The Day After Tomorrow – Dallas Edition

Guest “Ice Station Dallas Report” by David Middleton

Ice Station Dallas: 15 February 2021, 0630

Current Weather Conditions: 6 °F (-14 °C), 34 °F (10 °C) below “normal.” [Should have been 19 °C below normal]. Approximately 4-6 inches of snow on the ground. It has been below freezing in Dallas almost continuously since 10 February. Snow began falling yesterday afternoon and by 1800, it looked like this:

AC/DC’s Thunderstruck seemed like the perfect music for this video.

Last night, our yard became a veritable winter wonderland…

Winter wonderland, as in wondering how much damage this will do to our landscaping.

Here in Dallas, we don’t often get long stretches of sub-freezing weather. The last time we had a similar stretch of freezing weather was 1983… Five years before Al Gore invented Global Warming (we could use some now). Most pools here are equipped with freeze-guard programs that run the pump whenever temperatures are below ~34 °F. Ours has been running since Wednesday apart from a ~1 hour break on Saturday afternoon.

Here’s how things looked at 0600 this morning:

Note that a layer of ice has formed around much of the perimeter. In addition to our beautiful weather, we can now look forward to this:

Hundreds of thousands of Texans without power as ERCOT declares highest level of energy emergency, ‘rotating outages’ begin
The state’s electricity grid will be overwhelmed as people try to keep their homes heated.

Author: Jennifer Prohov (WFAA), Jason Whitely
Published: 10:21 AM CST February 14, 2021
Updated: 4:49 AM CST February 15, 2021

Updated at 4:45 a.m. with updates from officials on the outages.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the agency that oversees the state’s electric grid, has declared the state of Texas at its highest energy emergency level, beginning rolling outages across the state. 

The declaration is due to lower power supply and high demand due to extreme low temperatures during the winter storm sweeping the state.

Rotating outages are underway and started at 1:25 a.m. Monday. Residents should expect to lose power for 15 to 45 minutes, though times may vary. Oncor is advising Texans that they may experience multiple outage rotations. 


Texas was already seeing record-breaking electricity demands prior to temperatures dropping even further Sunday night, ERCOT officials said. 

At the same time, the grid is experiencing higher-than-normal generation outages caused by frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies with individuals using it to heat their own homes.

About half of the state’s wind turbine capacity (25,000-megawatts) is not currently generating power because many turbines have become frozen. But, the turbines are still producing more power than typically expected.

“Wind is putting out more than we count on for the winter season,” Woodfin added. 

The turbines that are operating are producing more than normal, he continued. It is uncertain whether there are plans to de-ice the turbines in parts of west and northwest Texas, ERCOT said.



Good News/Bad News: The wind turbines that aren’t frozen are generating more electricity than expected (it’s been fracking windy!), however half of our wind turbines are frozen and not operating. Since natural gas supplies are also being crimped due to record demand for home heating and electricity generation, if there aren’t plans, to plans to de-ice the frozen turbines, maybe they should work up some plans.

Just imagine if Donald Trump hadn’t been president from 2017-2020, Texas would have more wind power, less (if any) coal power and more solar power. Just imagine how much more damage the Harris-Biden Dominion’s reinvigorated war on fossil fuels might inflict!

The Day After Tomorrow – Dallas Edition is prima facie evidence that coal and nuclear power are essential components of grid resiliency.

  • Natural gas is great, probably the best, fuel for electricity generation; but sudden onsets of extremely cold weather can cause supply disruptions.
  • Wind works fairly well in Texas, and the operable wind turbines have performed better than expected over the past couple of days.
  • Solar… Don’t make me laugh.

While our previous episode of rolling blackouts, Super Bowl week 2011, was partially due to cold weather inhibiting the operation of some coal-fired power plants, the problems were eerily similar.

Here’s What (Probably) Caused The Rolling Blackouts
By Kate Galbraith, The Texas Tribune
February 3, 2011


Initially, it appears, some coal plants went offline due to cold-weather problems, taking a large chunk of electricity out of the grid. Luminant, a major power-generation company, confirmed that its two coal units at the Oak Grove plant in Robertson County failed, as did two units at a coal plant in Milam County. “We are in various stages of startup and operation for that group,” said Allan Koenig, a Luminant spokesman via e-mail. Three of these four units only began operating in the last few years; Fraser, who chairs the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, noted that they had new emissions-control technologies, and said one question was how those technologies had handled the cold.


Natural gas plants were hastily turned on to make up for the coal-plant failures. But, said Fraser, some power cuts affected some stations for compressing natural gas — so without power they couldn’t pump gas, causing some gas power plants to go offline. In addition, rules regarding “curtailment” of natural gas — who gets first dibs on gas when gas supplies are tight — were last revised in 1972, said Fraser, leaving some power plants at risk of losing out on supplies. A large minority of Texans heat their homes with gas, in addition to the needs of the power plants, so there was extremely high demand for gas during the freezing weather.

“We didn’t have enough available gas,” Fraser said. An affidavit filed yesterday with the Railroad Commission by Trip Doggett, the head of ERCOT, the Texas grid operator, said that “certain gas suppliers may be curtailing natural gas to electric utilities or electric generation customers.” Koenig, of Luminant, confirmed that “one of our gas plants has been curtailed due natural gas supply restrictions.”

