Radiation from Japan not likely to harm North America

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:53 PM GMT on March 14, 2011

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Radiation from Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been detected 100 miles to the northeast, over the Pacific Ocean, by the U.S. military. Westerly to southwesterly winds have predominated over Japan the past few days, carrying most of the radiation eastwards out to sea. The latest forecast for Sendai, Japan, located about 40 miles north of the Fukushima nuclear plant, calls for winds with a westerly component to dominate for the remainder of the week, with the exception of a 6-hour period on Tuesday. Thus, any radiation released by the nuclear plant will primarily affect Japan or blow out to sea. A good tool to predict the radiation cloud's path is NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model. The model uses the GFS model's winds to track the movement of a hypothetical release of a substance into the atmosphere. One can specify the altitude of the release as well as the location, and follow the trajectory for up to two weeks. However, given the highly chaotic nature of the atmosphere's winds, trajectories beyond about 3 days have huge uncertainties.One can get only a general idea of where a plume is headed beyond 3 days. I've been performing a number of runs of HYSPLIT over past few days, and so far great majority of these runs have taken plumes of radioactivity emitted from Japan's east coast eastwards over the Pacific, with the plumes staying over water for at least 5 days. Some of the plumes move over eastern Siberia, Alaska, Canada, the U.S., and Mexico in 5 - 7 days. Such a long time spent over water will mean that the vast majority of the radioactive particles will settle out of the atmosphere or get caught up in precipitation and rained out. It is highly unlikely that any radiation capable of causing harm to people will be left in atmosphere after seven days and 2000+ miles of travel distance. Even the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which had a far more serious release of radioactivity, was unable to spread significant contamination more than about 1000 miles.


Figure 1. Forecast 7-day movement of a plume of radioactive plume of air emitted at 12 UTC Saturday, March 12, 2011 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Radioactivity emitted at 2 levels is tracked: 100 meters (red) and 300 meters (blue). Images created using NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model.


Figure 2. Forecast 7-day movement of a plume of radioactive plume of air emitted at 12 UTC Sunday, March 13, 2011 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Radioactivity emitted at 2 levels is tracked: 100 meters (red) and 300 meters (blue). Images created using NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model.


Figure 3. Forecast 7-day movement of a plume of radioactive plume of air emitted at 12 UTC Monday, March 14, 2011 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Radioactivity emitted at 2 levels is tracked: 100 meters (red) and 300 meters (blue). Images created using NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model.

I'll have an update Tuesday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Deja vu, there is something all too familiar about this radar image.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
I guess I have realized just how precious human life is......I read everyday how someone has been killed in a senseless robbery or home invasion.Then I see that 1,000's have been killed in a terrible act of nature...It makes me realize that I need to cherish each day I have in this wonderful world hoping nothing terrible happens.
I make it a point to do something spectacularly fun every single day...

Why wait? And wait for what, exactly? We're all slowly dying anyway, except for Grothar, that is. He found a pause button. Found it late, of course, but found it nonetheless.
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Quoting Grothar:


It's not easy being Green!!


Tell me about it! :)
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Can things get any worse?

Aflac fires Gilbert Gottfried after tsunami jokes via Twitter
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I guess I have realized just how precious human life is......I read everyday how someone has been killed in a senseless robbery or home invasion.Then I see that 1,000's have been killed in a terrible act of nature...It makes me realize that I need to cherish each day I have in this wonderful world hoping nothing terrible happens.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


You're quick on the wit today. Did you get new tennis balls for your walker?


No, same ones I've had for years.
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:


During the last few hours, as expected, this low pressure system began to intensify and organize over the Atlantic between the coast of Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro. Based on different numerical simulations, the trend is that this system grow even more in the open sea between today and tomorrow, further inland, and gain characteristics at least a tropical storm (tropical cyclone with wind of 65 to 120 km/h). At dawn came to be recorded wind gusts of up to 80 km/h at Inmet Abrolhos, in the coast of Bahia, but associated with temporal caused by convection that had in the area because of low system off the coast of Espírito Santo.

The possibility of this system becoming a hurricane in the South Atlantic can not be removed. The trend of slow displacement and over waters with high surface temperature (27-29° C) allows this system to receive enough power to greater intensification, which can take you to a hurricane. Not all models suggest the possibility of a system of this nature. The European model, for example, indicates a low without greater relevance in the South Atlantic.

The more aggressive model follows the American GFDL (Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory), designed for forecasting of tropical cyclones, and one of the principal to be operated by weather United States when predicting hurricanes. This simulation, in particular, indicates that there might be the formation of a hurricane here in the South Atlantic. See the projection of this model to the system during the week.

