SCIPP has produced a summary of the winter weather event from February 2021 that greatly impacted the south central U.S. It was the coldest event to occur in the SCIPP region in over 30 years, and the prolonged extreme cold coupled with wintry precipitation caused numerous waterline breaks, power outages, and nearly 200 fatalities, amongst other impacts. The summary was produced by SCIPP Climate Assessment Specialist Darrian Bertrand and SCIPP Research Associate Simone Speizer.
February 2021: Extreme Cold, Snow, and Ice in the South Central U.S. is a 30-page document that begins with information about the weather pattern and describes records that were broken, the context of the event compared to climatology, and past historic events. The second half of the document describes impacts to various sectors including energy, water, health, infrastructure, the economy, the environment, and society. Examples of hazard mitigation successes in the region are also provided to encourage stakeholders to reduce their vulnerability for future extreme cold events, especially in the energy sector. These distinct sections allow for easy navigation through the document.
To help meet stakeholder needs, this summary was written for a general audience with the goal of helping individuals compare the south central U.S. February 2021 extreme cold event to past events.