Off Radar: Weathermen Wild As Interference From Wind Turbines Wrecks Their Radar Signals

Giant industrial wind turbines with their 60m blade’s tips clocking 350 kph play havoc with radar systems, giving false images and distorting real ones. The result is unnecessary danger for pilots dependent upon accurate weather reports, essential for safe takeoffs and landings.

In a number of States, the US military has obtained legislation to prevent the construction of wind turbines anywhere near their airfields and training grounds.

Now America’s weathermen are joining the chorus, furious at the fact that – thanks to these things – they can no longer predict the path, force and severity of weather systems; systems with the potential to cause catastrophic harm to lives and property.

Can wind turbines blow away Tri-State weather warnings?
Tri-State
Stuart Hammer
23 August 2019

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – When clouds turn dark and storm sirens blare, Doppler radar keeps spinning. It tells meteorologists what’s happening in the center of severe storms.

Everyone in the Tri-State, including the Eyewitness News weather team, relies on Doppler to look ahead and issue warnings. But what if there was something blocking the eye in the sky?

When it comes to turbines, there is never enough wind. But there is some worry about a proposed E.ON Energy wind farm in Posey and Gibson counties.  There is fear it could blow away early weather warnings.

If the farm is built, USI Physics Professor, Dr. Kent Scheller believes it could get tougher to see through the noise to deliver lifesaving information.

“It can mask existing weather systems including tornadoes,” he said.

As far doppler is concerned, turbines are just another large moving object with fast-moving air, so it often shows up as a small severe storm even when nothing is there.

The local Doppler radar which serves the Tri-State stands in a field in Owensville, Ind. It gives low-level coverage other radars in Louisville and Paducah can’t see.

The National Weather Service recommends wind farms be built outside a 30-mile radius of its radars. Most of the proposed E.ON farm is within 10 miles of the Doppler in Owensville.

Scheller thinks it could potentially compromise radar signal to Henderson, Newburgh, Boonville, and Fairfield. Most meteorologists understand false returns, but Scheller believes it could cause a gaping hole in the radar coverage.

“Because we don’t believe our signal, well that’s a problem,” Scheller said. “That’s a problem when a scientist doesn’t have the data that they’re supposed to have.”

There is no technology available to filter out noise from turbines.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a FAQ page about the effects of turbines on radar.

Officials with E.ON say they work with the National Weather Service. The company is aware of concerns, but they don’t yet have a plan.

“We understand the proximity to and concern over radar interference and will consult and coordinate with the appropriate weather agencies as part of our development process to properly site, design and operate the project so as to avoid or minimize any potential interference to Radar operations.  E.ON is committed to protecting the communities which host our projects and where our employees live and work. We work closely with NOAA, NWS, and other government agencies to ensure our projects present as little impact as possible on their operations.”

KARSEN RUMPF – E.ON WIND DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Scheller says turbines inside 10 miles of a Doppler can send mixed signals more than 25 miles out.

“You put it far away, it hardly sees it. But you bring it in within 10 miles, now it’s going to cut out a cone,” he added. “The closer that wind farm is to the Doppler radar, the wider that cone is. That’s the problem.”

Eyewitness News has its own Doppler radar at the station in Henderson, Ky. If the wind farm is built, there would be no effect on it.
Tri-State

 

Transcription

Brad Byrd:  Well when it comes to turbines there’s never, apparently, enough wind. But there’s worry about a proposed E.ON Energy wind farm in Posey and Gibson Counties.

Shelley Kirk:  Now some fear it could blow away early weather warnings. So tonight Eyewitness News Stuart Hammer found out why? Stuart.

Stuart Hammer:  Well, everyone here in the Tri-state, including our team at the station, relies on Doppler radar to see weather on the way. But what if there was something blocking that eye in the sky? It could be a lot tougher to see through the noise and potentially deliver life saving info.

When clouds turn dark and storm sirens blare, Doppler radar keeps spinning. It tells meteorologists what’s happening in the centre of these storms. A proposed wind farm in the tri-state could severely diminish the effectiveness of local Doppler.

Kent Scheller:  It can mask existing weather systems including tornadoes.

Stuart Hammer:  USI physics professor Dr. Kent Scheller says the radar in Owensville gives low-level coverage other radars can’t see it is vital to alert of approaching storms.

Kent Scheller:  The issue is the proximity of the wind farm to the Doppler system itself.

Stuart Hammer:  The National Weather Service recommends wind farms be built outside a 30 mile radius of its radars. Most of the proposed E.ON farm is within 10 miles of Owensville’s Doppler. It could compromise signal to Henderson, Newburg, Boonville, and Fairfield.

