Did you know that climate and extreme weather affect electricity transmission and can cause costly power outages? In 2004, the average annual cost of storm-caused transmission outages was 2.5 billion dollars! And that does not account other extreme events such as wildfires. The electric grid consists of over 9,000 electricity generators and more than 300,000 miles of transmission lines. Climate and extreme weather affect the efficiency of the electric grid and energy demand.
- When air temperature is higher, electricity systems are less efficient because their current-carrying capacity is reduced. Heat waves can also cause power transformers to fail. - High temperatures cause sag of overhead transmission lines creating a risk for fire and power outages. - Increased frequency of severe wildfires increases the risk of physical damage to electricity systems and reduces the transmission capacity due to high heat. - Drought increases the chance of wildfires occurring, posing a risk for electricity transmission. - Increased intensity of storms increases risk of physical damage to electricity systems. - High amounts of snowfall and intense snowstorms can also cause physical damage to electricity systems.
- Increasing air temperatures increase electricity demand for cooling and decrease fuel oil and natural gas demand for heating. - Higher magnitude and frequency of extreme heat events has increased electricity peak demand.
Although climate and extreme weather vary regionally, impacts in one region can have broad effects because energy systems are interconnected. For example, Superstorm Sandy led to more than 8 million customers losing power in 21 states. Electricity production and distribution systems are designed to respond to daily changes in weather, meaning that short-term fluctuations are expected. Extreme weather and longer-term climate events force the electric grid to work outside of the range for which it was designed.
Following a bright, dry and increasingly mild weekend in the northeastern U.S., a rainy midweek is in store for the region.
A storm which will bring the risk of flooding downpours early this week.
The resurgence of heat will come back with a vengeance this week as the highest readings so far this year will be rivaled.
Following the most significant rain event since last year, residents of the south-central United States may be wondering if more beneficial wet weather is on the way.
While lovers of springtime are often appalled by a snowy forecast after March 21, many major U.S. cities have received measurable snowfall well into April and even May.
Whilst Thursday was the warmest day so far this year across the United Kingdom, the mild air will hang on for this weekend's London Marathon and St. George's Day festivities.
Clear skies will allow many across Europe to view the peak of the annual Lyrid meteor shower on Saturday night.
The threat for heavy and locally strong thunderstorms will slowly shift eastward across the southern United States into Monday.