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Appearance of wind plants in weather radar  

Author:  | U.S.

Appearance of wind plants varies with time and radar beam propagation path. Examples on these 14 slides include spurious echo return and false precipitation estimates.

On slide 5, false echoes from the wind plant are evident; note weather coming from the West. Operators looking at any single image in the loop would see what appear to be thunderstorms in the area occupied by the wind plant.

noaa-wind-farms-weather-radar-p5

In the close-up on slide 6, note strong echoes along the leading edge as well as weak return behind the turbines, due to “multi-path scattering” of radar beam.

noaa-wind-farms-weather-radar-p6

Slide 7 shows the velocity image: The echoes downrange from the wind towers/turbines are spurious, as shown on the previous slide. Red colors indicate outbound velocities (going away from the radar) and green colors indicate inbound velocities (coming toward the radar). Red colors in close proximity to green colors can be indicators of tornadoes, mesocyclones, convergence, or divergence, all of which can be indicators of severe weather.

noaa-wind-farms-weather-radar-p7

Slide 13 shows an example of a storm moving in that is confusing to differentiate from false echos of wind plant.

noaa-wind-farms-weather-radar-p13

Slide 14 shows 5-inch precipitation estimate error due to wind plants on radar.

noaa-wind-farms-weather-radar-p14

Download original document: “Appearance of wind plants in weather radar

This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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