Tropical cyclones (TCs) have caused extensive power outages. The impacts of TC-caused blackouts may worsen in the future as TCs and heatwaves intensify. Here we couple TC and heatwave projections and power outage and recovery process analysis to investigate how TC-blackout-heatwave compound hazard risk may vary in a changing climate, with Harris County, Texas as an example. We find that, under the high-emissions scenario RCP8.5, long-duration heatwaves following strong TCs may increase sharply. The expected percentage of Harris residents experiencing at least one longer-than-5-day TC-blackout-heatwave compound hazard in a 20-year period could increase dramatically by a factor of 23 (from 0.8% to 18.2%) over the 21st century. We also reveal that a moderate enhancement of the power distribution network can significantly mitigate the compound hazard risk. Thus, climate adaptation actions, such as strategically undergrounding distribution network and developing distributed energy sources, are urgently needed to improve coastal power system resilience.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)