Tropical cyclone forecasts are extremely complex even in countries with Meteorology structured for this type of prediction. This is because this kind of phenomenon is often surprising. A tropical cyclone can become a tropical storm to a category 3 hurricane in a matter of a few hours. This has occurred many times and, in some cases, even recent, just surprising and frustrating prognoses of Central American Tropical cyclones is the most advanced in the world. Predict the intensity of a phenomenon of this nature, so it is not easy. In the case of the South Atlantic, is even more difficult. When a tropical cyclone form in the North Atlantic there is a package of "guidance" (templates) very wide (example below) providing projections of intensity for a given system, which does not occur here in the South Atlantic.

One of the most disparate outputs of the weekend, the GFDL model has arrived to suggest (see below) a hurricane within the limits of categories 2 and 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale in the Atlantic South this week with a pressure of 960 hPa and wind around 200 km/hThis solution, which does not have support for multiple masters. One of our curiosities in MetSul is the advancement of air cooler by the coast of southern Brazil, preceded by a frontal system, with greater divergence of wind, can't commit a larger organization and intensification of the stormOnce in the open sea.

In the last few hours commented on media channels that this possible system on the Brazilian coast received the name Arani, designation of the Tupi-Guarani language, and that already exist in Brazil a list of names ready to identify tropical cyclones, tropical storms and hurricanes


Citing your sources would be pretty nice of your part. http://www.metsul.com/blog/
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Quoting Grothar:


That's Professor Littleoldman, to you.


You're quick on the wit today. Did you get new tennis balls for your walker?
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Thanks skye.
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full northern hemisphere water vapour image updated every 3 hrs

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting Grothar:
Local news just said a group of Japanese and British military went to some of the smaller towns on the North coast earlier and did not find anyone. I am sure, or hope, most got out. There are still places they have not been able go to yet.

Kyodo had an article earlier today saying that some 30,000+ people are unaccounted for, including about 1,000 foreign tourists. Of course, that doesn't mean all those are fatalties, buit it does give you an idea where things might be headed.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13610
299. Skyepony (Mod)
Situation Update No. 26
On 14.03.2011 at 17:32 GMT+2

Our Japan correspondent John Boyd sent in an update on day four of Japan's nuclear emergency. A second explosion has shattered the Fukushima Dai-1 nuclear power plant, and officials warn that a third explosion is possible:

Japanese television screens around the country showed a huge plume of gray smoke billowing up. This morning at around 11 a.m. local time a hydrogen explosion rocked the Fukushima Dai-1 nuclear plant. The detonation occurred in the structure housing the unstable No. 3 reactor; this came two days after a similar explosion occurred in the plant's No. 1 reactor structure. Judging by the size of the new smoke plume and visible damage to the structure's framework, today's explosion was of much greater strength. According to Masashi Goto, a former design engineer of nuclear containment vessels with Toshiba Corporation, the increased intensity of the explosion was likely due "in part to the larger size of the reactor." The No. 3 reactor has a capacity of 784 megawatts, compared to the 460 megawatts for the No. 1 reactor—that means the No. 3 reactor probably produced a larger cloud of hydrogen gas, which interacted with steam escaping from the reactor to cause the explosion. The government had warned that this explosion was possible. Pressure had been building in the reactor since its cooling system failed and a hydrogen cloud began forming in the space between the reactor and the inner walls of the outer structure. The plant is located in the area hit by the massive 9.0 earthquake and devastating tsunami on Friday. Three of the plant's reactors were in operation at the time, with three more closed for maintenance. All three active reactors automatically shut down when the cooling systems developed problems, but the shut-down didn't contain the ongoing disaster.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters that the new blast had not damaged the containment vessel protecting the reactor itself (officials have also said that the explosion around the No. 1 reactor didn't damage that reactor's containment shell). Edano said that radiation monitoring after the blast had not shown a significant increase in radiation. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which operates the plant, had been pumping seawater into the No. 3 reactor to cool it down, but the operation ran into unspecified trouble, apparently resulting in the explosion. Nuclear expert Goto explains that using seawater "was a stop-gap fix, and not as efficient as the original cooling system because it takes longer to cool the fuel rods." Now the government is warning that a similarly dangerous situation is building in the No. 2 reactor. TEPCO announced today that cooling efforts in its No. 2 reactor had failed and pressure was building, so operators were making preparations to pump seawater into the reactor. Japan's national television broadcaster and Kyodo News Service later reported that the water level in the No. 2 reactor had fallen to fully expose the fuel rods, which likely caused some of them to partially fuse.

