You may have heard the old Texas weather cliche, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes.” 

From droughts that can trigger wildfires in Central Texas, to tropical storms that often wreak havoc on the Gulf Coast, Texas weather can be unpredictable.

But how has this weather affected the deregulated electricity grid and how quickly have Texans recovered from such a wide range of weather patterns?

We take a walk back in time to remember some of the most notable weather events in the last several years and how Texas overcame the power outages or electrical challenges each time.


Table of Contents

  • Texas Weather Events in 2020

  • Texas Weather Events in 2019

  • Texas Weather Events in 2018


Texas Weather Events in 2020 

Tornado in Onalaska, Texas in April 2020

“The tornado hit at about 5:35 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, April 22, according to the National Weather Service. The twister traveled 32 miles on the ground, with estimated peak winds of 140 mph at one point. The NWS gave it a preliminary rating of EF3. Dan Reilly, a meteorologist with the NWS in Houston, described the scene and stories of survival as "very sad and sobering." - The Weather Network

How The April 2020 Storm Affected Texas Electricity

As a result of the tornado that traveled nearly 32 miles in the Onalaska area, 13,823 homes were without electricity. Power outages continued through Wednesday, April 29th, when power was finally restored to all locations.

Texas Weather Events in 2019

Tornado in Brazos County, Texas in April 2019

“Saturday, April 13th brought one of the biggest severe weather days the area has experienced in decades. Six tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service across Robertson, Leon, and Houston Counties. One of those tornadoes was the EF-3 that passed through the south side of Franklin.

The tornadoes that occurred that day are as follows:

Mumford: EF-0

Hwy 79 / Franklin: EF-3

Leon County (between Marquez & Jewett): EF-1

Lovelady (Houston County): EF-2

Weches (Houston County): EF-3

Tadmor (Houston County): EF-1” - KBTX3


How The April 2019 Storm Affected Texas Electricity

More than 2,700 customers were left without electricity due to the tornado in Brazos County, however, power was promptly restored.

Wind Storm in North Texas in June 2019

“A mesoscale convective system crossed the Red River during the morning hours of Sunday, June 9th, 2019. By the afternoon, many areas across North Texas were impacted by severe storms with several reports of damaging wind.” - National Weather Service

How The June 2019 Wind Storm Affected Texas Electricity

As many as 350,000 electricity customers lost power due to the powerful wind storms in Dallas County. As many as 146,000 homes were still without power two days later.

Tornado in North Texas in October 2019

“An after-dark tornado cut a destructive path across the heart of densely populated North Dallas around 9 pm CDT Sunday, October 21st. A National Weather Service survey team found EF3 damage with the tornado, with estimated top winds of 140 mph. The City of Dallas reported in a Monday morning news release that there were no serious injuries—amazing, given the extent of damage—but the financial and emotional toll will be high. A separate EF1 tornado was confirmed in Rowlett, just east of Dallas.” - Weather Underground

How The October 2019 Tornado Affected Texas Electricity

More than 167,000 electricity customers lost power due to the October 2019 Tornado that affected the Dallas area.

Tropical Storm Imelda in Southeastern Texas in September 2019

“September 17-19, 2019 - Imelda was a short-lived tropical storm that moved inland over Texas just after it developed. The storm and its remnants meandered inland for a couple of days after landfall and produced historic rainfall totals and devastating flooding over portions of southeastern Texas.” - National Weather Service

How The September 2019 Storm Affected Texas Electricity

Imelda left nearly 40,000 electricity customers without power during the peak of the storm. Almost all power had been fully restored two days after the storm had passed.

Texas Weather Events in 2018

Winter Storm in North Central Texas in January 2018

“Jan. 8, 2011: Heavy Snow. North Texas. Between 3–7 inches of snow fell across Northeast Texas, causing hundreds of vehicle accidents. Total damage, $1 million.” - Texas Almanac

How The Jan 2018 Storm Affected Texas Electricity

The winter storm of January 2018 set the record for peak electric demand of 65,915 MW. While there were no power outages reported, Texans used more energy to heat their homes than ever before.

Thunderstorms and Damaging Winds in the High Plains of Texas in May 2018

“The first round of severe thunderstorms developed Sunday, May 13th across the eastern Texas Panhandle and far northern Rolling Plains. Parts of Hall and Childress Counties were most favored, as thunderstorms continued to redevelop and track over this same region much of the evening. 

In addition to dumping torrential rainfall, the most intense storms produced giant hail and damaging wind gusts. Locations in and around Estelline were particularly hard hit, receiving several rounds of severe hail. Unfortunately, this hail was also driven by winds measured as high as 68 mph at the nearby West Texas Mesonet site. 

The combination of the wind and hail caused considerable damage to vehicles and buildings in and around the Estelline area Sunday evening. 

The next day (Monday, 14 May) brought another round of severe weather during the afternoon and evening hours”. - National Weather Service 

How The May 2018 Storms Affected Texas Electricity

Downed power lines and power outages were reported during the course of this weather event. Electricity providers had power returned to the affected regions very quickly.

Severe Storms in High Plains and Rolling Low Plains of Texas in June 2018

“June 7, 2018: Severe Weather. High Plains and Low Rolling Plains. A late-spring storm produced heavy rains and destructive winds in West Texas. Estimated winds during this event reached hurricane force, peaking near 115 mph. One family in Scurry County reported an overturned manufactured home that resulted in one injury. Total damages by flash flooding and strong winds were estimated at over $600,000.” - Texas Almanac

How These June 2018 Storms Affected Texas Electricity

Power outage and downed power lines were reported during this weather event, however, power was quickly restored to the affected areas.

Flooding and Tropical Weather in the Lower Valley and South Texas in June 2018

“The Great June 2018 Flood of the Rio Grande Valley will be remembered for a long time to come, not just for its damage which is likely to run at least $250 million, with the potential for $500 million or more - but also for the challenges faced by the region for potentially much more rainfall from an organized tropical cyclone that decides to sit and spin over the region for a few days - perhaps worse than Beulah, but in a region with five times the population and exponential infrastructure growth.” - National Weather Service

How The June 2018 Weather Event Affected Texas Electricity

Widespread power outages were reported in the areas affected by the flooding. It’s common for flash flooding to cause downed power lines and disruptions to the electrical grid in Texas.

Flooding in Central Texas in October 2018

“The first event took place Oct. 9 when heavy rain hit the Hill Country. Mason County received over +10″ of rain and Lake Travis reported a 3-foot rise. Flooding occurred in the town of Junction, claiming the lives of 3 people.

With the ground already saturated, a second stalled front led to disaster, triggering 3″-6″ of rain across portions of the Hill Country in the morning with 3-day totals adding up to 7″-12″.

Many lakeside homes along Lake Marble Falls and Lake LBJ were flooded, massive amounts of debris were washed downstream including personal docks, boats, and watercrafts.” - kxan

Lake Travis, one of the six Highland Lakes formed by dams along the lower Colorado River west of Austin, topped 704 feet Friday for only the fifth time on record and the first time since the July 1997 flood.” - The Weather Channel.

How The Oct 2018 Weather Event Affected Texas Electricity

Approximately 45,000 electricity customers were without power during the peak of the storm. 

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