News Talk 1010
Environment Canada is preparing to roll out new radar technology in order to combat wind farm clutter, which clouds weather forecasts, misleads meteorologists and can even block radar signals. Jim Young, who works at the agency’s national radar program, said new software will be incorporated into Canada’s radar system this fall in an effort to address the “contamination” caused by wind turbines.
“I certainly have very high hopes,” he said, adding that Environment Canada has been concerned about wind farm clutter for years. The agency uses Doppler radar to predict storms, but the movement of wind turbine propellers can mimic weather. Young said accurate radar data relies on movement _ still objects including buildings, trees and towers are filtered out to allow for an analysis of the weather.
On its website, Environment Canada warns that the degradation of data can be “significantly misleading for forecasters under stormconditions.” Young said the disruption caused by wind farms is based on their proximity to radar sites. “The closer you get, that clutter becomes larger and larger,” he said.
In extreme circumstances, wind turbines can block radar scans, which Young compares to beams of light emanating from a flashlight. “If you put a large obstruction in front of your flashlight, you are going to create a shadow behind it, where you can’t see anything,” he said, adding that the same thing can happen when scanning wind farms. Read article