Goto said that based on the reports it seems the mobile pump being used to push seawater into the No. 2 reactor had run out of fuel. He didn't know what kind of pump was being used. Goto, who earned his PhD by evaluating the stress that reactor container vessel can endure, quit his job with Toshiba Corporation due to his concerns over reactor safety. "I came to the conclusion that the vessels being built were not adequate enough to be the last line of defense," he says. "They weren't designed to withstand the kinds of problems currently being experienced in the Fukushima plants." He now teaches design engineering at Shibaura Institute of Technology in Tokyo. However, the government sounded one cautiously optimistic note today: Edano claimed that none of the troubled reactors were likely to experience a total meltdown.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Or Henny Oldman...:)


That's Professor Littleoldman, to you.
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They are really not saying much about the reactor situation on either the local or International news. Just seem to be repeating the same story. I would imagine they are not releasing any information until they are sure about the situation. Makes it all the more concerning.
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Sheckie Greene.Henny Youngman..............Take my wife...............PLEASE
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Quoting NRAamy:
Gro... I'm gonna start calling you Sheckie...

;)


Or Henny Oldman...:)
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Quoting NRAamy:
Gro... I'm gonna start calling you Sheckie...

;)


It's not easy being Green!!
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Quoting Grothar:


No wonder you thought you got the JUMBO shrimp........

That's what my boyfriend said.You must know him
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Gro... I'm gonna start calling you Sheckie...

;)
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Grother, I tried binoculars Saturday at Red Lobsters.....I got the strangest looks


No wonder you thought you got the JUMBO shrimp........
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Quoting Grothar:
Local news just said a group of Japanese and British military went to some of the smaller towns on the North coast earlier and did not find anyone. I am sure, or hope, most got out. There are still places they have not been able go to yet.

Grother.I think we all know not to expect the best
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289. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
9OQ should be called a Tropical Storm judging by this picture


During the last few hours, as expected, this low pressure system began to intensify and organize over the Atlantic between the coast of Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro. Based on different numerical simulations, the trend is that this system grow even more in the open sea between today and tomorrow, further inland, and gain characteristics at least a tropical storm (tropical cyclone with wind of 65 to 120 km/h). At dawn came to be recorded wind gusts of up to 80 km/h at Inmet Abrolhos, in the coast of Bahia, but associated with temporal caused by convection that had in the area because of low system off the coast of Espírito Santo.

The possibility of this system becoming a hurricane in the South Atlantic can not be removed. The trend of slow displacement and over waters with high surface temperature (27-29° C) allows this system to receive enough power to greater intensification, which can take you to a hurricane. Not all models suggest the possibility of a system of this nature. The European model, for example, indicates a low without greater relevance in the South Atlantic.

The more aggressive model follows the American GFDL (Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory), designed for forecasting of tropical cyclones, and one of the principal to be operated by weather United States when predicting hurricanes. This simulation, in particular, indicates that there might be the formation of a hurricane here in the South Atlantic. See the projection of this model to the system during the week.

Tropical cyclone forecasts are extremely complex even in countries with Meteorology structured for this type of prediction. This is because this kind of phenomenon is often surprising. A tropical cyclone can become a tropical storm to a category 3 hurricane in a matter of a few hours. This has occurred many times and, in some cases, even recent, just surprising and frustrating prognoses of Central American Tropical cyclones is the most advanced in the world. Predict the intensity of a phenomenon of this nature, so it is not easy. In the case of the South Atlantic, is even more difficult. When a tropical cyclone form in the North Atlantic there is a package of "guidance" (templates) very wide (example below) providing projections of intensity for a given system, which does not occur here in the South Atlantic.

One of the most disparate outputs of the weekend, the GFDL model has arrived to suggest (see below) a hurricane within the limits of categories 2 and 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale in the Atlantic South this week with a pressure of 960 hPa and wind around 200 km/hThis solution, which does not have support for multiple masters. One of our curiosities in MetSul is the advancement of air cooler by the coast of southern Brazil, preceded by a frontal system, with greater divergence of wind, can't commit a larger organization and intensification of the stormOnce in the open sea.

In the last few hours commented on media channels that this possible system on the Brazilian coast received the name Arani, designation of the Tupi-Guarani language, and that already exist in Brazil a list of names ready to identify tropical cyclones, tropical storms and hurricanes
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Local news just said a group of Japanese and British military went to some of the smaller towns on the North coast earlier and did not find anyone. I am sure, or hope, most got out. There are still places they have not been able go to yet.
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Grother, I tried binoculars Saturday at Red Lobsters.....I got the strangest looks
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Looks like 90Q is making its shot at development.
What would this one be called? They need to have their own hurricane monitoring center with their own naming list, or let the NHC take control of South Atlantic systems (hey, it would give us a good reason to click F5 on the NHC page)

The pressure is lower than it's ever been; winds are still at 30. Definitely looks like it has a chance:

SL, 90, 2011031418, , BEST, 0, 227S, 402W, 30, 1000, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1005, 175, 100, 0, 0, Q, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, D,
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13610
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Getting older (sucks) I have had to upgrade my Dollar Store reading glasses again from 1.50 to 2.00 just to read the posts...Now that I can see again.....I pray for the people in Japan......Just think if it happened to us...........So sad...


