Winter Storms Cut Power in California

We have previously reported on several occasions about power outages across California at the height of summer. By contrast today we report on outages in the midst of winter.

On Tuesday the United States’ National Weather Service’s San Francisco Bay area office issued a warning for high winds:

Note in particular the part about “damage to trees and power lines”. By Tuesday evening Pacific Gas and Electric had announced on their web site that:

As of 10 p.m., approximately 154,000 customers are without power in PG&E’s service area as heavy northwest winds impact electric equipment. More than 124,000 customers have been restored since 6 a.m.

PG&E crews will continue working through the night, safely and as quickly as possible to restore customers.

The NWS’s Weather Prediction Center also issued the following short term forecast for Wednesday:

A major winter storm is expected to deliver a large swath of heavy snow from the West Coast to the Northeast through Thursday…

The arrival of a large arctic air mass from Canada interacting with two energetic troughs/fronts forecast to move through the western half of the country will bring numerous weather hazards and highly anomalous temperatures coast-to-coast this week with almost all of the country experiencing some form of notable weather.

On Wednesday the NWS Bay Area office issued this snow forecast:

On Wednesday evening PG&E reported that:

We are working around the clock to get power restored. Since Tuesday, when high winds swept through our service area, we’ve experienced 305,784 outages. We’ve restored 299,364 customers — 77% of them within six hours. As of 7 p.m., 40,103 customers are without power, with more than 75% of them in San Mateo (22,585) and Santa Cruz (8,445) counties. PG&E has deployed more than 2,800 crew members to support response and restoration efforts, with an additional 30 focusing on supporting customers with prolonged outages. As of 4 p.m. today, PG&E has identified 125 power poles and 84 transformers damaged because of the storm.

This morning (UTC) the Pacific Gas and Electric power outage map looks like this in the vicinity of San Francisco:

Here is the map for California as a whole:

plus additional detail for San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties:

[Edit – February 24th 23:55]

Here is the late night (UTC) Pacific Gas and Electric power outage map:

The power outage map across California currently looks like this :

Together with additional detail for San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties:

plus news of the ~50% of PG&E customers without power in Lake county:

PG&E reports that:

As of 3:00 p.m., more than 630,000 impacted customers have their power back on. More than 4,700 PG&E employees are working safely and as quickly as possible to restore the remaining power outages. To learn more about the restoration progress and what customers in the hardest hit areas should expect going into the weekend, watch this video with Jan Nimick, Vice President, Power Generation.

[Edit – February 25th]

Here’s how the California power outage map looks at 14:00 UTC on Saturday:

Lake County is still the worst hit percentage wise:

Here is the current Pacific Gas and Electric power outage map in the vicinity of San Francisco:

[Edit – February 25th 18:30]

This evening (UTC) the California power cuts are spreading further south:

Here is the expanded PG&E power outage map:

Here too is the current Southern California Edison power outage map:

[Edit – February 26th]

PG&E reported at 10:30 PM local time last night that:

Since Feb. 21, power has been restored to more than 882,000 customers. As of this evening, there are approximately 42,000 customers without power, most of whom are located in the North Coast, Central/Southern Sierra, and South Coast regions. As of today, more than 5,547 crew members are supporting storm restoration and response efforts. They identified 247 poles and 203 transformers that were damaged by the storm…

Forecasts shared by PG&E Meteorologists and the National Weather Service show the next storm will enter PG&E’s service area Sunday night and Monday and deliver more low elevation snow and strong winds. With another round of extreme weather on the horizon, customers are urged to stay safe and remain prepared.

NWS Sacramento suggest that northern California should expect the worst impact
from yet another storm:

Here is this morning’s California power outage map, as the state recovers from the previous one:

Watch this space!

3 thoughts on “Winter Storms Cut Power in California

  1. The NWS Bay Area office tweets about the local temperatures:

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