icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Parts of Texas were as cold as Mars during recent big freeze, as rolling blackouts visible from space

Parts of Texas were as cold as Mars during recent big freeze, as rolling blackouts visible from space
When Texas was blasted by a once-in-a-century cold snap, as a cold air mass extended south from Canada and across the US, the state’s energy infrastructure failed, causing rolling blackouts that were visible from space.

A combination of snow and unseasonably cold temperatures resulted in numerous equipment failures which severely hampered power generation and supply issues across the Lone Star state. Weather satellites, calibrated to the state’s more temperate climate, were so confused they mistook the frozen ground for clouds. 

Also on rt.com As Texans struggle to get food & water, record-breaking freeze is so cold it’s confusing weather satellites

NASA's Earth Observatory captured the effect of the subsequent rolling blackouts across the greater Houston area in images captured on February 7, the day before the Arctic blast hit, and then on February 16, when large areas of the city plunged into icy darkness. 

Parts of Texas were as cold as Mars during recent big freeze, as rolling blackouts visible from space

Nighttime light data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, or VIIRS, is laid atop Landsat imagery which captures the city's infrastructure, providing more clarity to the image and showcasing the full extent of the blackouts.

NASA is constantly monitoring nocturnal light emissions across the globe as part of its Black Marble program which aims to further humanity’s understanding of light pollution, wildfires, natural disasters and recovery, as well as the extent of human settlements and their associated energy infrastructures.

Among the US space agency's plethora of satellite data, it found that, at one point during the recent big freeze in Texas, the city of Dallas reached -16 Celcius (four degrees Fahrenheit) which is comparable with temperatures recorded by the Curiosity Rover at the Gale Crater on Mars. 

Also on rt.com Four board members of Texas grid operator RESIGN over blackouts during deadly winter storm

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.