California sweating out possibility of electric gap : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

State's sweating out possibility of electric gap as heat persists By Jeff McDonald UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER September 16, 2000

There was no run on electricity due to high temperatures across the state yesterday, but managers of California's power supply are nonetheless bracing for a new late-summer heat wave early next week.

Until yesterday, officials of the California Independent Service Operator had declared Stage 1 or Stage 2 emergencies every day since Monday. The ISO manages three-quarters of the state's electricity.

Deficiencies that had been predicted in the system's operating reserves never materialized yesterday, as demand peaked at just under 40,000 megawatts, the ISO reported.

"We were fine (Friday)," said Stephanie McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the state's service operator. "It's Monday that we're a little concerned about.

"We have a heat wave that will be picking up steam Sunday, and it's not expected to cool before the middle of next week."

Soaring temperatures and fires across the northern part of the state prompted ISO officials to declare emergencies Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

No such warnings were necessary yesterday, but officials already have issued power alerts for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

"We are urging everyone to conserve electricity," McCorkle said.

National Weather Service forecasters said it will probably remain hot through the weekend, with high temperatures today and tomorrow reaching into the mid-to high 70s along the coast and into the upper 80s in most inland areas.

By Monday, however, temperatures are expected to climb past 90 in the inland areas and above 110 in the deserts.

"It's basically going to stay along the hotter end of the spectrum," National Weather Service meteorologist Don Whitlow said. "It's going to be quite a while before the high pressure goes away."

Temperatures yesterday climbed to 82 in Chula Vista, 90 in Escondido, 97 in El Cajon and 112 in Borrego Springs, the weather service reported.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 16, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