Wind generators also appeared to be having problems, said Fraser; he had received reports of some turbines shutting down because of issues with ice on the blades. “The wind was blowing yesterday, but I’m not sure wind generation was available because they had problems with ice,” he said. (At an Iberdrola wind farm near Corpus Christi that the Tribune visited yesterday, most turbines were spinning steadily, in response to the grid operator’s call for maximum production. But the plant’s operator, Daniel Pitts, said that a few machines were having issues because the cold air had affected the nitrogen in the hydraulic system that helps run the turbines.) Dottie Roark, a spokeswoman for ERCOT, the grid operator, said that yesterday morning between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m., about 3500-4000 megawatts of wind was available (the state has about 10,000 Megawatts of wind installed).



When natural gas supplies are short, home heating receives priority… The funny thing is that we have a natural gas furnace, stove and hot water heater, but none of them work when the electricity is out. Must have been some Aggie engineering involved… 😉

It’s now 0940 and the Sun is actually shining and the temperature is now in double digits… 11 °F.

To be continued…

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February 15, 2021 6:05 pm

34 °F (10 °C) below “normal.”
is not correct. 34 °F is 18.9 °C.

Bill Treuren
Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
February 15, 2021 6:13 pm

No 1C

Joseph Campbell
Reply to  Bill Treuren
February 16, 2021 7:58 am

Bill: Correct…

John Tillman
Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
February 15, 2021 6:16 pm

True. There are 100 degrees C between freezing and boiling points of water at standard conditions, but 180 degrees F. Hence, 34 F x (100/180) = 18.88 C.

Boulder Skeptic
Reply to  John Tillman
February 15, 2021 7:06 pm

No, you have to subtract 32 from the 34F reading first (normalizing to the difference from freezing point), then multiply by 5/9. The temperature 34 deg F is 1.1 deg C.

Boulder Skeptic
Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
February 15, 2021 7:12 pm

Oops, i didn’t read closely enough. I see now you are talking about how many deg change in C is a 34 deg F difference from normal. My bad.

Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
February 16, 2021 9:33 pm

Not your bad.
Bad writing, sorry David…

“Current Weather Conditions: 6 °F (-14 °C), 34 °F (10 °C) below “normal.” [Should have been 19 °C below normal]. “

Clear as mud.
Subject; current temperature.
Object; Difference in temperature.

What is missing is the path from subject to object.
An action verb instead of a comma following (-14 °C) would clarify the information intended to be conveyed.

Last edited 1 year ago by ATheoK
very old white guy
Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
February 16, 2021 4:07 am

A thermometer with F deg and C deg on it will show the info at a glance.

Reply to  John Tillman
February 16, 2021 6:46 am

Old rule taught by Wisconsin fella, double C subract 10%, add 32F. The double C subtract 10% gives Farenheit degrees equivalent to Centigrade degrees (I an old timer). Must follow algebraic sign in the that headwork.

Russ R.
Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
February 15, 2021 6:44 pm

“Current Weather Conditions: 6 °F (-14 °C), 34 °F (10 °C) below “normal.” ”

He is saying that the normal temp is 40*F. The current temp is 34*F below that at 6*F.
Same with *C.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russ R.
Russ R.
Reply to  David Middleton
February 15, 2021 7:10 pm

Hope you escape this “learning experience” with minimal damage. Try to guard against frozen water pipes. That is expensive, and difficult to detect until it is too late. It may be time to consider a home generator. The current admin does not seem to care about reliable energy production. Even a fireplace for wood or gas, can make a big difference in an emergency.

Ron Long
Reply to  David Middleton
February 16, 2021 2:39 am

Sounds like you’re coping as well as could be expected. I’m sure you have the E$$on Ferrari in the garage under cover. Many thousands of your followers are waiting for you to park the E$$on Ferrari in the driveway, as a sign that Spring has arrived, because they don’t trust that Puxatawny Phil character.

John Dueker
Reply to  Ron Long
February 16, 2021 12:33 pm

I’m not coping. Send help.

Reply to  David Middleton
February 16, 2021 6:44 am

When the temperature is 10, 20, 30 degrees below zero frozen pipes becomes a larger problem when there is no heat in the home or if the utilities implement rolling blackouts that are two long. Over ten years in my house with no frozen pipes, then in 1974, with the fuel shortage, I turned down the heat to 55 when we took a vacation. The temperature got down to 23 below and several pipes froze. We had no running water on the second floor. Realized that if I turned up the heat that I would have a second problem. Plumber used an electric welder power supply to heat those pipes. Never turned the heat down again when I left the house and I have never had a problem again.

oeman 50
Reply to  David Middleton
February 16, 2021 11:03 am

Like your place, David, my gas heat needs electricity to distribute the heat. But my gas water heater works without it because we have a pilot light instead of electric ignition and I can light the cooktop with a lighter and produce quite a few BTUs..

Reply to  David Middleton
February 16, 2021 9:12 pm

I’m new to Dallas. I just assumed this was the typical winter weather. I have been out driving every night since the 10th. It doesn’t seem too bad to me but most of the native Texans are not very good at driving in the sleet/freezing rain/snow. I’m getting ready to hit the road right now for the 7th consecutive night. Hey at least it’s warm in the SUV, unlike the house.

