PSNH and PSU Partner in Predictability Study

May 6th, 2004 by Adam

Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) and Plymouth State University’s meteorology department have joined forces of nature to quantify a decade’s worth of weather system patterns in search of common, forecastable characteristics of future weather systems that will improve PSNH’s reliability and customer service. This project will run through May 2005.

PSNH will provide data on significant power outage events in New Hampshire over the last ten years. Simultaneously, PSU’s meteorology department will retrieve relevant meteorological data (satellite, radar, surface, radiosconde) for each of these events. Under the leadership of Dr. Eric G. Hoffman, assistant professor of meteorology, Michael Nahmias, a senior PSU student will analyze the combined data, providing PSNH useful information to optimize operational resources when inclement weather events are predicted in the future.

“We believe there is a correlation between previous weather events and the predictable damage to the electrical system on a statewide basis,” says Dan Pike, PSNH emergency response administrator. “When we benchmarked with other utilities across the country we realized we’re one of only a handful looking to understand the link between reliability and outage management issues of our day-to-day operations. Our goal is to predict weather related damage to our system to benefit our New Hampshire customers during a time of unexpected hardship.”

“This partnership is an example of the private and public sectors working together to create opportunities in the state of New Hampshire,” says, Dr. Eric G. Hoffman. “PSNH has an applied research need and our meteorology program has the tools and knowledge to perform the research, which will ultimately bolster PSNH’s future operational value. This is an outstanding educational opportunity for one of our students to participate in a community outreach project applying their scientific skill set. We look forward to sharing the findings next year.”

PSNH is funding this project through a corporate sponsored grant. PSNH is New Hampshire’s largest electric utility, serving more than 460,000 homes and businesses. To learn more about this or other PSNH projects visit,

Plymouth State University is a coeducational, residential university with an enrollment of approximately 3,800 undergraduate students and 1,500 graduate students. For more information visit, For information about the PSU meteorology program visit,