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FPL Meteorologist Forecast Is Key To Keeping The Lights On

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Now that summer is here and the 2014 hurricane season is underway, Florida Power and Light’s staff meteorologist Tim Drum is keeping a close eye on the weather.

Meeting with local meteorologists at the company’s Southeast Control Center on NW 159th Street in Hialeah, Drum said they use the weather forecast to plan and execute responses to storms.

Drum said the forecast is a key in keeping the lights on at your home and office.

“Well I start about 6:30 a.m. and put out the forecast,” said Drum. “Weather, you know, really affects the electric utility industry a lot. Temperatures determine the amount of electricity which is used every day. Obviously the thunderstorms we have ongoing can affect our operations. We need to know when they are going to start, when they are going to end, where they are going to be so we can get the right crews to the right place at the right time to get the electricity back on as soon as possible. We try every way possible to make our system immune to the fury of Mother Nature but we know that’s not totally, all the way, possible.”

When it comes to hurricanes, Drum says the stakes are raised.

“Obviously that is a high impact situation. At this time of year I am constantly monitoring the tropics, looking for tropical cyclones, their genesis and how they may impact FPL. Then we go in to computer modeling and forecast what damage we might expect from those systems,” said Drum.

Not only do computer models forecast which areas could be hardest hit, they also determine how much manpower and equipment will be needed to restore service.

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