Top Climate Change Risks: Storm, Heat

Learn how climate change is affecting people in Pennsylvania.
Then, check your local risk for heat, storm, fire, drought, and flood through 2050.

Typical Risks for Someone in Pennsylvania

Compared to people in the United States, people in Pennsylvania will experience especially increased risks from storm and heat due to climate change over the next 30 years.

The ClimateCheck Risk Rating is a 1-100 score that measures historical risk and increased exposure to risk with climate change, compared to everywhere in the U.S. (lower 48 states). A rating of 100 means risk is the highest for the U.S., while 1 means the risk is the lowest of anywhere in the U.S. Even with a risk rating of 1, climate change has both localized and large-scale effects that impact everyone on Earth.
See how we measure risk.

For fire, the bar estimates the middle 50% of buildings and middle 50% of land area. For heat, drought, and storm, the bars represent the middle 50% of the population.

Climate Risks for Cities in Pennsylvania

Of the top cities in Pennsylvania, the city with the highest overall risk is Philadelphia. The city with the lowest overall risk is Altoona.

For heat, Scranton has the lowest risk and Pittsburgh has the highest risk.

For storm, Scranton has the lowest risk and Altoona has the highest risk.

For drought, Scranton has the lowest risk and Reading has the highest risk.

For fire, Philadelphia has the lowest risk and Altoona has the highest risk.

For flood, Erie has the lowest risk and York has the highest risk.

Comparing Pennsylvania and Other States

Among the lower 48 states, Pennsylvania's highest ranking is #5 for storm risk.
New Hampshire and Vermont rank highest for storm risk Nevada and New Mexico rank lowest for storm risk

Pennsylvania ranks #30 for fire risk.
Highest fire risk: Utah and Kansas
Lowest fire risk: District Of Columbia and Rhode Island
See our fire ranking methodology.

Pennsylvania ranks #26 for drought risk.
Highest drought risk: Arizona and Wyoming
Lowest drought risk: Mississippi and Illinois

Pennsylvania ranks #18 for heat risk.
Highest heat risk: Florida and Louisiana
Lowest heat risk: Washington and North Dakota

Storm Risk in Pennsylvania with Climate Change

To measure storm risk, we look at the amount of precipitation that falls in storms, and how many times this happens per year. A storm is based on the top 2% of rainiest days per year for a location. Our risk rating is based on the amount of precipitation historically and the relative increase compared to the rest of the United States.

Historically, Altoona experienced an average of 1.5 inches of rain about 10 times per year. In 2050, it is projected to experience an average of 1.8 inches of rain about 26 times per year.

Historically, Scranton experienced an average of 1.7 inches of rain about 10 times per year. In 2050, it is projected to experience an average of 2.0 inches of rain about 23 times per year.

Heat Risk in Pennsylvania with Climate Change

An extremely hot day in Pennsylvania depends on your location: 94ºF is extremely hot for Philadelphia, while 87ºF is considered extremely hot for Erie. This is based on historical maximum temperatures on the top 2% of days in an average year.

The frequency of very hot days is increasing. On average, someone in Pennsylvania will experience about 40 extremely hot days in 2050.
A typical person in the U.S. will experience about 43 extremely hot days in 2050.

How Can We Adapt to a Changing Climate?

Mitigating climate change—by eliminating our emissions into the atmosphere and reducing our strain on the environment—and adapting to our changing planet are both vital to our well-being.

Understand Risks

Check your address and get a free report describing risks to your property and in your area.

Your level of risk depends on your city's capacity to adapt. Look up information on your city's characteristics and how they relate to preparedness for climate change: ND-GAIN Urban Adaptation Assessment.

Protect Homes and Communities

Check our free report for tips on protecting your home from hazards.

Green infrastructure is a category of nature-based solutions increasing precipitation. Find resources for individuals and municipalities through the EPA's Soak Up the Rain initiative.

Planting trees and vegetation helps reduce extreme heat in urban environments. Cool Pavements can also help urban heat islands. Search the Heat Island Community Actions Database to see what some municipalities have been doing to reduce extreme heat risk.

Read more about building resilience for communities: U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit.

Use the Common Cause tool to find your representatives (federal to local), how to contact them, and information about political contributions and bills they have introduced.

Find Balance

Change is necessary–and possible–across the globe and in every part of our society. Learn more with Project Drawdown's introduction to climate solutions.

Estimate your home's carbon footprint with the CoolClimate Calculator. Or, estimate the carbon footprint of your business.