Reply to  David Middleton
February 17, 2021 7:27 pm

Yup, driving on Ice sucks. Unlike your Rubicon with 4WD I just have AWD with traction control on my Durango. I’ve clocked just over 1800 miles in the DFW Metroplex since last Tuesday and getting ready to go back out right now.
Tuesday morning it was -1 as I pulled into DFW but Wednesday morning it was 18, so a little bit of a warm-up. I’m currently in NE Dallas getting ready to move near Uptown in Cochran Heights. No power, heat or hot water sucks, but off to work in the warm confines of the Durango suits me just fine.

Wim Röst
Reply to  David Middleton
February 15, 2021 7:37 pm

Sorry David, Leif is correct: when you add 34°F to freezing temperatures (32°F, 0°C) you get 66°F. 66°F = 18.9°C. 18.9°C of difference with freezing.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  David Middleton
February 15, 2021 8:14 pm

Assuming “normal” is 40°F, then that is 4.44° C.

If the AM temp is 6°F, then that is -14.44°C.

The difference between “normal” and this AM is thus 34°F or 18.88°C.

FWIW, “normal” is the wrong word. I wish people would use average or mean. Somewhere along the line some bozo chunked in “normal”, probably for emotional reasons or to make folks think he/she was smart, but he/she wasn’t, and then all the TV weather dudes/dudettes started using it, and it became a thing, and now we can’t get rid of it.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
February 16, 2021 9:32 am

+100. One of our local weather reporters had been using “normal” since she first went on the air. Recently, she has switched to “average” most of the time. Old habits die hard, and I wonder who had a quiet word with her.

Reply to  David Middleton
February 15, 2021 8:58 pm

A difference of 10C translates to a difference of 18F.

The normal minimum is 40F, which is 4.4C. 6F is -14.4C. So the difference is 18.8degrees C below normal. That is a big difference as is 34 degrees F.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  RickWill
February 15, 2021 10:03 pm

What you mean is the average minimum for that date is 40°F. The average isn’t “normal”. “Normal” means distributed normally, as in the Gaussian or normal curve.

Of course, nothing in nature is distributed normally, since the Gaussian curve is a mathematical function and not a feature of nature. But if temperature minima for that date were distributed almost normally or close to it, then every data point would be “normal” and found somewhere on the curve, perhaps near the center or mean, or perhaps in the tails. It would be in some quantile, or within 1, 2, or a few standard deviations, but it would still be “normal”.

If by normal” you mean expected, then no actual temperature would qualify because the average is “expected” only in a mathematical or model sense. The actual temperature is always above or below average, never exactly the average. Also, the average changes every time a temperature occurs, so it moves around and can’t be pinned down as some exact non-changing value.

“Normal” is the wrong word to use. It conveys a stable state where any deviation is a catastrophe to get all excited about, when in fact the “normal” temperature never occurs so it’s always a catastrophe. Blood pressures go through the roof, mass coronaries are encouraged, and tune in at 11 for the scoop, if the viewer lasts that long without stroking out.

And when some temperature is way above or below average, that’s significant and worthy of concern, but if you’ve cried wolf every day for the last 25 years, then you’re annoying and I’m not going watch your show anyway. I hate to be picky about it, but if you want my attention you have to be calm and use proper terminology or else I’m changing the channel with a vengeance.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
February 16, 2021 12:25 am

Take it up with the National Weather Service:
I was using the word in the same sense as used in the first line of the blog and in the NWS table.

My post was just getting the conversion correct as a few others have done below.

Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
February 15, 2021 7:26 pm

Bill had it right.
comment image

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
February 16, 2021 1:16 am


Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
February 16, 2021 1:33 am

Leif is correct, since we are talking about a “difference” in temperature.

David has admitted he made a calc error.

Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
February 16, 2021 6:21 am

They mean normal temps for this time of year. Not normal on the thermometer. You are being willfully ignorant.

February 15, 2021 6:15 pm

After having been incarcerated in Montreal for 40 years, gotta say the snowstorm is a bit pathetic. We had to empty our pool down to about 1foot every fall. Hope you keep electricity or have a generator for essential damage control.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Fran
February 16, 2021 9:53 am

Yeah “pathetic” by Montreal standards but not what TX’s infrastructure system is built for and what people there are prepared for..

It works in the converse as well. I mean Montreal has hit 100 deg C what…once? Dallas hit triple digits for 71 consecutive days in 2011. And more “pathetic” below…

In Quebec, 3 days hitting 88-91 deg F is an “extreme heat wave” and “emergency plans are activated much earlier” than that threshold. Dallas and Houston highs average that or higher 4 months out of the year. Go even further south…Laredo’s average high for the entire year is 85 deg F.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
February 16, 2021 12:51 pm

It works in the converse as well. I mean Montreal has hit 100 deg C what…once?

Oops 🙂 100C means boiling rivers, just like the GretaGore-ites predict. I assume you mean 100F/38C like on a hot hot summer day. 🙂

John Tillman
February 15, 2021 6:18 pm

So TX needs nuke plants to make sure it has electricity to keep its gas and coal plants going to back up frozen wind turbines and snow-covered solar panels.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  John Tillman
February 15, 2021 6:34 pm

The economics of natural gas means no new nuclear plants will be built. Despite the idiocy of Biden-Harris, Texas will never submit to the Democrat’s GND lunacy that would turn it into California shutting down natural gas plants.
Texas has grown so much in the last 20 years (population and industry) that conventional generation has not kept pace, and ERCOT has pushed too much unreliable wind as they are now dealing with those consequences.

