Winter Wednesday - Speaking of the Weather

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Two weeks ago, forecasters predicted an extreme cold front would descend upon the entire United States. By the week's end, however, it became evident that the front would shift, sparing the West Coast from extremely cold temperatures.

Pipe Ranger announced the updated forecasts on Friday, December 8. Many CGT gas suppliers did a good job communicating with their customers, discussing changing forecasts and the diminishing likelihood of a cold weather event. These supplier-customer discussions are critical to prepare both parties for a diversion or local curtailment.

The frigid air stayed east of the Rockies, and the week passed relatively smoothly. Temperatures in Pacific Gas and Electric Company's service territory--originally forecast to be nearly 15 degrees below normal--remained at or near normal levels. The pipeline system avoided the strain of extreme temperatures, with nary an OFO. Gas suppliers deserve credit for keeping their supply in line with demand over the weekend.

Clearly, weather is a significant driver in energy markets. For this reason, CGT customers should watch the weather closely. CGT endeavors to keep its customers apprised of weather developments that may impact pipeline operations. However, weather is a fickle force.

The Internet provides a wealth of weather information at no cost. The National Weather Service This link will open in a new window This link will open in a new window has a wealth of information, including significant Northern California data.

Current forecasts call for above normal temperatures in California through the middle of next week. Still, the volatility of gas markets and the weather itself remind us winter is not the time to drop our guard. Even during periods of mild temperatures, the winter season requires extra vigilance. A few tips to remember this season:

  • Watch Pipe Ranger for the latest operations information and forecasts.
  • Remember, weather can change rapidly. Keep an eye on your own forecasting resources and Pipe Ranger for warnings of extreme temperatures.
  • Gas suppliers and customers should be in close contact when cold weather threatens to significantly impact pipeline operations. See Getting Ready for Winter or contact your CGT Representative for more details.

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