Planning for Climate Impacts

Preparing for Climate Change Impacts
Climate Preparedness Report Cover
While we must make concerted efforts to reduce GHG emissions, historic emissions have and will continue to impact the global climate. Flooding, heat waves, and extreme high tides are not new challenges in Seattle, and we have strategies for responding to them. However, climate change will shift the frequency, intensity, and timing of these events, and what we now consider an extreme event will become the new normal. The Seattle Climate Preparedness Strategy (draft) outlines a range of actions Seattle will pursue to prepare for a changing climate. 

The most significant changes projected for the Pacific Northwest will be to temperature, precipitation, and sea level: 

  • Sea level - increase in base sea level and high tides
  • Temperature - increase in average temperatures, minimum temperatures, and the frequency & duration of extreme heat event
  • Mountain snowpack - reductions in snowpack and shifts in the timing of stream flow
  • Precipitation - little change in annual precipitation but wetter winters, drier summers, and more extreme precipitation events

Mapping Inventory of Changing Coastal Flood Risk Report
The mapping inventory of changing coastal flood risk provides a screening tool for broadly assessing the impacts of sea level rise on Seattle. The report provides an inventory of critical areas, land uses, select transit infrastructure and planned investments, and communities at risk of flooding under future climate conditions. 

  • Section 1 (20 MB PDF): Introduction | Citywide Impacts: Seattle Land Area, Critical Areas, Land Use (pages i-39)
  • Section 2 (20 MB PDF): Citywide Impacts: Transportation, Freight | Impacts to Frontline Communities: Background, Citywide Frontline Communities: Duwamish | Focus Area Impacts |Appendix (pages 40-83)