ERCOT “closely monitoring” weather ahead of expected strong cold temps

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, is closely monitoring weather forecasts and grid conditions ahead of a significant cold front late next week.

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth says a strong cold front will move through the region next Thursday, December 22nd, and bring much colder temperatures. It is too far out to accurately forecast any wintry precipitation chances.

Low temperatures on Thursday are expected to reach into the low 20s. Some areas could see temperatures fall into the single digits.

At this time, ERCOT expects sufficient generation to meet forecasted demand; however, conditions may change.

Earlier today, ERCOT issued an Operating Condition Notice (OCN), a procedural notification to transmission and distribution owners and generation resources that temperatures will meet ERCOT’s criteria of 25 degrees or lower in the Austin/San Antonio and the Dallas Fort-Worth areas between Thursday, December 22 through Monday, December 26.

There have been numerous upgrades made to Texas’ power grid following last year’s the deadly failure. Improvements to winterization, maintenance, and communications have been noted by the agency.

A few reminders as we prepare for the cold temperatures:

  • Cover exterior water faucets with a freeze cover or protective sock to keep your pipes from freezing.
  • Know where your water shut-off valve is located and how to turn it off.
  • Keep pool pumps running in below-freezing temperatures to keep from internal pipe freezing and damage.
  • Set your thermostat to heat on at least 65 degrees to keep internal pipes at a reasonable temperature.
  • If utilizing a wood-burning fireplace, make sure hamper is open and the chimney walls are clean.
  • Check on your elderly neighbors.
  • Turn your sprinkler systems off.
  • Set inside faucets to drip, especially those situated along exterior walls.
  • If power fails and you must use a generator, make sure the generator is outside the residence so deadly CO emissions will not linger inside the home.