Wind farms may fool forecasters September 2, 2009Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
Tags: climate change, global warming, windfarms, windpower
Wind farms may fool forecasters
September 2, 2009
Moving turbine blades can look a lot like a thunderstorm or even a tornado on radar
Storm clouds are gathering on the horizon for New Zealand weather forecasters, as the number of wind farms grow.
Wind farms generate a storm-like appearance on weather radars, which has caused incorrect forecasts overseas and is now prompting predictions of similar problems here.
Doppler radars used by meteorologists detect storms by picking up movement in the air, MetService chief forecaster Rob Stainer said.
Stationary objects such as buildings and mountain ranges were easily filtered out, but moving wind turbine blades could look a lot like a thunderstorm or even a tornado on the radar.
Problems seemed to occur when wind farms and radar stations were set up within about 18km of one another.
It could cause some serious issues – a tornado alert was recently issued in the United States after a particularly active wind farm was misinterpreted by one meteorologist.
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