Weather agencies have upped the number of expected hurricanes in the last portion of the season this year. Researchers from Colorado State University predict 20 named storms, up from 17 in their forecast issued in April. (Source) The season seems to be getting more active with two back-to-back systems being tracked in the last week or so.
NOAA scientists predict that the likelihood of an above-normal 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is 65%. There is a 25% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. (Source)
The preparation of power utilities for severe weather make a big difference in outages and restoration time in storms. Preparations go from the mundane to quite advanced.
Mundane – trimming trees and inspecting and replacing wires and wood poles
More advanced – grid automation and smart technologies. These reduce the duration and number of outages. They help restore service faster when outages occur. Smart technologies automatically detect outages and reroute power to speed restoration or avoid outages altogether.
Advanced technologies either avoided or shortened roughly a half-million outages in 2020 for Florida utilities in storms. Florida, of course, gets its share of foul weather.
Bottom line: Customers must prepare for a storm and they need to know that their power company has the smarts to harden the grid for emergencies, especially as predictions for storm intensify.
Feature image is a NOAA satellite photo from August 15, 2021.