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Wind farms interfering with weather radar in NY
NWS ^ | Recently | NWS

Posted on 10/14/2009 5:26:24 AM PDT by xcamel

During the last several years, New York State has been a leader in supporting the growth of wind energy. As a result of this effort, there have been several "wind farm" projects developed across the region. In western New York, some of the bigger projects include the towns of Sheldon, Wethersfield, Eagle/Bliss in Wyoming county. These farms are located between 20 miles and 35 miles directly southeast of the Weather Surveillance Doppler Radar located at the National Weather Service office in Cheektowaga (KBUF) in northern Erie county. The towers are on top of ridges at elevations that exceed 1600 feet above mean sea level.

Unfortunately, the Wyoming county wind farms and their turbines are within the radar line of sight (RLOS) of the NWS doppler radar in Cheektowaga. The height of the wind turbine towers are about 265 feet above the ground, and the turbine blades extend an additional 125 feet. Hence, the top of the wind turbine rotors are about 400 feet above the ground in western and southern Wyoming County.

At this height, the rotating turbine blades of the wind farm impact the KBUF Doppler Radar beam. As you can see in the above image depicting most of western New York, the rotating wind turbines are having an affect on the radar beam.

A small part of the electromagnetic energy radar beam sent from the radar is reflected back by the rotating turbines. The radar processes this "returned energy" as an area of precipitation and plots it accordingly on the map. This contamination of the base reflectivity image as illustrated in the below image, has an effect on the radar algorithms used to estimate rainfall and to detect certain storm characteristics.

See NWS site for graphics..


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: weather; windfarms
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Go figure..
1 posted on 10/14/2009 5:26:24 AM PDT by xcamel
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To: xcamel

The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again!


2 posted on 10/14/2009 5:29:42 AM PDT by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: xcamel
They can adjust the radar for this just like any other hindrances. (like ground clutter, buildings, etc.)
3 posted on 10/14/2009 5:32:03 AM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: xcamel

They will come up with a solution - re-direct the beam higher in that direction?

BTW - I drive by the big white ball everyday!


4 posted on 10/14/2009 5:33:55 AM PDT by RebelTXRose
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To: wolfcreek
Wrong. Other hindrances don't move.
It's not nearly as easy as you think, and requires a rewrite of the NEXRAD-II and NEXRAD II-D software.
5 posted on 10/14/2009 5:36:40 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: xcamel

Since when have weather forecasters been accurate anyway? Where I live, you’re better off sticking your head out the door to see if its raining or sunny......


6 posted on 10/14/2009 5:37:51 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Who's your Long Legged MacDaddy?)
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To: wolfcreek
They can adjust the radar for this just like any other hindrances. (like ground clutter, buildings, etc.)

Or they could also coat the windmill blades with the same stuff used on our Stealth Fighters.
Animal Rights activists won't like it because they'll chop up more bats that way.
But who cares? Those creepy little cave critters spread rabies anyway.

7 posted on 10/14/2009 5:45:29 AM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: xcamel
Wrong. Other hindrances don't move.

I attended the Windpower Expo in Chicago last May. There were several vendors there that had samples of their blades on the exhibit floor. Everything I saw was made of fiberglass and fiberglass is invisible to RF. Radomes that protect radar antennas and microwave antennas are made of fiberglass for this very reason. What are these blades made of that are supposedly causing the interference? Carbon reflects RF, maybe the blades are carbon?

8 posted on 10/14/2009 5:49:14 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
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To: Thermalseeker

Most of the blades have CF or aluminum ribbing for lateral strength.


9 posted on 10/14/2009 5:56:17 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: xcamel
Quit the whining and shut up. So you get the wrong weather info. So you may miss a tornado or two and a few people die. The important thing is ...
Their 'intentions were good'.
That's all that matters. Now get with the program you knuckle-dragging Neanderthals!
10 posted on 10/14/2009 5:57:39 AM PDT by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: xcamel
Most of the blades have CF or aluminum ribbing for lateral strength.

I saw that sort of construction on smaller, "back yard" type windmills, but all the large commercial blades I saw were 100% fiberglass. Of course, that doesn't mean that everything out there is all fiberglass. I built a composite airplane a few years ago and I've been into gliders for over 20 years, so I was curious about the construction since the blade is essentially a wing, just like a glider. I would be curious to see if the generator produces a large enough magnetic field when in operation and maybe that is what is causing the distortion?

11 posted on 10/14/2009 6:01:51 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
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To: Condor51

Yeah. What’s a few thousand migrating birds clobbered by these blades ?


12 posted on 10/14/2009 6:05:29 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
What’s a few thousand migrating birds clobbered by these blades ?

Actually that shredded poultry will be used to help feed the starving masses as the Baraqqi depression grinds on.

13 posted on 10/14/2009 6:08:52 AM PDT by nascarnation
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
*** Yeah. What’s a few thousand migrating birds clobbered by these blades ? ***

Exactly.
Plus all that darn chirping at 4:00 am in the Spring is irritating as heck.

(I trust you know I was being sarcastic.)