Duncan MacKenzie
Reply to  John Tillman
February 15, 2021 7:28 pm

I read they lost nuclear power down in Texas too.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  Duncan MacKenzie
February 15, 2021 8:18 pm

Source? The grid has multiple failures in it due to power imbalances from lost wind turbines but I have heard of no nuclear power plant failures.

Richard (the cynical one)
Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 15, 2021 8:41 pm

Nuclear power is far less than it could/should be, not because of power plant failures but because of political failures.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 15, 2021 9:47 pm

I have read multiple claims by lefties that nuclear, gas, and coal plants have frozen.

Reply to  goldminor
February 16, 2021 9:02 am

Plenty by centries as well.

Texas in general, did not build/maintain for this. You can build/maintain wind turbines that work fine in this weather, as has most of the rest of the wind generating CONUS. You can bury upstream natural gas lines. You can install wellhead glycol pumps. You can install field dehydration and heated gas production units that work just fine in this weather. You can empty condensation vessels, and have realistic pigging/blowdown criteria that you actually use.You can become more interconnected.

NOT criticism. These are business decisions that will probably be revisited soon….

Last edited 1 year ago by bigoilbob
Reply to  David Middleton
February 16, 2021 1:01 pm

Speaking of pigging. There are two Trans Canada gas lines at the course I looked after. Both 40″ or more; they would test them with a pig (data plug) that would be blown through with compressed air and log any defects. The area manager told me that years ago they were testing and left the gate open on the pipeline and in the morning sent the pig to the next cleanout. When they opened the gate out came a black bear who slept in the nice cave!

Reply to  David Middleton
February 16, 2021 9:39 am

As I recollect, the Dallas area is “Blue” (both politically and owing to the cold). I’m guessing that the rolling blackouts have been in the “Red” areas. Here in California, the blackouts tend to be in the countryside, which is more “Red” than “Blue”, but not in the cities, which are definitely “Blue”.
Everything is political these days.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
February 16, 2021 12:06 pm

ERCOT covers most of Texas, no suggestion that some areas within that arent having the rolling cuts.
California was different as some of the cuts for rural areas were for fire prevention reasons during high winds- if a fire started from downed lines the local power company would be liable.

Reply to  David Middleton
February 16, 2021 12:58 pm

Yes in the 75063 zip code there only seems to be two circuits they tuning off and on. One circuit is where I live; the other circuit is where I work. A cancer treatment facility. The buildings in the business parks along McArthur Blvd have not had single blackout and they have been unused since Wuhan Flu began a year ago.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 16, 2021 12:50 pm

I will see if I can follow up on the nuclear power plants….

Beta Blocker
Reply to  John Tillman
February 15, 2021 7:30 pm

Back in the winter of 2013-2014, the Vermont Yankee and Pilgrim nuclear power stations kept the lights on in the US Northeast when natural gas pipelines and coal piles froze up.

Both stations are now shuttered, the victims of a thoroughly distorted energy market heavily impacted by renewable energy mandates.

By the end of the 2020’s, the US will have lost roughly one-third of its nuclear generation capacity to these distorted energy markets, some 37 GW.

Gas-fired generation can replace some part of that lost capacity, but it remains to be seen if Biden-Harris will allow it. My guess is that they won’t.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Beta Blocker
February 15, 2021 9:01 pm

The ChiComs are following in the footsteps of the old CCCP financing US environmental groups to oppose any rational national energy policy! Another nail in the coffin for American exceptionalism and the growing wealth and freedom of humanity!
Hopefully, Michael Schellenberger will have some success in his campaign to prevent any further nuclear plant closures and simplifying the regulatory redtape that has been used to jack up the price of new nuclear construction! We need to have diverse, large quantities of energy available to grow our economy out of the debt that the criminal class in DC has saddled the US public with; another opportunity lost due to the stolen 2020 election! One of the most important tasks for climate realists is to push back against the irrational fear of nuclear power that is part of alarmist dogma!

David, I hope you weather the cold well, but sadly your beautiful yard is going to likely take a beating. You will have to replace a lot of your plant materials and possibly some irrigation as well. If you don’t have them already, I would highly recommend Yellow Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii.) It is shrub or small tree that is both heat and drought tolerant, and in summer it is covered with long lasting red and yellow flowers both hummingbirds and butterflies enjoy! It can also handle quite a bit of frost; something that may become more frequent in coming years! I’m going to be starting a bunch from seed this spring to plant around my yard and would be happy to contribute some if you would like!

Reply to  John Tillman
February 15, 2021 11:15 pm
Rory Forbes
February 15, 2021 6:23 pm

I’m just dying to see how our small, but insistent, group of AGW true believers are going to spin this to prove human caused “climate change”. In other words, “that cooling is because of warming”. However we slice it, it’s our fault and we need to pay more for fuel, while reducing the supply.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
February 15, 2021 6:38 pm

There’s a new hero of AWG illuminati researching how warmth leads to cooling again & again – that person with a cervix is sure it’s true.

