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Christmas Polar Vortex in the Forecast

State

Dallas is expecting another winter storm this Christmas. | Photo credit to D Magazine.

A polar vortex heading toward Texas could coincide with Christmas, reigniting fears of another power grid failure like the one that devastated Texas in 2021. 

In February 2021, Texas’ power grid failed due to severe winter storms and freezing temperatures. 

Millions of Texans lost power, which had spillover effects on people’s accessibility to food, water, and warmth. 

If the polar vortex continues on its current path, another power grid failure could potentially occur this Christmas.

Brad Panovich, a meteorologist for WCNC NBC in Charlotte, North Carolina, tweeted that there will be colder than usual temperatures leading up to the holiday.

“The bigger story going forward is the Arctic blast that moves into the west first then pushing east for Christmas,” Panovich tweeted. “The Texas Grid is going to be tested again.”

Panovich’s grim prediction is making the rounds in various media. 

According to the forecast, a warm period is expected to arrive a few days before Christmas but will quickly turn into another massive drop in temperature, lasting from December 23 until Christmas. 

Northern Central Texas is expected to get the brunt of the cold weather, although it will affect the entirety of the state with temperatures 30 degrees colder than average.

Even after Christmas, the entire state may see temperatures 14 degrees lower than average for this time of year.

My San Antonio reported that people are prepping for a possible power grid failure and are sharing tips on Reddit. Some of the recommendations include stocking up on dehydrated food and 20-liter water cubes. Other winter preparations include a camping stove with a built-in lighter, portable generators, nine-hour candles, and water purification tablets, among other things.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s press secretary, Renae Eze, told Newsweek that since May, Texas had broken power demand records more than 26 times without a failure. She attributed this to reforms made to the system since the failure in 2021.

Eze also said power generation has increased by 15% over the last year.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said Friday that it “expects sufficient generation to meet forecasted demand.”

Either way, DFW and other areas of the state are likely to see the coldest temperatures in years, and it could be the coldest Christmas recorded since 2009.

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