Just get a pair of binoculars. Will save you a lot of money in the long run. Trust me.
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atmo.I have pressed buttons in quite a few years........I am set in my ways
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Getting older (sucks) I have had to upgrade my Dollar Store reading glasses again from 1.50 to 2.00 just to read the posts...Now that I can see again.....I pray for the people in Japan......Just think if it happened to us...........So sad...
If that's true, try holding Ctrl and pressing the equal/plus button. Yes, to get back to a smaller size, hold Ctrl and press the minus...
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Person Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake
What is your situation?


한국어 | 中 文 (简 体) | 中 文 (繁 體)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting Ossqss:
Same thing different day :(

Scary!

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsw w/Quakes/quakes_big.php

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsw w/Quakes/quakes_all.php


Almost like one per hour. That has to be a terrible feeling for them.
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Getting older (sucks) I have had to upgrade my Dollar Store reading glasses again from 1.50 to 2.00 just to read the posts...Now that I can see again.....I pray for the people in Japan......Just think if it happened to us...........So sad...
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Tell him Amy
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Some lines are best left unanswered.

you're no fun...

;)
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Got 12 dudes sitting at a table saying "lets raise it up a little"

WTI Crude Oil
$101.69 ▲0.50



Some lines are best left unanswered.
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Quoting MrMixon:
Ah thanks! It's certainly not as surprising that the airport's weather station is still reporting. Isn't this link showing the Sendai airport? If so, the position of this weather station is off by something like 10 miles.

Now you're experiencing one of the many issues with our surface stations...a bad lat/long in the WMO records (the source for the location in the WUndermap).

140.90 E, 38.27 N should probably be close to 140.90 E, 38.14 N.
(Enter "140.90 E, 38.14 N" in the google maps search box)
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Got 12 dudes sitting at a table saying "lets raise it up a little"

WTI Crude Oil
$101.69 ▲0.50
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Quoting Chicklit:
Hey Patrick,
Thanks for the reminder.
Took care of that sooner rather than later this time.
:-)
j.


Thank you chicklit....
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Ah thanks! It's certainly not as surprising that the airport's weather station is still reporting. Isn't this link showing the Sendai airport? If so, the position of this weather station is off by something like 10 miles.

Quoting klaatuborada:
Look on right side. History Location says "Airport"

Here
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Quoting klaatuborada:
Look on right side. History Location says "Airport"

Here
Ah, I didn't look close before.

47590 is indeed the WMO id for Sendai Airport.
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Look on right side. History Location says "Airport"

Here
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Quoting aquak9:
I guess it's not really the "where" of the rads, but more importantly, the "how much of" that's more important.


And 'how much of' as a function of time, which makes it even more confusing.
Member Since: August 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 87
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Looks like 90Q is making its shot at development.
What would this one be called? They need to have their own hurricane monitoring center with their own naming list, or let the NHC take control of South Atlantic systems (hey, it would give us a good reason to click F5 on the NHC page)


Your image is not old, but it doesn't look nearly as impressive. Perhaps over-zoomed in?

Edit (deleted image): @CybrTeddy thanks for posting the exact same image as me in your latest post...
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9OQ should be called a Tropical Storm judging by this picture.
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Reminds me of tracking where the gulf oil spill was going to go, last year. I don't like the march 13 plume spreading into the USA on the 19th. I know the radiation will be below unsafe levels but there still will be some... I can't believe ALL of it will dissipate over water.
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Quoting aquak9:
Aqua, are you guessing or do you know that for real?

I am comfortable in my assessment.


I don't agree Aqua. Look at the sentence structure, the grammar and the spelling. Almost perfect. Using phrases that a person of his years would not likely use and not getting upset or really firing back at negative comments tells me this is a much older and well educated person just having fun with us.
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Worst of it approaching Meridian, MS

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I'm not a fan of the Huffington post but it has video from inside the airport.

Here
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I'm not sure if this is a private or public weather station. If its position on the WunderMap is correct it's in a residential area about 5 miles inland. There's quite a bit of urban development between this station and the coast... perhaps this area was far enough inland that it was spared the massive destruction we've seen in some of the videos. I'd gotten the impression the whole region was without power, but maybe that was mistaken.



Quoting klaatuborada:


Is that at the airport? Parts are still intact, yes?
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Earthquake has now been estimated to be a 9.1
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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