StormGeo Meteorologist Cecilie Villanger says that one of the first steps in establishing their partnership with Elvia and other grid companies is to define critical criteria for the warning of oncoming storms. This criteria is divided into three levels: green, yellow and red, or low, moderate and high probability of dangerous weather.
Defining these thresholds is done in collaboration with Elvia, based on their data of outages or interruptions, and combined with StormGeo’s experience. For example, StormGeo knows that strong winds often create problems for grid companies, especially strong winds into the Oslo Fjord. “In winter, heavy snow and ice on power lines are also big problems we look out for,” says Villanger.
The meteorologist on duty at StormGeo is constantly assessing the current weather situation and forecast, giving status updates when necessary.
“Our procedure on how to set the warning level is based on Elvia’s criteria. When we set a yellow or red status, Elvia always calls to discuss, and we have great communication with them,” says Villanger. “The meteorologist on duty also makes sure to inform the next of any warnings when changing shifts, so nothing gets lost in the shuffle."
Sometimes different weather models can portray different scenarios, so we have to be aware of each of these scenarios and check if any of them violate the critical criteria of our grid company clients.Cecilie Villanger
In addition to strong winds and winter conditions, lightning is another weather challenge for the power grid, especially in summer. The biggest challenge is that it is not easy to predict.
“It is more challenging to forecast lightning than wind,” says Villanger. “We can never say exactly where lightning will occur, but we can give the probability of lightning within a given range. We closely monitor real-time observations such as lightning radar and satellite images to see where a storm is developing.”
Villanger also notes that weather forecasts are not written in stone, and there is often a level of uncertainty included. “Sometimes different weather models can portray different scenarios, so we have to be aware of each of these scenarios and check if any of them violate the critical criteria of our grid company clients.”
Elvia says that they, together with other grid companies, aim to have thorough staffing in the event of a weather risk that could damage the power grid.
“We’re always following Elvia’s power outage overview (on their website) to see if the weather is causing any issues. We have a close dialogue with Elvia, and are happy to contribute to the continuation of their services,” Cecilie Villanger concludes.
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