Fierce heat causes local power outages

June 27, 2013 • Local News

An extreme high temperature of 109 degrees that baked Roswell Wednesday caused a few likely overheated Xcel Energy customers to overload the system and lose power.

“With the heat and with the load, it caused some equipment failures,” said Xcel Energy spokesman Troy Foos. “It was all the fuses and breakers that began to be overloaded when folks got home from work, so it began about 5 p.m.”

Crews operated some breakers and replaced blown fuses, Foos said. [auth] All power was restored by 6 p.m.

Wednesday’s temperature was the hottest recorded this year and only two degrees shy of breaking a record, according to forecaster Mark Fettig of the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

The temperature was 14 degrees above average for Roswell. The record high was set at 111 degrees in 1994.

Today’s high is expected to reach 107, which is below the record high of 114 degrees—also set in 1994.

That record is also the “all-time record high in Roswell,” Fettig said.

“When we get a high pressure area set up … we usually get the hottest or some of the hottest temperatures during this time of year,” Fettig said.

Friday’s temperature is expected to reach 103, followed by a cooling off on Saturday and Sunday. Those highs are forecasted to be 99 and 97 degrees.

“If the clouds and moisture increase—and we’re expecting to get that into the area by the Friday and Saturday period—if that delays by a day or so, that may delay just a little bit that cool down,” Fettig said. “We should get closer to normal values by Saturday to mid-Sunday, or early next week.”

The low humidity, which was 5 percent at 6 p.m. Wednesday, may provide some relief today, Fettig said. But not much.

“It helps,” Fettig said. “I don’t care what you say, 107 is hot.”

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