NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — As colder, Arctic air arrives in North Texas this weekend you may be tempted to bump up the thermostat on your heater, but one Texas agency is asking you not to overdo it.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) — the state’s electrical grid operator — is warning that the electrical power supply will be tight because usage is expected to increase to record levels late this weekend and early next week.READ MORE: Amber Alert Issued For 12-Year-Old Girl Out Of Converse, Texas
“This statewide weather system is expected to bring Texas the coldest weather we’ve experienced in decades,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. “With temperatures rapidly declining, we are already seeing high electric use and anticipating record-breaking demand.”
Cold weather has caused problems with the state’s electric grid before. Ten years ago, during another February cold snap, ERCOT began performing “rotating outages,” or rolling blackouts because of high usage and problems at dozens of power plants.READ MORE: COVID-19 Pandemic Has Taken A Toll On Mental Health, Led To More Drug Abuse, CDC Says
Based on the current load forecast, and if temperatures continue to decline, ERCOT could set a new all-time winter peak demand record on Monday, February 15.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the Metroplex and all of North Texas from late Saturday night through Monday afternoon. Forecasters they say heavy snow and blowing snow is possible and warn that North Texas could see “near blizzard conditions” with possible snow accumulations of 4 to 6 inches.MORE NEWS: US To Deport 'Massive' Number Of Haitian Migrants From Texas Border Town
During the winter blast wind chills could dip as low as 15 below zero.