Duke Energy Watching Winter Weather Projections
[press release from Duke Energy] – Duke Energy is closely monitoring weekend weather conditions. Storms are unpredictable and while we do not know exactly where the storm will hit or what impact will be in our area, we are actively preparing for power outages.
Please be assured we have a detailed storm response plan in place. Line technicians, service crews and support personnel are available throughout our service area and are ready to respond to outages and emergencies as they occur.
As part of our preparation, we are checking equipment, supplies and inventories to ensure we have adequate materials to make repairs and restore power.
Here is what our Duke Energy meteorologists (who focus mainly on conditions that impact electric service) are forecasting:
Model guidance continues to indicate a significant winter storm will affect portions of the Carolinas Service Area this weekend, beginning late Saturday and continuing through Sunday and possibly into Monday. Confidence is high there will be wintry precipitation; however, the exact timing, amounts and precipitation types are still uncertain.
Precipitation will begin as rain spreading southwest-to-northeast Saturday night. As a cold high pressure builds southward ahead of the storm system and temperatures fall overnight, we will see a transition to wintry precipitation over a large portion of the area by daybreak Sunday. Then wintry precipitation, heavy at times, is expected Sunday before tapering off Sunday evening. Light precipitation may linger into Monday.
Best chances for significant snowfall will be across the mountains and along/north of I-40 where the coldest temperatures will be found. For the I-85 corridor northward to I-40 and westward to the foothills, the precipitation type is more uncertain due to temperatures being very close to freezing. Model guidance is leaning more toward mostly snow in this region, though there could be a sleet mixture that would reduce snowfall accumulations. It’s also possible that this region could see mostly sleet with snow mixed in at times. At this time, freezing rain (rain freezing on contact with trees, power lines, etc.) seems not as likely due to the lack of very cold air and dry air in place ahead of the storm system. In general, power outages are likely with wet snow, less impact with mix of snow/sleet, and more likely with freezing rain.
Another concern with this event is the possibility of strong and gusty winds along and east of I-95 on Sunday into Sunday night as the storm system reaches the coast and intensifies rapidly. This could lead to additional scattered power outages.
Once this storm system exits the region on Monday, cold air, dry conditions are expected Tuesday through Thursday morning but then the next storm system bring rain late Thursday into Friday.
* We encourage customers to prepare by checking their supply of flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, etc. Also, ensure a portable, battery operated radio, TV or NOAA radio is on hand.
* Families who have special medical needs or elderly members should closely monitor weather forecasts and make plans for potential alternate arrangements should an extended outage occur.
* Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy and your local police department.
Customers who experience an outage have choices on how to report.
* Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply)
* Call the automated outage-reporting system:
* Duke Energy Carolinas: 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766)
* Report an outage or view current outages online at www.duke-energy.com
Duke Energy also will provide updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed if significant outages occur:
* Duke Energy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DukeEnergy
* Duke Energy on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DukeEnergy
You have time to prepare yourselves and your family. Plan to stay off the roads unless it is absolutely necessary.