PJM Preps as Jonas Intensifies

This is an updated version of a story that originally ran on January 21.

 As Winter Storm Jonas began bearing down on sections of the PJM region Friday afternoon, PJM said it has no major concerns for the transmission system.

PJM did point out that effects of heavy snow, ice and high winds can’t be out ruled, however. The weather likely will have more significant impacts on the distribution systems directly serving consumers.

The system has adequate generation available to meet power needs. Demand is expected to be naturally lighter because of weekend. (Power use is normally higher during the work week due to businesses, schools and others being open.)

The National Weather Service placed areas along and near the I-95 corridor from Wilmington to Manhattan under a blizzard warning and issued a coastal flood warning for the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay.

As of noon on Friday, it was snowing heavily in the Richmond, Va., area and snow had reached southern Maryland and the Virginia part of the Delmarva Peninsula.

Most forecasters, including the National Weather Service, had been calling for 18 to 24 inches of snow in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., corridor but forecast models were showing the storm had intensified.

As of Friday afternoon, it appeared the area would get much higher-than-predicted snow totals – as much as 30 inches – with even higher totals in the western suburbs.

The weather service also increased predicted snow totals for the Philadelphia area.  As of Friday afternoon, projections were 12 to 20 inches of snow by the time the storm ends Sunday morning, with dangerous blizzard conditions during the day Saturday. The South Jersey shore, from Atlantic City to Cape May, could see wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour.

Southwestern Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and western Virginia are under a winter storm warning. Sections of those states could see accumulating ice, possibly significant, as will sections of North Carolina.