The 2018 anomaly in the continental European electrical grid phase

In February 2018, the electrical grid phase in Europe (to be precise, in the ENTSOE area) has drifted some 5 minutes away from where it should be, causing mains-synchronized clocks all over Europe to lag by 5 minutes. Below is a graph of my measurement of the electrical grid phase between January 31, 2017 and March 2018.


One clearly notices that during normal operation in 2017, the phase varied over about 1.5 minutes, but in February 2018 it "ran away". The normal fluctuations are discussed on my 2006 measurements page. The run away in 2018 is caused by political disagreements between Kosovo and Serbia, as explained on the ENTSOE's own website, and in more mainstream media, such as The Guardian.

The above graph is updated daily, from measurements done in Enschede, The Netherlands. The starting point of the graph is January 31, 2017 because that's when I last rebooted the computer doing these measurements; I do have earlier data, but a reboot causes the measurements to be interrupted for a few minutes. The phase in this graph has been (arbitrarily) fixed at 0 at midnight UTC on January 1, 2018.

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