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Wind turbines ‘could interfere with weather forecasts’  

Credit:  24 January 2013 | www.telegraph.co.uk ~~

A giant wind farm should not be built because its turbines could affect the accuracy of weather forecasts, the Met Office has reportedly claimed.

It has objected that interference from the dozens of giant blades would lead to “false warnings of severe and hazardous weather being issued”, while heavy rainfall and flood alerts could be missed, according to a newspaper.

The agency has written to planning authorities to register opposition to plans to erect more than 20 turbines at a mountainous site in Wales near one of its weather stations.

It said that the 400ft constructions could reflect the electromagnetic waves emitted by radar, creating “clutter” which can interfere with the accuracy of readings of atmospheric conditions.

The Met Office has lodged objections to proposals for the wind farm at Llanllwni, Carmarthenshire, which is currently under appeal, according to the Daily Mail.

It is also expected to fight plans for a 28-turbine site at Brechfa, which will go before planners in March.

The sites are both a few miles from a weather radar at Crug-Y-Gorllwyn in Carmarthenshire, which gives coverage for south and west Wales.

The Met Office argued that analysis of the June flooding close to Aberystwyth showed the adverse effect that another wind farm, 14 miles away from the same radar, had on the accuracy of rain forecasts.

A spokesman said: “Weather radar is the only means currently available for monitoring in real time the location and intensity of a range of weather hazards, including rain, hail and snow.

“Clutter from wind turbines can lead to false warnings of severe and hazardous weather being issued.

“Another risk is the potential for missed warnings where either rainfall returns are obscured either by clutter or because more aggressive quality control, developed to try to mitigate wind farm clutter, can have the side effect of deleting real rainfall signals.”

It is the latest skirmish in the battle over wind farms, an issue which has split the Coalition.

Greg Barker, the climate change minister, has said they can be “wonderful” and “majestic” but his energy minister John Hayes has promised to “protect England’s green and pleasant land” from them.

A study in November found that wind farm noise causes “clear and significant” damage to people’s sleep and mental health.

Source:  24 January 2013 | www.telegraph.co.uk

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

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