests and natural areas to climate change. How are urban…

Portions of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington have been experiencing abnormal dryness and drought conditions since January 2018. A virtual Northwest Drought Workshop was held on 28 and 30 July 2020 that provided information on drought in the region and how some USDA programs are…