Lights go out on Houston forecaster twice

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A Texas forecaster was hit with caught not once, but twice, by power issues at the station while on air — ironically while discussing the hot weather that is straining the state’s power grid.

Studio lighting briefly went dark as Travis Herzog, a meteorologist at ABC-owned KTRK in Houston, Texas, was presenting his forecast during both the 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. newscasts July 13, 2022.

High temperatures and a strained power grid had led to calls for residents and businesses to conserve power in the days leading up to the incidents.

Herzog noted that it appears the power supply to the building was interrupted briefly, causing the lighting in the studio cycle down instead of flipping over to a backup source.

Like most TV stations, the building has a backup generator that’s supposed to detect an interruption and take over, but it appears there was either a glitch in the system or the lighting gear or studio grid wasn’t properly configured or able to switch over without going out first.

That’s why the video wall showing the forecast behind Herzog, cameras, microphones and at least part of the control room appeared to remain unaffected.

For a brief time following the power issue, Herzog remained on camera, mostly in silhouette, before the control room wisely switched over to just showing the weather graphics fullscreen with him talking over them.

During the 5 p.m. issue, the video wall was showcasing a sidebar-style graphic with heat index timeline on the left side of the video wall with a map to the right.