Written By John Bryant

What is going on with this weird December weather?

More frequent extreme weather events throw new wrinkles into our Power Grids

Another crazy weather event this weekend.

I was trying to think of a word to describe the weekend storm that hit the East Coast, and the first word that popped into my mind was just “WOW”

This past weekend’s storm, which brought an extraordinary storm surge to the East Coast for this time of year, particularly in Charleston, South Carolina, marks another example of extreme weather. I believe warm ocean waters (by December standards) came into play here. The surge, nearing an astonishing 10 feet, was reminiscent of Tropical Systems during Hurricane season. It ranks as the fourth-highest surge ever recorded in Charleston, a record previously held by tropical storms and hurricanes. This event is an example of the new challenges posed by changing weather patterns, which presents more unique challenges to our power grid.

Extreme weather events continue to become more frequent.

With its near-hurricane characteristics, the recent storm in Charleston represents a dramatic shift from what we’ve historically expected from weather patterns. The blurring lines between different storms are a matter of meteorological curiosity and a severe concern for infrastructure preparedness.

The impact of this weekend’s was a stark reminder of the urgent need for adaptation and resilience in our energy systems. The grid is a complex and vital lifeline and faces challenges for which it was not originally designed. Adapting to the reality of these new, severe weather patterns is critical. We need a grid that is not only robust but also flexible enough to handle such unpredictable events.

Building a power grid that can withstand these more frequent weather events involves a comprehensive approach. This includes reinforcing physical infrastructure, integrating advanced predictive technologies, and diversifying our energy sources. Renewable energy, with its lower susceptibility to weather disruptions, must play a significant role in this transformation.

The recent storm on the East Coast shows we face a future where extreme weather events are becoming the “new normal”, and our focus must shift to building a resilient power grid that anticipates these changes. It’s a challenge that calls for innovation, commitment, and a proactive approach to ensure the safety and stability, along with the sustainability of our communities and future energy.

Buckle up; additional weird weather events will continue this Winter.