Punxsutawney Phil’s prognostication this weekend on Gobbler’s Knob might make you sad – or glad – depending on your love of snow and cold weather.

For an electric utility, however, watching the weather isn’t a matter of shadows. It’s a serious, around-the-clock job that helps us keep your service reliable and helps us plan for stormy weather that can cause outages.

We contract with several weather services to keep us informed of current and future weather conditions. From there, we use modeling and our experience to make plans about staffing, materials, and more.

Our service territory covers 10,000 square miles. That’s a larger area than New Jersey. This includes both urban and rural areas, mountains and valleys. Weather can vary widely depending on location and elevation. In the same day, it can be sunny in Lancaster and stormy in the Poconos and knowing that in advance is a big advantage. That’s why we monitor around the clock, every day of the year.

Forecasting can help us make plans for all kinds of weather. In serious storms, like hurricanes, we can call in mutual assistance from other utilities, if that’s necessary. Expanding our crews helps to get the lights back on quicker.

The bottom line is this: Whether Phil sees his shadow or not, whether an almanac predicts bad or fair weather, we’ll be ready.