The operational principle of offshore wind farms (OWF) is to extract kinetic energy from the atmosphere and convert it into electricity. Consequently, a region of reduced wind speed in the shadow zone of an OWF, the so-called wind-wake, is generated. As there is a horizontal wind speed deficit between the wind-wake and the undisturbed neighboring regions, the locally reduced surface stress results in an adjusted Ekman transport. Subsequently, the creation of a dipole pattern in sea surface elevation induces corresponding anomalies in the vertical water velocities. The dynamics of these OWF wind-wake induced upwelling/downwelling dipoles have been analyzed in earlier model studies, and strong impacts on stratified pelagic ecosystems have been predicted. Here we provide for the first time empirical evidence of the existence of such upwelling/downwelling dipoles. The data were obtained by towing a remotely operated vehicle (TRIAXUS ROTV) through leeward regions of operational OWFs in the summer stratified North Sea. The undulating TRIAXUS transects provided high-resolution CTD data which enabled the characterization of three different phases of the ephemeral life cycle of a wind-wake-induced upwelling/downwelling dipole: development, operation, and erosion. We identified two characteristic hydrographic signatures of OWF-induced dipoles: distinct changes in mixed layer depth and potential energy anomaly over a distance < 5 km and a diagonal excursion of the thermocline of ~10–14 m over a dipole dimension of ~10–12 km. Whether these anthropogenically induced abrupt changes are significantly different from the corridor of natural variability awaits further investigations.