Why do heat waves cause power outages?

A pedestrian uses an umbrella while walking past City Hall in Los Angeles amid an ongoing heatwave on Aug. 29, 2017, which generated triple-digit temperatures in some southern California communities.
A pedestrian uses an umbrella while walking past City Hall in Los Angeles amid an ongoing heatwave on Aug. 29, 2017, which generated triple-digit temperatures in some southern California communities.
Frederic J. Brown /AFP/Getty Images

Listen to story

00:58
Extra Audio:
Download this story 0.0MB

Blackouts can happen for different reasons. Sometimes there's not enough electricity being generated, and demand outstrips supply. But that's not what happened during this weekend's heat wave.