Weather Channel explores connections between power grid and mother nature

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The Weather Channel produced a virtual explainer that looked into the massive failure of the Texas power grid in February 2021.

Marking the one year anniversary of the outage, which left millions without power for days and was triggered by a major winter storm, the February 2022 segment features meteorologist Jordan Steele.

The segment, which was rendered using Unreal Engine, starts out with a few quick cuts previewing scenes from later in the explainer timed to thunder sound effects before showing Steele standing on a dark circle dais in the middle of a virtual neighborhood depicted cloaked in winter weather.

He’s then transported to a virtual map of the United States, standing on a now glowing version of dais centered on Texas, for a bit of explanation of how power grids work in the U.S. 

Other scenes include placing him near a variety of electric supply facilities. There’s also a fiery scene where he briefly mentions how aging power systems can increase the risk of wildfires, particularly in dry areas.

Like many of the network’s similar segments, the explainer also inserts “panels” with key facts and points spelled out.

The segment is particularly effective at exploring how weather affects manmade systems such as power grids not only in Texas but nationwide while also noting some of the risks of climate change.

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