In the dark! Power outages from severe weather are on the rise

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Happy Monday and welcome to another edition of the Beyond The Forecast newsletter!

We’re coming off a weekend that left some of you in the dark. The remnants of Hurricane Ian swept through the region, bringing a combination of heavy rain and strong winds that led to trees and power lines coming down.

Power outages peaked at 40,000 in our viewing area Saturday morning. A good number of those were in Danville and Pittsylvania County.

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Thankfully, crews worked hard throughout the weekend and the lights are back on for almost everyone.

According to Climate Central, we need to be ready for more power outages in the coming years. The organization said the average annual number of weather-related outages increased by about 78% during 2011-2021, compared to the previous decade.

The Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast regions have seen the most outages since 2000.

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There have been 75 major power outages in the Commonwealth since the turn of the century – ranking us eighth in the country.

Texas leads the way with 180 outages since 2000.

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Why has there been an increase in outages? Well, the nation’s electrical infrastructure is aging, and severe weather events like hurricanes, wildfires, and ice storms are increasing with climate change. You can read more in Climate Central’s article here.

We have some tips on how you can stay safe if your power goes out.

(Copyright 2022 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

When power outages are a potential impact of severe weather in Southwest and Central Virginia, Your Local Weather Authority will alert you to be ready.

Switching gears to your forecast, we saw some big improvements with the weather today and it’s looking like a nice week! Meteorologist Chris Michaels has a look at our next cold front and how it will impact your weekend in our daily forecast article.

You can always get specific forecast details for your zone, whether it’s the Roanoke Valley, Southside, the Highlands, or elsewhere around Southwest and Central Virginia, anytime at WSLS.com/weather. Know your zone!

In case you missed it, we’re posting great weather and science content on WSLS.com. Here are a few links from the past week to check out:

If you prefer your weather information delivered by social media, you can follow Your Local Weather Authority on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also keep up with me on social media. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, follow along!

– Justin McKee


About the Author:

Justin McKee presents the weather forecast on 10 News Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6 to 8 a.m. He also fills in for other meteorologists during the week.