California residents endured the stormiest weather in years last winter. PG&E’s meteorology team helped the company plan its response even before the wet conditions occurred.
PG&E meteorologists use advance modeling technology that takes into account the state’s unique microclimates.
“(Our) storm damage model predicts outage activity in advance of a storm and also the required resources for restoration — the number of crews, the number of troublemen,” said PG&E principal meteorologist Mike Voss.
The meteorology team then works with PG&E’s Electric Operations to plan the company’s response.
Annabelle Louie, PG&E electric distribution superintendent for the San Jose and DeAnza divisions, said her team was in communications with the company’s forecasters every 12 hours.
“What’s key to responding to a storm is the timing of our resources,” Louie said. “Being able to understand how the weather will roll in, what kind of outages it will produce, what areas will be most impacted helps us plan our resources and deployment proactively.”
PG&E’s gas division also works closely with the company’s meteorologists.
Logan Monroe, Gas Operations emergency preparedness manager for PG&E, said having accurate weather data is critical to any type of emergency response.
“You’re putting the safety of your employees and your resources at risk, so we have to be able to make sure those employees are prepared before they go out to do the work,” Monroe said. “When the weather becomes a hazard then that may actually hinder the operation itself, and we have to plan around that.”
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