High-Impact Weather and Climate Events

High-impact events cause the majority of societal costs related to weather and climate. They provoke societal responses that can either enhance or detract from long-term adaptation to climate risk. In 2015, WWA began a new research focus on extremes that is designed to place high-impact events in the context of historical climate variability and projected climate change, assess how the risk of these events varies over time and space, and examine how high-impact events interact with place-based vulnerability.

The High-Impact Events Database has 280+ historical high-impact weather and climate events in our three-state region, and a complementary set of regional event maps showing how risk varies seasonally across the region for different types of weather and climate events.

The database is a curated collection of significant weather and climate-related events in the Western Water Assessment region. The types of events included are: avalanches, cold waves, dam failures, droughts, floods, hail, high winds, landslides, tornadoes, wildfires, and winter storms. We search federal, state, county, and local databases, library archives, news accounts, and other sources for current and historic notable weather and climate-related events in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. This database is not a scientific collection of extreme events. The majority of events included in this database are incidents that were identified as remarkable by one of the sources listed above.

All CPI-Adjusted Damage costs are 2022 values, calculated from: https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/. CPI-Adjusted Damage costs are unavailable before the year 1913.

WWA High-Impact Events Database Map (1864-2021)

This map is a visual representation of all the high-impact events in our database by county from 1864-2021. The counties with no data represent counties with no events explicitly reported in the database.

State County City Date Sort ascending Event Type Deaths CPI Adjusted Unadjusted Summary Links
Utah Grand Moab August 20, 2022 Flood
Colorado Larimer Glen Haven, Drake August 15, 2022 Flood
Colorado Douglas, Denver, Arapahoe Aurora, Highlands Ranch, Denver August 15, 2022 Flood
Colorado Larimer Estes Park July 27, 2022 Hail
Colorado Larimer July 15, 2022 Flood 2
Wyoming Park, Teton June 12, 2022 Flood
Colorado Boulder Louisville, Superior December 30, 2021 Wildfire, High Wind 2 $553,604,000.00 $513,213,000.00
Colorado, Wyoming December 15, 2021 High Wind
Colorado Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Jefferson, Weld October 12, 2021 Drought
Utah Emery August 02, 2021 Flood 1
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