PJM Prepares for Winter Storm Jonas

PJM is making preparations for Winter Storm Jonas, which is scheduled to reach sections of the PJM footprint beginning Friday afternoon.

As of Thursday afternoon, PJM does not have any major concerns for the transmission system. The system has plenty of capacity to meet power needs; however, demand is expected to be naturally lighter based on typical weekend use.  (Power use is normally higher during the work week due to businesses, schools and others open.)

With ice, wind and heavy snow, however, PJM does expect significant impact on the distribution system. Transmission owners and distribution providers are staffing up their storm centers to help prepare to restore customers impacted by the storm.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for the Washington-Baltimore area. This is likely to be the hardest-hit area, with heavy snow and high winds starting Friday afternoon or evening. Snow accumulation could be as high as 24-to-30 inches in the D.C. suburbs and 24 inches in Washington itself.

There will be a blizzard watch in effect for Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Delmarva  area and New Jersey beginning Friday at 7 p.m., with up-to-18 inches of snow expected along the I-95 corridor.

The winds from Washington, D.C. to the Philadelphia area are expected to be 20-35 miles per hour with gusts from 40-55 mph on Saturday. Even higher wind gusts are possible along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay.

Western Pennsylvania and southern Ohio are under a winter storm watch, while areas in Kentucky, southern West Virginia and central Virginia are likely to see accumulating ice, possibly significant, as will sections of North Carolina.