Probabilistic and machine learning methods for uncertainty quantification in power outage prediction due to extreme events

Prateek Arora, Luis Ceferino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Strong hurricane winds damage power grids and cause cascading power failures. Statistical and machine learning models have been proposed to predict the extent of power disruptions due to hurricanes. Existing outage models use inputs including power system information, environmental parameters, and demographic parameters. This paper reviews the existing power outage models, highlighting their strengths and limitations. Existing models were developed and validated with data from a few utility companies and regions, limiting the extent of their applicability across geographies and hurricane events. Instead, we train and validate these existing outage models using power outages from multiple regions and hurricanes, including hurricanes Harvey (2017), Michael (2018), and Isaias (2020), in 1910 US cities. The dataset includes outages from 39 utility companies in Texas, 5 in Florida, 5 in New Jersey, and 11 in New York. We discuss the limited ability of state-of-The-Art machine learning models to (1) make bounded outage predictions, (2) extrapolate predictions to high winds, and (3) account for physics-informed outage uncertainties at low and high winds. For example, we observe that existing models can predict outages higher than the number of customers (in 19.8ĝ€¯% of cities with an average overprediction ratio of 5.2) and cannot capture well the outage variance for high winds, especially above 70ĝ€¯mĝ€¯s-1. Our findings suggest that further developments are needed for power outage models for proper representation of hurricane-induced outages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1665-1683
Number of pages19
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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