Kent Scheller:  That’s a large swath of the population in Southwestern Indiana.

Stuart Hammer:  Most meteorologists understand false returns, but Scheller believes it could cause a gaping hole in the radar.

Kent Scheller:  Because we don’t believe our signal. Well, that’s a problem. That’s a problem when a scientist doesn’t have the data that they’re supposed to have.

Stuart Hammer:  Officials with E.ON Energy say they work with the National Weather Service. The company says it’s aware of concerns, but they don’t yet have a plan. As far as Doppler is concerned, turbines are just another large moving object with fast moving air. So it often shows up as a storm when there’s nothing there.

Kent Scheller:  You put it far away, it hardly sees it. But you bring it in within 10 miles, now it’s going to cut out a cone.

Stuart Hammer:  Scheller says turbines inside 10 miles of a Doppler can send mixed signals more than 25 miles out.

Kent Scheller:  The closer that wind farm is to the Doppler radar, the wider that cone is. That’s the problem, that’s exactly the problem.

Stuart Hammer:  Now I talked to a meteorologist in Kansas, and they live with a lot of wind farms there. They see false returns everyday on the radar, and they look like tiny storms. But the turbines are not within 10 miles there.

And Brad and Shelley, there is no technology available now to filter out the noise from turbines either, so that could be another problem.
Tri-State

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  2. Jacqueline Rovensky says:

    Wind Turbines stir up more than the Doppler readings, they create mayhem with localised hydrology and it could be argued as these turbine blades interrupt the natural flow of the wind as it passes the them, it’s mixing the airflow up as if in a big food blender, turning them into something nature did not intend.
    If this is accepted then it’s not inconceivable these turbines are altering weather patterns.
    Multiply this by the thousands of projects around the world and maybe we have the reason the worlds weather systems are having a problem doing what used to come naturally to them.
    After all as more and more of these projects are installed in ever increasing heights, MW capacity and turbine numbers the weather systems appear to be changing also.
    I wonder if those who cheer this form of energy production on have thought of that – probably not as they don’t appear to think, they just react to waffle and rampage and of course its laughable that anyone could consider these turbines are anything but benign!

  3. If the idiots in charge knew what they were doing this would not be a problem.

    A doppler radar would see the turning blades as a target moving towards and away from the radars point of reference and also its velocity.

    Ergo on clear windy there is a non existant cloud formation (water droplets) obviously when there is a storm they get corrupted data from that area.

    Welcome to peak stupid

    • Russ Wood says:

      Don’t forget that the whole turbine+blade system ROTATES. So, the direction of the blade movement is not consistent and I have no idea if it would be possible to filter out the reflections.

      • Peter Pronczak says:

        Re the STT topic 2019/09/27 on toxic turbine blades – landfill.
        In colder climates such as Sweden that weather permitting, has to use helicopters to deice their turbines with presumably the common chemical ethylene glycol, used to deice aircraft surfaces including propellers on piston engine or turboprop A/C before they are able to fly, would as you point out, on wind turbines requiring the head to turn into the wind, means copious amounts of the toxic chemical would need to be sprayed not just on the blades.
        As the deicer is alcohol based, its runoff and evaporation means it can end up who knows where once weather conditions thaw. As STT continues to point out, use of these monsters wasn’t properly thought out from the beginning. Is it any wonder farmers gave up on them years ago for their unreliability just to pump water.

  4. Marshall Rosenthal says:

    Weather warnings are very important!

  5. Marshall Rosenthal says:

    Oops!

  6. Reblogged this on Climate- Science.press.

  7. Peter Pronczak says:

    If STT wants to destroy the wind industry then having presented so many logical arguments against it, there is something not going quite right.
    Perhaps it is toward the belief that demos-cracy actually exists; in the publicly understood sense.
    If the supporting science is biased then so is the politics, education and understanding; a singularity in belief; being that only a post doctoral qualification can be accepted as logically valid; Ziggy Switkowski seemingly stymieing the advance of his chosen nuclear profession.

    With the advanced ‘divide and conquer’ psychology now applied on a destructive local level, with further segregation of internet access, the application of logical examples and argument achieves little.
    The historical technological progress mankind has always pursued, being smaller, more powerful, safer, durable, reliable and cheaper: lifespan and fusion energy’s potential multifunction uses; that apparently has been abandoned.

    Consider this abstract example of overpopulation vs underdevelopment:
    “Gee Ollie, was the internet given to people so they could do for nothing what people used to get paid for?”
    “Don’t be silly Stanley, that would mean more people than jobs and that wouldn’t be right.”
    “I guess so Ollie.”

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