Len Werner
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2021 8:20 pm


Wim Röst
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2021 8:25 pm

To convince people you must look the way she does, many alarmists do. People react to the fear that is expressed by her eyes and stop thinking. People seem to have a natural reflex to adapt to someone else who already is fleeing for an unknown danger. In herds, animals are reacting this way: one flees, all flee. This way of looking activates a primitive survival mechanism in large groups of people: don’t think but follow! Otherwise it will be too late! This primitive mechanism is well exploited by ‘some organizers’ that know perfectly which people must be used to scare people. In my opinion, AOC is one of those not-knowing but good-willing persons that can be easily provided with injust information and will be the ‘convincing factor’ for people that are trusting her. She does not know about climate, she reacts this way because ‘everybody says there is a danger’. In fact, it is all the same reaction: she flees because everybody flees. She expresses her own scare when she says that “there are only a few years left”. She is scared not because she ‘knows’ but ‘because people say so’.

Last edited 1 year ago by Wim Rost
Abolition Man
Reply to  Wim Röst
February 15, 2021 9:10 pm

I particularly like the way she accused Sen. Ted Cruz of trying to get her murdered, and breathlessly told her acolytes how she was almost killed in the Capital “insurrection” when she was about a half mile away and the man she thought was hunting her was a Capitol policeman sent to escort her to safety! Everyone should check out Jack Posobiec’s tweets to her for a good laugh!

Rory Forbes
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2021 8:35 pm

Now that’s just hysterical, right there. Imagine, “four changes to climate” in a single year. Am I allowed to say … ‘bat-shit-crazy?

Reply to  Rory Forbes
February 16, 2021 1:35 am

“Am I allowed to say … ‘bat-shit-crazy?”


If you don’t I will

Yes, the bar-tender is…. ‘bat-shit-crazy?

A complete and absolute mentally deficient LOON !!

Reply to  gringojay
February 16, 2021 11:54 am

Yep, 4 climate changes in a year — they’re called seasons.

Last edited 1 year ago by beng135
February 15, 2021 6:28 pm

So clearly the answer for DoE is to locate more wind farms in Mexico and offshore to avoid future ice problems. /sarc

That is of course after paying the ransom to the cartels.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 15, 2021 7:01 pm

I hear there are a lot of people in northern Mexico without power right now, too.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 15, 2021 8:37 pm

A Dutch news agency (NOS) tells that 5 million Mexicans in the north of Mexico are without electricity. The region is strongly dependent on US natural gas but (as is told) part of the gas pipelines should be frozen. The other factor is the high demand for gas in the US itself.

Reply to  Wim Röst
February 16, 2021 12:13 pm

Unlikely to be a reliable source- In Dutch about Mexico? Just how do gas pipes freeze… they just have the same problem as north of the Border, demand has gone through the roof and the use of renewable energy doesnt deliver on demand and Mexico doesnt allow fracking but expects cheap fracked gas from US

Reply to  Duker
February 16, 2021 8:32 pm

 “Just how do gas pipes freeze…” The control valves are cold because the gas is expanding as it leaves the control valve. Condensation of water on the outside of control valves freezes and builds up, rendering the valves inoperable.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 16, 2021 11:57 am

Areas in Mexico not very used to cold & snow.

Joel O'Bryan
February 15, 2021 6:29 pm

When I was in Massachusetts, we lost power several times due to either ice and or storms.

But we had gas central heat that didn’t work without electricity, but I fired-up all four stove top gas burners, and then cracked open a window on each end of the house for a little fresh air. Massachusetts requires CO detectors on all floors, and they never went off.
I kept the main part of the house decently warm despite below freezing temps outside for two days with just those 4 stove top burners since we had a large open floorplan that connected to living room kitchen breakfast nook and to the upstairs landing area that allowed the warm air to circulate. Thank goodness we had natural gas.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joel O’Bryan
February 15, 2021 6:32 pm

Learn to code in the dark while freezing.

I’ll bet the squad is staying toasty this winter.

February 15, 2021 6:33 pm

Great news–The power is out in Austin.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 16, 2021 9:44 am

Oh well, my supposition that only “Red” areas were getting blackouts was wrong.

Steve Cushman
February 15, 2021 6:52 pm

“The funny thing is that we have a natural gas furnace, stove and hot water heater, but none of them work when the electricity is out.” It’s only a minor inconvenience if power outage is 15-45 minute rolling blackout. If you don’t live in a city with underground utilities the interruption could be a lot longer when freezing rain turns power lines into horizontal icicles.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Steve Cushman
February 15, 2021 9:25 pm

Many cooktops will work if you light them manually; candles or candle lanterns are a nice touch, as well! I get the citronella candles for mine to use around the BBQ and smoker to chase the bugs away.

Tom Abbott
February 15, 2021 7:04 pm

Trump may come back to save the day.

I heard a good one today. It seems some people are floating the idea that Trump run for the House of Representatives in 2022, and when he wins, he will be voted House Majority Leader (we are assuming Republicans will take over the House majority in 2022) and then Trump can impeach Biden!

