What We Know

Everything you need to know right now about the climate fires raging in several states and Hurricane Iota.

The Big Picture

Climate disasters are real. Since Trump was elected, major disasters linked to climate change like hurricanes, floods, and wildfires have taken at least 3,649 lives and cost more than $478 billion in damages.

In May of 2020, the NOAA predicted an “above normal” Atlantic hurricane season, expecting 13-19 named storms, including 3-6 major hurricanes. By the middle of September, those predictions had already been exceeded with Hurricane Sally flooding the Alabama and Florida gulf coast only a month after Louisiana and Texas were struck by Category 4 Hurricane Laura, which set off a chemical fire near Lake Charles, LA.

This year’s western wildfire season has been particularly devastating with over 7 million acres burned and dramatic scenes of smoke-filled skies that seemed out of a sci-fi movie. The amount of smoke in the atmosphere has been so severe that it caused an upsurge in fatal heart attacks and hospitalizations for people with asthma — and it might also make people more vulnerable to COVID-19.

In the midwest, heavy rains in Michigan caused two dams to burst earlier this spring, forcing evacuations for thousands of Midland County residents. In a region still recovering from devastating floods in 2019 that left 19.4 million acres unplanted, a derecho swept across Iowa in August, wiping out crops.

Key Facts Of the Day

Last updated: Monday, November 23 at 9 AM EST.


Last updated: Monday, November 23 at 9 AM EST.

National: 8,750,197

Number of active fires: 11

Number of active fires: 2

Number of active fires: 1

Number of active fires: 4