Nonlocal Inadvertent Weather Modification Associated with Wind Farms in the Central United States

Matthew Lauridsen, Brian Ancell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Local effects of inadvertent weather changes within and near wind farms have been well documented by a number of modeling studies and observational campaigns; however, the broader nonlocal atmospheric effects of wind farms are much less clear. The goal of this study is to determine whether wind farm-induced perturbations are able to evolve over periods of days, and over areas of thousands of square kilometers, to modify specific atmospheric features that have large impacts on society and the environment, specifically midlatitude and tropical cyclones. Here, an ensemble modeling approach is utilized with a wind farm parameterization to quantify the sensitivity of meteorological variables to the presence of wind farms. The results show that perturbations to nonlocal midlatitude cyclones caused by a wind farm are statistically significant, with magnitudes of roughly 1 hPa for mean sea-level pressure, 4 m/s for surface wind speed, and 15 mm for maximum 30-minute accumulated precipitation. Cyclone perturbation magnitude is also found to be dependent on wind farm size and location relative to the midlatitude cyclone genesis region and track.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2469683
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalAdvances in Meteorology
StatePublished - Jul 2018


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