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Mallie Toth, Erin Jones, Dustin Pittman, and David Solomon

The growth of the wind industry in recent years has motivated investigation into wind farm interference with the operation of the nationwide Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) network. Observations of a wind farm were taken with a Doppler on Wheels (DOW) during the DOW Radar Observations at Purdue Study (DROPS), a largely studentled field program that took place in the fall of 2009. The DOW sampled clear-air weather and precipitation at locations within 5 km of the Benton County, Indiana, wind farm to determine the wind turbines' effect on Doppler velocity and ref lectivity data. These data were analyzed and compared with data from the Indianapolis WSR-88D (KIND) and a local television station (WLFI) radar. In precipitation, the DOW data show velocity couplets that have the appearance of isolated tornadic vortices. Under clear-air sampling, significant multipath scattering is evident, but no velocity couplets would meet the DOW-equivalent tornado detection algorithm criteria. Broader impacts of these findings are discussed, and suggestions are made for additional studies that would explore how to mitigate these impacts.

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