Planned Power Outages in California

The rapid warming of the arctic changes the jet stream, which leads to more extreme weather.

Greenhouse gases are increasingly disrupting the jet stream, a powerful river of winds that steers weather systems in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s causing more frequent summer droughts, floods and wildfires, a new study says.

Global Warming Is Messing with the Jet Stream. That Means More Extreme Weather.
A new study links the buildup of greenhouse gas emissions to more frequent heat waves, floods and droughts in the Northern Hemisphere. BY BOB BERWYN, INSIDECLIMATE NEWS, OCT 31, 2018
The speed and waviness of the northern jet stream, a river of wind across the Northern Hemisphere, is affected by the temperature difference between the Arctic and mid-latitudes. Credit: NASA

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) said Thursday that its equipment had probably caused the Camp Fire, the catastrophic November blaze that destroyed thousands of homes in Paradise, Calif., and killed at least 86 people.

Though the cause of the fire is still under official investigation by California officials, PG&E said it “believes it is probable that its equipment will be determined to be an ignition point of the 2018 Camp Fire.” Attempts to determine the fire’s cause center on the 56-mile Caribou-Palermo electric transmission line.

PG&E Says It Probably Caused the Fire That Destroyed Paradise, Calif. by By Peter Eavis. The New York Times, Feb. 28, 2019

Being aware of the dangers of the PG&E equipment causing more fires, the company is for the first time shutting off power in areas which are dry, and where severe storms and high winds are expected.

California’s wildfire crisis will enter an unprecedented new stage Wednesday as PG&E plans to begin cutting power to about 800,000 customers, shutting down the electric lines that have sparked many of the state’s worst blazes and setting off a chaotic scramble of people preparing for an outage that could last a week in some places.

As word spread Tuesday of the preemptive shut-off — which is set to hit the Bay Area at noon — those in the locations expected to go dark stockpiled water and canned food and emptied store shelves of batteries for flashlights and cell phones. They made a run on gas pumps, causing lines that sometimes extended for blocks. And they hurried to help loved ones whose medical needs require electricity.

Transportation officials worked, mostly successfully, to keep open roads, bridges and tunnels, including the eight-lane Caldecott Tunnel that links Oakland and Berkeley to the suburbs to the east. Meanwhile, firefighting agencies staffed up. And school leaders canceled classes Wednesday on dozens of campuses, including UC Berkeley.

PG&E: Massive power shut-off to hit 800,000 customers, could extend nearly a week by J.D. Morris and Michael Cabanatuan, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 8, 2019

LIVE: 186,000 without power in North Bay as PG&E begins planned power outages

At least 186,000 PG&E customers are currently without power in the North Bay as the utility company starts its Public Safety Power Shutoffs across several regions of the San Francisco Bay Area early this morning.

As of 4 a.m., the shutdowns have left 185,000 PG&E customers without power in Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.
PG&E confirmed that they had begun phase one of the outages that could impact approximately 513,000 customers.

Live reports, ABC News,

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