It sounds like a plan to me. Then he can run for president again in 2024.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 15, 2021 9:37 pm

I like that concept.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  goldminor
February 16, 2021 10:04 am

Republicans could accomplish much the same thing by winning the majority in the House and then Rep. McCarthy would be the Speaker of the House, and he could then pursue investigations into Biden’s role in the coup that began in the Obama administration and eventually managed to oust Trump, and into Biden and his relatives business relationships with America’s enemies, and then another investigation could be carried out into Kamala Harris inciting insurrection during the riots of the summer of 2020, and then we impeach and remove both from Office, and that would make McCarthy the president.

I’m not sure Trump wants to become just a House representative, unless it led to the scenario above. I think there is a good chance Trump could find a voting district in this Land that would elect him to Congress, and if he were elected, I think he would have a very good chance of being elected Speaker of the House, but you never know. A few things could not work out and then Trump would end up just one more member of Congress. Well, that’s not accurate. Trump will never be just one more of anything.

It’s fun to speculate on Trump running for Congress. It makes the radical Democrats *very* nervous.. 🙂

The next election is less than two years away.

Brian Pratt
Reply to  David Middleton
February 15, 2021 7:20 pm

–30 to –40 degrees C all week here in Saskabush at night, mid 20s during the day, and record consumption of natural gas. How did our indigenous forebears cope with these dreaded polar vortices?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Brian Pratt
February 15, 2021 9:08 pm

Very uncomfortably!

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  David Middleton
February 15, 2021 10:01 pm

Talked to both my parents in Texas in last few hours.. and they have not had a black-out. Both have electricity. My Dad lives in Brown County, just west of the Comanche and Lampasas Counties wind turbine farm insanity.
His problem now is the water line to his house that runs 1,400 yards from the main at the highway to his house on the ranch has frozen and he has no water. Probably until Friday until the temps rise above freezing. Reliable electricity and water is what makes civilization possible.
The Dementia Joe’s handlers and the Bezos-Gates elites want to destroy that for independent Americans.

Reply to  David Middleton
February 16, 2021 1:40 am

Should I mention that it was a nice pleasant 30ºC here in Dubbo today..

Probably drop to 15ºC overnight


Stay warm over there, if you can.

Reply to  fred250
February 16, 2021 9:48 am

I lived in Fort Worth for 12 years (many years ago), and we’d have one or two ice storms a year. Basically shut everything down, although we had power and water.

We live on the Southern California coastal plain now. My mobile is reporting the outside air temperature as 57F, with a predicted high of 69F. I’m praying for all Texans to survive this. Having lived in really cold places, and really warm places, warm is better.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  fred250
February 16, 2021 10:08 am

It was minus 10F this morning at my house. That broke a record set back in 1905 in Oklahoma.

Reply to  David Middleton
February 16, 2021 1:26 pm

Nope still sitting in a dark and chilly apartment in the 75063 zip code as of 1521hrs CT 02-16-2021. Work facility is also down and only operates the HVAC system with emergency onsite diesel engine generator. Just like thousands of other businesses.

Here we are on a cycle of 6 hours off and maybe 2 hours on.

William Abbott
February 15, 2021 7:17 pm

2017 32% of Texas generating capacity came from coal. 2019 it was down to 20%

Len Werner
February 15, 2021 7:47 pm

Well Dave–‘when I was a geologist’….

I worked as a junior exploration geologist in Cassiar BC from 1970 to 1973. In winter 1970-71 I remember ‘volunteering’ to help the junior mine geologist (as the senior mine geologist was wise enough to be holidaying in Australia at the time) to go up to the pit and gather a set of drill samples as an arctic front was moving over and the mine would be shutting down for a few of the coldest days, as the machinery would just not keep running. The temperature was -60F up there at 6,000′ (Canada was still F and ft at that time) with a 30 mph wind. I remember calculating wind chill when I got back to the office–minus 110F, according to the US Military’s formula.

The dumbest thing I remember was realizing that we owed our lives to a somewhat beat-up several-year-old 6-cylinder International pickup, one in which we would have to sit to thaw hands after tying and loading one bag (gunny-sack size) of sample. The darn thing didn’t quit, and we got back down having saved the samples.

But still, trying to save a swimming pool in Dallas may well be as stressful as saving samples in Cassiar.

(Normal winter snowfall in the townsite there was 22 feet, I have a photo of our dog on the snow outside looking down into the top of a 4 X 6 living room window, the bottom of which was 6′ off the ground. ‘Landscaping’ was on its own.)

Reply to  Len Werner
February 15, 2021 11:39 pm

It was a sad day when International Harvester stopped producing consumer vehicles. (My family had 5 pickups, a TravelAll, and 2 Scouts over the years.)

Jim Gorman
Reply to  writing observer
February 16, 2021 8:44 am

Had a 1968 TravelAll, a 1972 TravelAll, and a 1974 Scout. All great vehicles in the cold. Not fancy but comfortable and utilitarian.

February 15, 2021 7:55 pm

As some here know, I have owned a large Uplands Wis. dairy farm for several decades. So we decided to winterproof what was originally an 1880’s log cabin home.

We installed a second hand pump well in the first aquifer (the submersible is in the second sweeter deeper) just outside the mudroom.

