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A Statistical Forecast Model of Weather-Related Damage to a Major Electric Utility

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  • 1 Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey
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Abstract

A generalized linear model (GLM) has been developed to relate meteorological conditions to damages incurred by the outdoor electrical equipment of Public Service Electric and Gas, the largest public utility in New Jersey. Utilizing a perfect-prognosis approach, the model consists of equations derived from a backward-eliminated multiple-linear-regression analysis of observed electrical equipment damage as the predictand and corresponding surface observations from a variety of sources including local storm reports as the predictors. Weather modes, defined objectively by surface observations, provided stratification of the data and served to increase correlations between the predictand and predictors. The resulting regression equations produced coefficients of determination up to 0.855, with the lowest values for the heat and cold modes, and the highest values for the thunderstorm and mix modes. The appropriate GLM equations were applied to an independent dataset for model validation, and the GLM shows skill [i.e., Heidke skill score (HSS) values greater than 0] at predicting various thresholds of total accumulated equipment damage. The GLM shows higher HSS values relative to a climatological approach and a baseline regression model. Two case studies analyzed to critique model performance yielded insight into GLM shortcomings, with lightning information and wind duration being found to be important missing predictors under certain circumstances.

Current affiliation: NOAA/NWS/Meteorological Development Laboratory, Silver Spring, Maryland.

Corresponding author address: Steven G. Decker, Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 14 College Farm Rd., New Brunswick, NJ 08901. E-mail: decker@envsci.rutgers.edu

Abstract

A generalized linear model (GLM) has been developed to relate meteorological conditions to damages incurred by the outdoor electrical equipment of Public Service Electric and Gas, the largest public utility in New Jersey. Utilizing a perfect-prognosis approach, the model consists of equations derived from a backward-eliminated multiple-linear-regression analysis of observed electrical equipment damage as the predictand and corresponding surface observations from a variety of sources including local storm reports as the predictors. Weather modes, defined objectively by surface observations, provided stratification of the data and served to increase correlations between the predictand and predictors. The resulting regression equations produced coefficients of determination up to 0.855, with the lowest values for the heat and cold modes, and the highest values for the thunderstorm and mix modes. The appropriate GLM equations were applied to an independent dataset for model validation, and the GLM shows skill [i.e., Heidke skill score (HSS) values greater than 0] at predicting various thresholds of total accumulated equipment damage. The GLM shows higher HSS values relative to a climatological approach and a baseline regression model. Two case studies analyzed to critique model performance yielded insight into GLM shortcomings, with lightning information and wind duration being found to be important missing predictors under certain circumstances.

Current affiliation: NOAA/NWS/Meteorological Development Laboratory, Silver Spring, Maryland.

Corresponding author address: Steven G. Decker, Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 14 College Farm Rd., New Brunswick, NJ 08901. E-mail: decker@envsci.rutgers.edu
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