California\u2019s grid this summer faces deteriorating hydropower conditions and a high danger of wildfires that could interrupt transmission lines. Both threats stem from a dry spring. \u201cMarch and April were the driest on record for that period,\u201d said Maury Roos, California Department of Water Resources hydrologist. Consequently, energy production from hydropower dams in the state is expected to be 25-30 percent less than average in terms of kWh generated. There still will be enough water to run hydropower stations to meet peak demand, Roos added. \u201cWe are definitely bracing for a big fire season,\u201d said Stephanie McCorkle, chief spokesperson for the California Independent System Operator. \u201cWe\u2019re worried.\u201d First, the wet winter spurred the growth of profuse grass in areas where transmission lines run, according to Dee Dechert, National Forest Service spokesperson. The dry weather this spring, plus the heat earlier this month, has caused it to dry out providing plenty of what Dechert calls \u201cflash fuel\u201d for fires this summer. Heat itself also threatens the grid by creating high demand for power, according to McCorkle. She noted that for the past two summers California has experienced extreme hot spells, so severe that they generally are expected to occur only once every ten years. Should the state see similar extreme temperatures this summer, McCorkle said, Southern California could experience a Stage 3 power alert, particularly if power plants also are down and imports of power are lower than normal. Already, the May heat wave created an uncharacteristically high power demand for spring. \u201cWe\u2019ve never seen 41,000 plus (MW) peaks before Memorial Weekend,\u201d she said. Pacific Gas & Electric plans to budget available water at its hydropower facilities for meeting peak demand periods, said Paul Moreno, utility spokesperson. The utility will turn to fossil fuel plants and other sources to make up for below average hydropower production. The utility also will look to use demand response, in which power is cut during peak periods at the premises of customers who voluntarily agree to emergency conservation in exchange for lower power bills. The warnings about how the weather could affect the grid follow a month of wild conditions in California, in which record 100 degree plus heat seized many cities in the Central Valley, only to be followed by a cold front that brought heavy winds. They caused a fire in Los Angeles County near Los Angeles Department of Water & Power facilities. The next day, rain brought mudslides, hail, and a tornado in the Southern California megalopolis. The twister derailed a train, overturned a big rig truck, and damaged a power transmission tower when it touched down in Riverside County. To the north, the Bonneville Power Administration also expressed concerns about extreme weather. On May 20, it instituted a special study to examine the likely impact of weather extremes on the Northwest hydropower system. However, in a bright spot, stream flows in the area are above normal after a heavy winter and the hydropower outlook looks good this summer, according to an administration spokesperson.