We installed a second wood burning double wall fire box below the cellar propane furnace. Works best with its blower electricity, but works OK when really cold just on thermal convection. We put in at least 4 true dry cords of hardwood each fall in the cellar to fire it and the family room stove/furnace.

We double insulated the old ceilings with fiberglass.

We put in emergency kerosene lamps in the dining room breakfront.

And finally, for the cows, we installed an auxiliary diesel generator for the now mostly automated milking parlor. Our cows love it.

Farm is so remote that we used to lose winter electricity several times per year, for several hours at a time. Now, who cares. Good to go.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 15, 2021 9:50 pm

And tonight, Feb 15 2021, it’s colder than a witch’s ta-ta in brass bra in Wisconsin.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 17, 2021 7:39 pm

We had a couple of nights in the past week where Antigo, WI marked -31F.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 16, 2021 6:21 am

You are not too far from where my favorite beer is brewed, Chippewa Falls. Lucky man.

February 15, 2021 8:47 pm

Would not have happened if Texans voted for Biden!

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  RickWill
February 15, 2021 9:53 pm

Tony Heller has blogged how Dementia Joe and Heels-Up Kamala are ‘curing’ the Global Warming scam with just a few Executive Orders.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 16, 2021 12:35 am

Actually the executive orders are signed with pen on paper. They still have a use. When DC is on cyclic “load management” like Dallas right now they can use the Executive Orders in the fire place. Under the normal definition, paper is carbon neutral so burning it is not evil.

I did not see Hellers blog on Biden; I got to dead eagles and could not get past that.

Russ R.
Reply to  RickWill
February 16, 2021 10:12 am

This is how Mother Nature brings the ICE when Xiden turns off the ICE.
And it is a most effective temporary wall, when Xiden de-funds our border wall.

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 16, 2021 1:15 am

1 Buy a generator to keep your gas heating going.

2 lobby your government to import the missing power from California.

February 16, 2021 1:31 am

So glad I live somewhere where the average min in the coldest month is still above freezing, and the record minimum is only about -6ºC

Yes, the max record in summer is 46ºC, ie, it gets warm… but so long as you have water.. not a problem.

I wish you guys over there all the best coping with this rather “too cold” sounding temperatures. .

Geoff Sherrington
February 16, 2021 2:01 am

In February 1975 I visited Dallas, straight from sub-tropical, sunny Australia, arriving jet lagged late at night. There was a luggage mixup and a room mixup. So next morning I had to walk across an open quadrangle to get all the clothes that I was not standing in. This was interesting, because all I had to wear was short boxers, no top, with the eyes of the breakfast crowd upon me. I slipped a few times because of the ice and snow, which I had not programmed into my innocent mind. Ah, memories!! Geoff S

Geoff Sherrington
February 16, 2021 2:11 am

You can get a reference point when converting between F and C by knowing that -40C = -40F. That is the crossover point. The hard way to learn this is to be there in pertson and see it on the morning news, as I did in northern Canada one year.
Two weeks later I was in Mt.Isa, Australia, at +40C or +104F. A change of 100C in a fortnight is a record I hope no readers have yet to set. Geoff S

February 16, 2021 2:39 am

ERCOT hired Arthur Anderson, ENRON´s accounting firm, (now Accenture), after pulling the plug on ENRON.
You just could not make thus stuff up!

This is not a natural disaster, it is something from the Ranch at the Crooked E.

Deregulation and power-gamers from WallStreet are lethal.

BlackRock´s Great Reset will blame an Arctic Blast.

February 16, 2021 2:41 am

Perhaps, NOW, The idiots out there will finally realize how dangerous come over Harrison this communist “Biden “Obama, regime really are and take action to remove them? People, you have to grow a brain and a set of balls and do what needs to be done before this communist shit show goes any further! Do you want to keep suffering or do you want your country and your freedom back?! For god sake, get up off your ass is and DOSOMETHING!

February 16, 2021 4:26 am

Why does your gas hot water heater need electricity? If it is gas it should still work, and the stove should be able to be lit with match/lighter. Here in western PA the big snow storm fizzled and we have not lost electric. I was really looking forward to 8-10 inches of snow.

Reply to  David Middleton
February 16, 2021 5:02 am

You can ignite with a lighter. The heater would only fail and modern stoves.

Paul Johnson
Reply to  David Middleton
February 18, 2021 9:22 am

Has is occurred to you that the power you used to save your swimming pool from freezing could have saved a fellow Texan from misery or death? GET A FRACKING POOL COVER!

Reply to  David Middleton
February 16, 2021 8:57 am

Change out that stove and water heater, pronto! There are both available which will operate without electric. Furnace? Not so much, though a generator cures these problems, too. You are far enough into the hurricane belt being able to cook and heat water when electric is down is crucial. We are lucky in that we live in a valley with three petro/chemical plants, so electric only drops when we have a really bad storm system roll through.

Reply to  2hotel9
February 16, 2021 6:23 am

My natural gas water heater has an electric exhaust fan that activates when the gas burner ignites. I assume the system requires the exhaust fan to prevent a buildup of carbon monoxide. As well, the water heater has an automatic ignition system that lights the pilot. So, no electricity means no water heater. On the other hand, the water heater will keep the water within reasonably warm for a day or 2, and since I’m on city water I don’t have to worry about water pressure during an outage.

