Hurricanes, Fires and Droughts! Oh My!

Author: Velocity Suite GIS Specialist

A Cartographic Pictorial of Energy Infrastructure and Natural Disasters

This summer, in a lot of ways, has been a typical year. Mother Nature constantly challenges the energy infrastructure because of its exposure to the elements; everything from hurricanes to fires to severe droughts has impacted energy infrastructure across North America this summer. The following maps and AVIs are just a few examples of recent geospatial analysis using the Velocity Suite.

Hurricanes can be disruptive to natural gas infrastructure, especially in the Gulf region. Due to the proximity to dense infrastructure networks, Velocity Suite tracks all active storms in the Atlantic Ocean. Typically Velocity Suite does not track storms in the Pacific Ocean unless they impact infrastructure in Hawaii. The following map is of the most recent Atlantic hurricane, Bertha. All Atlantic storm maps are updated daily and available to both EV Energy Map and EV Weather subscribers using QuickStats Quick Maps.


This season also saw a particularly rare “dual hurricane” in the Pacific Ocean in the region near Hawaii. The following map shows the path and timing of both Iselle and Julio as they approached the islands.


Forest Fires:
Forest fires can impact several types of exposed energy infrastructure. Lower voltage transmission lines, usually on wooden poles, are particularly vulnerable to fire. Other infrastructure is also affected depending on the scale of the fire and its severity. The following AVI shows wildfires throughout the Western United States this summer.

2014 Western Wildfires

The following map is of the Horne Butte fire in Oregon. This fire is particularly interesting because it occurred in an area that not only has transmission lines, but is also within the footprint of several different Wind Farms. Maps of major fires are updated into a single report called Fire Maps and, much like hurricane maps, are made available through our EV Maps QuickStats Quick Maps.


While droughts don’t directly affect infrastructure, they do impact hydro units in areas where the water is in short supply. The following AVI shows drought conditions by Climate Zone for the state of California this year. This animation was created using EV Energy Map using the Palmer Z Index data from the EV Weather product.

California Drought

All of these maps were created using Velocity Suite data in combination with other data sources, both internal and external. And most of these maps are available for download directly within QuickStats Quick Maps. To access them and other QuickStats data, simply click the icon in the My Velocity Suite menu and select the product or particular map you are interested in.


If you want to learn more about QuickStats maps, creating time series animations, or anything else you see here, please feel free to contact the Velocity Suite support team at> or if you want to learn more about Enterprise Software solutions including Velocity Suite, please use the following links:


Velocity Suite >>
EV Energy Map >>
EV Weather >>