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Resource Documents: Weather (24 items)

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Unless indicated otherwise, documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are shared here to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate. • The copyrights reside with the sources indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations.


Date added:  August 27, 2019
EnvironmentPrint storyE-mail story

Toward understanding the physical link between turbines and microclimate impacts from in situ measurements in a large wind farm

Author:  Rajewski, Daniel; et al.

Abstract:
Recent wind farm studies have revealed elevated nighttime surface temperatures but have not validated physical mechanisms that create the observed effects. We report measurements of concurrent differences in surface wind speed, temperature, fluxes, and turbulence upwind and downwind of two turbine lines at the windward edge of a utility‐scale wind farm. On the basis of these measurements, we offer a conceptual model based on physical mechanisms of how wind farms affect their own microclimate. Periods of documented curtailment and zero‐power production of the wind farm offer useful opportunities to rigorously evaluate the microclimate impact of both stationary and operating turbines. During an 80 min nighttime wind farm curtailment, we measured abrupt and large changes in turbulent fluxes of momentum and heat leeward of the turbines. At night, wind speed decreases in the near wake when turbines are off but abruptly increases when turbine operation is resumed. Our measurements are compared with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Terra and Aqua satellite measurements reporting wind farms to have higher nighttime surface temperatures. We demonstrate that turbine wakes modify surface fluxes continuously through the night, with similar magnitudes during the Terra and Aqua transit periods. Cooling occurs in the near wake and warming in the far wake when turbines are on, but cooling is negligible when turbines are off. Wind speed and surface stratification have a regulating effect of enhancing or decreasing the impact on surface microclimate due to turbine wake effects.

Daniel A. Rajewski
Eugene S. Takle
Russell K. Doorenbos

Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames
John H. Prueger
National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Ames, Iowa

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Volume 121, Issue 22, 27 November 2016, Pages 13,392–13,414
doi: 10.1002/2016JD025297

Download original document: “Toward understanding the physical link between turbines and microclimate impacts from in situ measurements in a large wind farm

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Date added:  August 23, 2019
EnvironmentPrint storyE-mail story

Impacts of wind farms on surface air temperatures

Author:  Baidya Roy, Somnath; and Traiteur, Justin

Abstract:
Utility-scale large wind farms are rapidly growing in size and numbers all over the world. Data from a meteorological field campaign show that such wind farms can significantly affect near-surface air temperatures. These effects result from enhanced vertical mixing due to turbulence generated by wind turbine rotors. The impacts of wind farms on local weather can be minimized by changing rotor design or by siting wind farms in regions with high natural turbulence. Using a 25-y-long climate dataset, we identified such regions in the world. Many of these regions, such as the Midwest and Great Plains in the United States, are also rich in wind resources, making them ideal candidates for low-impact wind farms.

Somnath Baidya Roy and Justin J. Traiteur
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana

PNAS October 19, 2010 107 (42) 17899-17904; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1000493107

Download original document: “Impacts of wind farms on surface air temperatures

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Date added:  December 1, 2018
Australia, EnvironmentPrint storyE-mail story

Severe localised grain production losses from atypical frosts in the Marrabel Valley Catchment 2011–2014

Author:  Faint, John; and Morris, Mary

For the four cropping seasons from 2011- 2014, a majority of farmers in the Marrabel Valley have experienced unprecedented and widespread frost damage of grain crops on sloping paddocks high above the valley floor. Historically these areas have not been affected by frost as the steep slope of the valley sides ensures that cold air flows towards the lower lying areas where it is normal for frost to form.

The onset of these seasons of atypical and the abnormal frosts and frost damage coincides with the commencement of operation of an 18 km long wind farm which is located on a central ridgeline in the clearly defined catchment area. Four contiguous years of significant production losses have prompted this call for an investigation into whether the wind farm is affecting the near surface meteorology of the Marrabel Catchment. This Catchment covers 21,392 hectares and contains some of the most highly productive and high value cropping land in South Australia, consequently further investigation is justified.

[Submitted to the South Australian Grains Industry Trust (SAGIT), February 2015, as part of a researchapplication, which was not funded. Atypical frosts have continued to occur with millions of dollars worth of damage every year.]

Download original document: “Severe localised grain production losses from atypical frosts in the Marrabel Valley Catchment 2011–2014

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Date added:  November 20, 2018
EnvironmentPrint storyE-mail story

Ground-level climate at a peatland wind farm in Scotland is affected by wind turbine operation

Author:  Armstrong, Alona; et al.

Abstract —
The global drive to produce low-carbon energy has resulted in an unprecedented deployment of onshore wind turbines, representing a significant land use change for wind energy generation with uncertain consequences for local climatic conditions and the regulation of ecosystem processes. Here, we present high-resolution data from a wind farm collected during operational and idle periods that shows the wind farm affected several measures of ground-level climate. Specifically, we discovered that operational wind turbines raised air temperature by 0.18°C and absolute humidity (AH) by 0.03 g/m³ during the night, and increased the variability in air, surface and soil temperature throughout the diurnal cycle. Further, the microclimatic influence of turbines on air temperature and AHd ecreased logarithmically with distance from the nearest turbine. These effects on ground-level microclimate, including soil temperature, have uncertain implications for biogeochemical processes and ecosystem carbon cycling, including soil carbon stocks. Consequently, understanding needs to be improved to determine the overall carbon balance of wind energy.

Alona Armstrong, Ralph R. Burton, Susan E. Lee, Stephen Mobbs, Nicholas Ostle, Victoria Smith, Susan Waldron, and Jeanette Whitaker
School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow
Lancaster Environment Centre and Energy Lancaster, Lancaster University
National Centre for Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Bailrigg

Environmental Research Letters 2016; 11: 044024
doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/044024

Download original document: “Ground-level climate at a peatland wind farm in Scotland is affected by wind turbine operation

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