Reply to  PaulH
February 16, 2021 9:05 am

The last 3-4 water heaters we have had used piezoelectric igniter system, no actual electric hookup needed. As for exhaust fan on burner systems, I shy away from them, exhaust directly outside. Building codes being the nightmare of idiocy they have become everywhere you should talk to a couple of installers and see about switching that out. Being able to operate essentials without electric should be a priority.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  2hotel9
February 16, 2021 8:56 am

gas valves generally require electricity as a safety device. The thermocouple controls a relay that will shut off the gas should it not be heated up within a certain amount of time. That is why you have to hold the button down when lighting a gas appliance, to let the thermocouple warm and hold the gas valve open. Furnaces also use electricity for its fan and will shut down because the firebox will overheat without the fan running. The newer high efficiency furnaces are totally useless without electricity.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 16, 2021 9:27 am

Only our furnaces are hooked up to electric. I refuse to buy any gas stove or water heater that requires electric to operate. When my mother-in-law got her first high efficiency furnace her plumbing in basement froze, it did not make all the extra heat the dinosaur did. I put a small, ceramic burner gas heater on the wall near where water came in and opened a small hole at the bottom of the wet wall so that would not happen again. Her next new furnace had a water condenser system, it froze up the first winter. The drain line froze going out the side, filled with water, and literally the furnace froze. All my years in construction and residential maintenance that was the first time I saw THAT happen.

February 16, 2021 4:40 am

Since the winters keep getting colder, I guess manmade CO2 only warms the earth in the summer.

February 16, 2021 6:16 am

David, You have a “hot water heater” and are making an Aggie joke?



February 16, 2021 6:20 am

Just be glad there are still some traditional power plants left. Otherwise there would not even be rolling outages. Go Green, Die Sooner, Save the Earth!!!

February 16, 2021 10:05 am

BTW, how are all those shiny EVs doing? How about the charging stations?

Mike Dubrasich
February 16, 2021 10:10 am

I’ve been waiting for it in this thread, but since it hasn’t been written yet, let me be the first.

Get Used To It. Planet Earth is cooling. It’s going to get a lot colder for a long, long time before the warmth comes back. It’s not just the current La Nina. It’s the Neo-Glaciation that’s been occurring for the last 6,000+ years. The next glacial stadial looms.

Co2 isn’t warming the globe. That’s been proven false. Besides which, and more importantly, the globe isn’t warming at all. It’s cooling. Any data that say otherwise have been doctored for political purposes, or are local anomalies, or are of such short duration that they fail to reflect the actual trend. Which is down.

So beef up your insulation, wrap your pipes, purchase long underwear, and/or move south. And drill, baby, drill. Burn the midnight oil and the daylight gas. Turn up the thermostat. Get warm while you can. Warmer Is Better. Fight The Ice.

Oh, and by the way, please stop voting for ninnies.

February 16, 2021 10:52 am

Funny, Texas was so proud of its wind farms a few months back. No one could have ever seen this coming. It is not like Texas never sees snow or freezing weather. Just like Florida never does, except when it does. Wonder if my 5 acres down there is snow covered.

Capt Kirk
February 16, 2021 11:42 am

A little trivia. What temp would have the same value in both F and C?

Reply to  Capt Kirk
February 16, 2021 1:19 pm


February 16, 2021 11:42 am

The funny thing is that we have a natural gas furnace, stove and hot water heater, but none of them work when the electricity is out.

Yup, my propane oven needs electricity to work — electrical temp regulator. But the stovetop-burners work w/o power — just need a lighter/match.

John Dueker
February 16, 2021 12:31 pm

Way too generous to wind turbines. During one check their contribution was 740 mw. Wikipedia says they have 30,000 mw installed. Long term planning counting on anything from wind led to this disaster.

For every wind me installed the system needs one or more me of nuke or fossil.

Government subsidies and all but forcing utilities to install unreliable renewables is to blame. Texas and feds own this disaster they are fools to believe any commitment from wind suppliers.

I’m in Gran Prairie, if you’ve got power can I come visit? In 24 hours we had power for 55 minutes.

February 16, 2021 1:57 pm

There goes the stimulus checks—unless they refuse to pay utility bills along with rent and student debt.

Tom Abbott
February 16, 2021 3:36 pm

The governor of Oklahoma, Stitt, says solar in Oklahoma is producing zero electrical power. He says 12 percent of Oklahoma windmills are working, the rest are frozen.

Of the windmills that are working, they are upping their output to try to help with the shortage.

The Grand River Dam Authority is increasing the release of water to produce more electrical power.

The threat of rolling blackouts is still with us for at least one more night and everyone is asked to conserve electricity as much as possible.

We are expecting from 5 to 10 more inches of snow overnight in Oklahoma.

One story I heard tonight on the news was about a Texas family who had their electricity cut off for 35 hours. They said the temperature in their house dropped to 38F degrees before the electricity finally came back on.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom Abbott
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 16, 2021 6:13 pm

Here’s a good explanation of what is going on with Oklahoma’s natural gas:

February 17, 2021 2:30 pm

I was talking to a guy from Texas once about snow. He said an inch of snow and they close the schools. He said don’t have the equipment to handle it. Their attitude is “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away”.

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