Winter Storm: What's Going On In Texas?! And elsewhere....

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Stanford Guitar, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    It is a little crazy here. I will say that the low temps have kept most people in their homes if they have heat so there are not too many on the roadways. But I had to get out to get my wife's medicine the other day. I have to cross two overpasses to get the pharmacy. One over pass is a two laner and it looked pretty clear. The second overpass was a four lane unit and it was snow packed and iced over. And as I was crossing that over pass in the left lane (it was the most clear) going about 30MPH (speed limit is 45) I got passed on the right by a dude in a four wheel drive pickup truck going at least 45. He then whipped over into the left lane on the snow and ice going downhill to a stop light. Thankfully the stoplight turned green about the time he passed me or he would not have been able to stop and would have slid through the intersection.
    My wife says all the time that people who don't deal with cold weather have not the experience or the equipment for this type of thing and she is right.

    Come on Friday when it is supposed to be 39!
     
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  2. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    B-but that doesn't fit in with the preconceived narrative in muh head!
     
  3. rcole_sooner

    rcole_sooner Poster Extraordinaire

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    Texas (and Oklahoma) only rely on about 13% wind/solar, with an expected drop during Winter. They are both 80-90% gas/coal for power production.

    It was not relying on wind/solar that caused the power grid shutdown. It was poor planning.

    One would hope this would mean better planning in the future, but I can already hear that can getting kicked down the road.
     
  4. smoothrecluse

    smoothrecluse Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Power came back on last night at 11, after being off for 40 hours. The central heater is acting funny, and won’t let the house get much above 60 degrees, but the hvac tech is on his way, and after the last two days, anything warmth coming out of the vents is a blessing. The spare bedroom, where all my music gear is kept, got down to 32 degrees before the power came back on.

    I hope the rest of the folks affected by this storm stay safe and get service restored soon.
     
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  5. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    The weather does seem quite a lot different just in my lifetime. We used to have serious fog here where I live in the San Joaquin Valley. They called it Tule Fog. For several years, perhaps the last fifteen years it has been almost nonexistent. We had just a touch this past month, only a few days, and it cleared off by ten o'clock. I have seen times where the sun didn't shine for forty nine days in a row, and driving was terribly dangerous. One time I got so sick of the fog back in 1965, I drove forty miles to Tehachapi in the nearby mountains, and had lunch, just to see the sun!

    Also, it has gotten much warmer here in the winter months. Back in 1967 I worked on a farm, and one morning I went to work in February and it was seventeen degrees at daylight. I was running a track layer tractor pulling a forty foot landplane leveling land. I slipped and fell on the tracks which were iced over and banged up my knee which had to be drained at the doc's office seven times before it would stop swelling. Now it is much warmer, we have a tee time to play golf tomorrow, it's supposed to be sunny and 68. Usually it's warmer than they predict. It's almost like I don't live in the same area anymore.
     
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  6. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    We have a door at the foot of our stairs to the top floor. Even when it's closed, as it is when my sons are out of the house for a week or so visiting their mom, the hot air rising through the spaces around the door will unevenly mix the cold air trapped up there. To the point that surges of cold air will collapse downward and stream through the spaces around the door. Open the door even just a bit, and the cold air that's been dammed against it rushes down into the otherwise warm room at the foot of the stairs.

    When you push heat up, cold will sometimes swirl down. Especially when you add winds' tendency to shift, under the pressure of high and low pressure systems, to the mix. Then there's the role of (diminishing) ice....

    Over-simple analogy, I know. But
    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/...-stream-wobbly-global-warming-climate-change/

    I just hope that we're still around to enjoy not missing fossil-fuel systems when they're finally gone....

    In the meantime, "Your toes knows your ears' fears." Be careful. Having grown up in Buffalo and lived in Canada and fallen through a pond's ice one very stupid-of-me day, I have a lot of respect for what winter it can do. Drive wussy, if you have to drive at all, wear that ugly hat, and triple up those socks! Oh, and fingers. Winter is a shark.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
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  7. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    My first duty station ('90-'94) was up Hwy 99 from you in Atwater (Castle AFB), and there were mornings we could not see further than around five yards. Have never been more scared than driving in that stuff, literally using the roadway markings for direction and going about 15mph max, praying that everyone else was too. I was friendly with the weather observers on the base who explained how it happens and why it doesn't burn off til around 10a-11a. Interesting phenomenon and you're right, it is decreasing...

