Wind turbines could be blocking field of vision for weather radar in Southwestern Ontario

exeter radarJohn Miner, London Free Press
Southwestern Ontario’s eye on the sky for life-threatening weather could be obscured by giant wind turbines converging on its field of vision. Recognizing and alerting people to severe conditions is a job where every minute counts.

That’s especially true in Southwestern Ontario, one of Canada’s thunderstorm capitals and part of Ontario’s tornado belt. Hundreds of thousands of people in the region rely on Environment Canada to make the right call. But that task is about to get tougher. The agency’s severe weather forecasters rely heavily on data from their Exeter Radar Station, about 50 km north of London, which detects storms and their velocity within a 250-km ring around the station.

The difficulty on the horizon are the scores of giant wind turbines being built or starting up within 50 km of the Exeter station. Some are planned as close as 16 km away. The problem, documented by the U.S. National Weather Service and in Europe, is that when a weather radar signal is reflected back by spinning turbine blades, it can appear to be a rotating cloud or tornado. Known as ‘wind turbine clutter,’ that can also disrupt precipitation estimates. Read article

15 thoughts on “Wind turbines could be blocking field of vision for weather radar in Southwestern Ontario

  1. I think all that vacant land around Toronto’s Pearson airport would be a great area for the largest turbines they erect, There is enough wind there to generate needless hydro

  2. This radar station is not about predicting the weather for the immediate area it’s about detecting severe weather in the area so that people can seek shelter.

    Was watching last Sunday’s storm on U.S. weather radar as it moved across Michigan, Lake Huron into Ontario. This is one of the known storm tracks in this region.

    And maybe if enough IWTs are installed on the Michigan side of Lake Huron this will cause interference with radar information for ships on Lake Huron from both directions?

    Return to the old way of using the AM radio dial to determine which direction storms are coming from?

    • The geography of the eastern Great Lakes region requires the need to use both Canadian and U.S. radar systems to track storms across this area of North America.

      But reason doesn’t matter when it comes to making money off from IWTs.

  3. the density of turbines we are about to see in Ontario may also affect the GPS guidance that most farmers use these days.

    • Matt….perhaps you should alert the Department of Defense in Washington and alert them about the affects that are possible because of wind turbines. Think about motorists that are driving within the vicinity of a wind farm and their navigation systems become skewed.

  4. Makes you want to collapse – with laughter:

    ‘[excerpt] A tornado packing winds up to 175 km/h, uprooted trees and downed power lines in the Grand Bend area last Sunday, after a tornado warning was issued.

    Goderich Mayor Deb Shewfelt said he hasn’t noticed any difference in timing of weather warnings from before area turbines arrived, though those are outside the interference zone.

    “They were broadcasting tornado warnings for pretty near 30 minutes ahead (of Sunday’s storm),” he said.’

    Thanks captain!

  5. This is a federal issue and Harper needs rural votes to stay in office.

    Same old thing that developers can fix problems but why cause the problems to begin with!

    People who live in the Lake Huron area should keep track of severe weather events on radar in Michigan as this rough weather can make it across the lake. Not that this will stop the storms but at least there will be warnings ahead.

  6. In the Algoma region north of Sault Ste. Marie, in the most snowsquall prone area of the province, 36 wind turbines are being built at Bow Lake within the interference zone of the Montreal River radar station.

    Environment Canada has said these IWTs will definitely affect the radar image and have decided to mitigate the situation by lying down, spreading their legs and saying “please tell me when it’s over”.

    Good luck with the “mitigation” in Exeter.

    Compromised weather radar images will be the new norm.

  7. Huron Daily Tribune, Aug 6, 2014
    Michigan Thumb

    Lightning strikes again: DTE wind turbines damaged by ‘Mother Nature’

    DTE alone has had about 17 blades struck by lightning and other companies have had IWT lightning damge in the Thumb area.

    There was crop damage from one blade strike in the past few days.

    http://www.michiganthumb.com/news/article_149fe3ac-1f3e-11e4-a5f1-001a4bcf887a.html or use link on the right side bar of this page for this article.

    A fully operational network of radar stations is needed from Illinois & Wisconsin across across Michigan and Lake Huron into Ontario so that people can be prepared for severe weather.

    It’s dangerous to have any radar ” holes” created by IWTs in this network of stations as storms move across Michigan and Lake Huron and hit Ontario.

    Yet these IWT developers run to Ottawa and get things fixed to suit themselves.

    Lightning strikes do damage IWTs.

    • These other articles just above and below in Industrial W Action are also from the same paper, same area.
      ◾Wildlife study shows number of bird, bat deaths caused by wind turbines

      ◾County disagrees with Lake Township turbine rules

      • Ella,
        Have you read the 90 page U.S. Senate report on the billionaires involved in furnishing money to environmental organizations?

    • Once debris from IWTs gets scattered in fields around them then more crops have to be destroyed removing the debris. Otherwise farm machinery can’t be used in the affected fields.

      Try using a combine or corn picker in a field with debris scattered in it!

  8. Barbara, not sure. I’ve read a lot about so many issues. Can you provide me with a link?
    If it was in National W Watch or Indus. W. Action, probably.

  9. This is a U.S.Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works report.

    http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.WelcomeMessage

    Scroll down to:
    “The hidden persuaders of the environmental elite”, Aug 7, and below that is READ MORE link to the summary and report.

    The Report itself, July 30, is titled:
    “The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Followers Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA”

    Follow the links and you get to this 90 page report.

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