14 posted on 10/14/2009 6:10:22 AM PDT by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: Thermalseeker
Everything I saw was made of fiberglass and fiberglass is invisible to RF

True, but the eddy currents (turbulence) when the blades are turning ARE visible to Doppler...that's how Doppler is able to detect winds. Doppler doesn't require a metallic target. It picks up minute particles and droplets that are moving in the winds. When there is little or no wind...no problem, but the stronger the wind, the more interference is created and shows up quite well on a WSR88-D.

Been there...watched it happen. But didn't get the t-shirt.

15 posted on 10/14/2009 6:10:35 AM PDT by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: capt. norm
True, but the eddy currents (turbulence) when the blades are turning ARE visible to Doppler...that's how Doppler is able to detect winds. Doppler doesn't require a metallic target. It picks up minute particles and droplets that are moving in the winds. When there is little or no wind...no problem, but the stronger the wind, the more interference is created and shows up quite well on a WSR88-D.

Yep, you are right. I was thinking specifically of the blades and why they would cause such reflection. I wasn't considering water vapor or wind distortion being picked up by the Doppler. Amazing stuff, huh?

16 posted on 10/14/2009 6:14:05 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
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To: Thermalseeker

Nearly every one of the 80’ class and larger have carbon fiber leading edges and tips.

Static charge generation is a huge problem, along with ice buildup.


17 posted on 10/14/2009 6:19:14 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: xcamel
Static charge generation is a huge problem, along with ice buildup.

Yes, same thing with cell towers. One of the things I did in the wireless industry was design lightning protection systems for towers. Now I'm wondering how they would drain off charge from the blades? Draining the tower is easy, provided that soil conductivity cooperates. With the blades, though, somehow you have to be able to drain the charge from a rotating shaft that is part of a generator. Interesting.....

18 posted on 10/14/2009 6:29:42 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
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To: xcamel

We can’t put drilling platforms in some areas of the Gulf of Mexico because someone might see them and be offended.

Yet we can put hundreds of these monstrocities out in nature and it is ok.

I don’t get it....must be racism on my part.


19 posted on 10/14/2009 6:30:00 AM PDT by Eagle Eye (3%)
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To: nascarnation

Its illegal to take ducks out of season but these monsters take birds 12 months of the year.


20 posted on 10/14/2009 6:34:47 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Its illegal to take ducks out of season but these monsters take birds 12 months of the year.

Bats, too, from what I've read.....

21 posted on 10/14/2009 6:37:25 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
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To: xcamel
Most of the blades have CF or aluminum ribbing for lateral strength.

IIRC, the videos of a windmill shedding a blade and disintegrating do show the internal ribbing (albiet torn and mangled).

22 posted on 10/14/2009 6:37:48 AM PDT by Charles Martel ("Endeavor to persevere...")
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To: nascarnation
Actually that shredded poultry will be used to help feed the starving masses as the Baraqqi depression grinds on.

Hey, there's a "shovel-ready" sort of job to really lust after - standing under a windmill with a large basket, catching bird chunks.

23 posted on 10/14/2009 6:42:38 AM PDT by Charles Martel ("Endeavor to persevere...")
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To: Thermalseeker

Bats are sometimes rendered “deaf” by these machines. Not sure of how this happens...


24 posted on 10/14/2009 6:47:15 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Thermalseeker
I would be curious to see if the generator produces a large enough magnetic field when in operation and maybe that is what is causing the distortion?

The magnetic field would need to be oscillating near the frequency of the radar beam. You can spin a beam of electrons around that fast — this is how radar transmitters do it. A generator armature would send flying pieces into orbit before it got anywhere near that speed.

25 posted on 10/14/2009 6:51:30 AM PDT by thulldud (It HAS happened here!)
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To: thulldud
The magnetic field would need to be oscillating near the frequency of the radar beam.

My thinking exactly. These windmills are operating at what, maybe 120 rpm? Even three phase it wouldn't approach the distant harmonics of the radar IF.

26 posted on 10/14/2009 6:59:10 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
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To: xcamel
This is in northern Erie County?

Home of Dreary Erie - The Mistake on the Lake?

Wind farms?

They need to reverse the turbines since the wind there doesn't blow, it sucks!

Traveling through there in the '70's and while waiting at a stoplight, an entire car was swallowed by a pothole.

27 posted on 10/14/2009 7:06:43 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys: Can't fly, can't ski, can't drive, can't skipper a boat, but they know what's best.)
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To: Thermalseeker

The blades are mostly fiberglass. Judging from the weather radar vs the Twin Groves Wind Farm in east central Illinois, it seems that most of the interference occurs when the blades are damp.


28 posted on 10/14/2009 7:07:15 AM PDT by Western Phil
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To: Eagle Eye
We can’t put drilling platforms in some areas of the Gulf of Mexico because someone might see them and be offended.

And we can't have incandescent light bulbs sucking up electricity but we CAN have millions of plug-in electric cars.

29 posted on 10/14/2009 7:09:28 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys: Can't fly, can't ski, can't drive, can't skipper a boat, but they know what's best.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Bats are sometimes rendered “deaf” by these machines. Not sure of how this happens...