    https://www.latimes.com/california/...ral-valley-and-why-is-it-becoming-less-common
     
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  8. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    They work just fine in Canada and the North Sea during the winter, and would in Texas too if they'd have bothered to winterize them. It was more important to go cheap and this was the inevitable outcome.
    If regulators in Texas also woke up and connected to the rest of the nation's grid they could have avoided this as well; when demand gets too high in Nevada they can import from Arizona or New York can buy from Virginia for example, but Texas is isolated.
    The thing that caused this is poor planning and poor regulation, nothing less and nothing more.
    UPDATE: ERCOT has said that the dip in wind power actually had the least impact on this situation and that the turbines are actually producing more than expected. Most of it has been poor gas pressure and freezing instruments at gas, coal, and nuke plants.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/joewal...for-texas-electricity-crisis/?sh=6dfc3e5021b3
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
  9. loco gringo

    loco gringo Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    2e7a92699d33771e7a992afd8cbf2e67.jpg
     
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  10. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    I really for the folks in this mess. I wish our current 20-30k winds could blow some of our 82(f) heat your way.
     
  11. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I have slain many a windmill in my time, alas, but for the dearth of dragons, I would have been a knight!
     
  12. RobbieAG

    RobbieAG TDPRI Member

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    Here in central NC, we had an ice storm and our power was out for most of the weekend (33 hours). Fortunately the temps were around 30. I counted around 30 trees down in our neighborhood. We stayed warm with a kerosene heater and cooked with a Coleman stove running propane. We're supposed to get "Severe icing" tomorrow morning. Can't wait :(
     

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  13. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Ice storms are the worst, in between the hazardous driving and the downed power lines. Places that bury their power lines are smart for doing it.
     
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  14. rcole_sooner

    rcole_sooner Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've read that neighborhood lines can be buried, but main lines need the air cooling. Burying main lines would be very expensive.
     
  15. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    A good friend of mine is recently retired from a major hydroelectric company. He follows stories like this because he can’t help himself. Much of his work involved cost analysis and risk mitigation, and he has plenty to say about the situation right now, and what choices were made (money-driven) that brought things to this.

    I have long subscribed to the theory that the uglier the hat, the warmer it is. Around the German house, if you want to insult someone’s winter hat, you say “my, that’s a very warm-looking hat!” Here’s mine. It’s very warm.

    B1CEBF87-CFF8-49CC-B5D8-5BD0BE2E6F36.jpeg
     
  16. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Afflicted

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    Getting the poor to think big business has their best interest in mind is the greatest con ever pulled off. Enjoy it, idiots.
     
  17. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Sending good thoughts to my friends who are suffering. I know when we in California had power and other natural issues, we got pilloried for being stupid and a bunch of other stuff, none of that matters right now, I just hope you can stay warm until this passes, and it will. Bad things happen to perfectly
    Stay warm my friend! as usual your warmth and wisdom come through loud and clear. My daughter and her husband are dealing with the cold down in Madill, but doing okay considering. They just finished designing a house that they are going to build and my son in law said he now wants to include a few things I suggested.

    Wish I could take you to sonic for some lunch!
     
  18. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    One of my former students (when I lived in Colorado) became a lineman and frequently got called to all kinds of places to help out. He was a good kid and a good pitcher. Anyway, gosh this was a long time ago in the late 90's maybe) he got called to North Carolina to help with restoring power after an ice storm and was killed by a falling tree. Left two little ones and a wife behind. Our whole town grieved. It is dangerous stuff, stay as safe as you can.
     
  19. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    Same PSC (public service commission) that let our area fix some of this stuff - approved new transmission line, solar farm - refused our city's asking to pay the higher cost for burying lines. They were afraid to set a precedent and creating the issue of funding that across the state. It looked like cheap insurance to me, oh well.
     
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  20. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    FWIW, my sister's pipes burst last night (a country club neighborhood in North Dallas). Neither she nor her husband knew how to turn water off at the main (good lord), and she also didn't think to call me or my old man, so the flooding went on for an hour before a pro could walk her through it.

    She's the only person in her 'hood with power so several neighbors have run extension cords to their exterior outlets. Some pretty grim stuff until this system breaks. Hope everyone's doing okay.
     
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