My former business partners and I have been looking into the possibility of starting another engineering business that would cater field engineering services to the wind power biz. We were a little less than impressed with what we saw at WindExpo 2009 back in May. We did do a trip to a wind farm under construction out in Texas, though. These things make a weird whistling noise. Pretty annoying, really. I don't know what the hearing range of a bat is, but I imagine there are higher frequencies being generated than we could hear. Maybe that is what is messin' with the bats?

30 posted on 10/14/2009 7:10:00 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
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To: N. Theknow


You can still kind of make out that it's going to rain ... I think it's fine.
31 posted on 10/14/2009 7:13:15 AM PDT by Scythian
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To: xcamel

You should see what they do to over the air television reception.


32 posted on 10/14/2009 7:13:46 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Joe Wilson speaks for me.)
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To: Yo-Yo

It sure ‘ups’ the cable TV connections... in Hamilton NY, OTA TV was completely unwatchable.


33 posted on 10/14/2009 7:20:27 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: Scythian

Are each of those radials the effect of shadowing from windmills? Interesting that they all seem to occur at the same distance from the transmitter and at more or less regular intervals around the station......


34 posted on 10/14/2009 7:22:23 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
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From NWS webpage link at top of article:

Below is a one hour animation from the morning of June 8, 2009 between 730 am and 830 am EDT. As you can see, there is a persistent, stationary area of interference in Wyoming county from the wind turbine farm that appears on the KBUF base reflectivity radar image. In situations with slow moving or stationary areas of rainfall/thunderstorms, the wind farm interference could be misinterpreted as an area of heavy precipitation.


35 posted on 10/14/2009 8:05:58 AM PDT by onemiddleamerican (FUBO)
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To: Willie Green
“Those creepy little cave critters spread rabies anyway”

We would likely all be sick without those *critters*.

They are very necessary for the elimination of mosquitoes and other pests.

36 posted on 10/14/2009 11:28:49 AM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: xcamel
Are they radiating some sort of electro/magnetic field beyond their structure?
37 posted on 10/14/2009 11:32:58 AM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: wolfcreek

Doppler radar can detect the movement of the blades because of a persistent layer of condensation on the blades, and if doppler radar can detect wind speed (air) it can sure as hell see spinning fiberglass.


38 posted on 10/14/2009 11:43:22 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: xcamel

Our local Doppler can be lowered to detect drizzle and raised to see the heights of thunderheads. Why can’t they eliminate these objects?


39 posted on 10/14/2009 11:47:23 AM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: wolfcreek

Mostly because the ridges they’re placed on (horizon line) now gets raised and cluttered by another 400-600 feet, and the movement of the blades causes false reflections 2 to 3 times that.


40 posted on 10/14/2009 11:50:40 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: xcamel

I saw the charts in the article. They do look like they could cause trouble but, how long have they known this?


41 posted on 10/14/2009 12:02:36 PM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: wolfcreek

About the same length of time the NWS has been being told by the environazis to just ‘shut up and deal with it’...


42 posted on 10/14/2009 12:05:57 PM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: wolfcreek
They are very necessary for the elimination of mosquitoes and other pests.

(((sigh))) You've been duped by Rachel Carson.
100 things you should know about DDT

43 posted on 10/14/2009 12:06:18 PM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: Willie Green

Nope. I’m an organic gardener with a chemically sensitive Wife.

Guess how she became chemically sensitive?

Long term exposure to *experimental* chemicals in an R & D environment.


44 posted on 10/14/2009 12:12:13 PM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: xcamel

LOL! I see your point.

There are some new turbine fields in Corpus Christi.... right across the bay from the oil refineries.

Click here you can see the reflection:

http://www.wunderground.com/radar/radblast.asp?ID=CRP&type=N0R


45 posted on 10/14/2009 12:20:45 PM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: wolfcreek

BINGO!!


46 posted on 10/14/2009 12:21:50 PM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: xcamel

What strange is, Texas leads the nation in wind power production yet, this problem (if it is one) has never been brought to light. And yes, they generally do put them on ridges here also. The ones along the coast are quite new.


47 posted on 10/14/2009 12:28:14 PM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: wolfcreek
Long term exposure to *experimental* chemicals in an R & D environment.

DDT isn't experimental.
It was demagogued to death by environmental extremists.
It is true, however, that DDT must be used responsibly, just like any other poison, and not sprayed willy-nilly all over the place in excessive quantities by a bunch of morons.

48 posted on 10/14/2009 12:31:31 PM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: Willie Green; wolfcreek
and not sprayed willy-nilly all over the place in excessive quantities by a bunch of morons.

Simple solution: restrict the concentrate and sell only pre-diluted.

49 posted on 10/14/2009 12:46:15 PM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: Willie Green

“DDT must be used responsibly”

Absolutely, as with all chemicals.

The one that was pinpointed in causing my Wife’s blood pressure spike, was discontinued. However, any exposure now to certain amounts of certain chemicals does cause problems for her.


50 posted on 10/14/2009 12:49:21 PM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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