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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Earthquake has now been estimated to be a 9.1
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Aqua, are you guessing or do you know that for real?

I am comfortable in my assessment.
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And according to Radioactive man from Florida, Mickey Mouse will grow an extra ear in the middle of his head and everyone in Florida will have a sixth sense of knowing exactly where and when a hurricane will hit Florida
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Hey, I am a cheapskate and I just donated.
If I can do it, so can you!

Check out Portlight.org for aid to the disabled at Link

And also this site for the Network for Good:
NetworkforGood

This site links to a number of organizations you can choose from.

Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11387
Quoting atmoaggie:
That's a heckuva UPS.
Solar powered, maybe?


Is that at the airport? Parts are still intact, yes?
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Whatever the case, if what little raidation there is over you, just pray for NO rain
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Quoting MrMixon:
Speaking of the weather (well, I was...), when I was checking on weather for Japan I saw a personal weather station (link here) still broadcasting from Sendai. How is that even possible? I thought most of the town was wiped out or, at the very least, had lost power. Is this thing running on batteries?
That's a heckuva UPS.
Solar powered, maybe?
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Quoting Grothar:


Aw, come on. Don't be too hard on yourself. You're not that bad.
LMAO.
Good one for a geezer.
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I guess it's not really the "where" of the rads, but more importantly, the "how much of" that's more important.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Speaking of the weather (well, I was...), when I was checking on weather for Japan I saw a personal weather station (link here) still broadcasting from Sendai. How is that even possible? I thought most of the town was wiped out or, at the very least, had lost power. Is this thing running on batteries?
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
More. Yay. The poison ivy and skeeters will be thrilled.



And, a few instances of damaging winds:
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Quoting Grothar:


OOH. Squawk. Being a little harsh on the lad, aren't you? :)


Gro, you been reading his inputs over the past couple of days? He just can't be serious.

Aqua, are you guessing or do you know that for real?
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GFDL continues to make 90Q a hurricane.
Link

Only model I can find regarding 90Q.
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At least in Japan you dont see them stealing tvs, nike shoes, and shooting at choppers
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247. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting 7080734:
Was there Oil Rain? No. There won't be any Radioactive Rain.


Actually NASA put out a paper the other week that the oil rain did happen.

Pretty well proven that areas that have rain out of a fallout plume gets way more radiation than the area it just floats over.. The china bomb test in 1966~ The winds brought it over the west coast, but they had hardly any Iodine 131 in their milk but where it really rained out in the midwest with precipitation was much, much higher.

Rita~ glad to see you admit the map is fake..yes jet stream will probably pick some up but that map isn't a good representative of that, the how much is a joke. Look at the model plots in the entry up top.. keep in mind you need rain to bring it back down to you, if any gets high enough to the jet to begin with.

That explosion today though, wow. The video looked a little atomic explosion & quick climbing mushroom like cloud action to me.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 191 Comments: 38624
Quoting atmoaggie:
*sigh*

Classic case of "I know everything and am arrogant enough to believe it". Not that we haven't seen that in here before.


Aw, come on. Don't be too hard on yourself. You're not that bad.
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Quoting SQUAWK:
OK, OK, I got it figured out.

Floridaheat is not a real person. It is an old blogger that used to visit the blogs and left some time ago and is back just to pull our chains and see how we react. Poking us just for fun.

I mean - come on - a Publix bagger, high school nuke expert. Gimme a break. Nobody is that FUBAR.

Dontchathink?


Oh, I know. I have some suspects, too. What I will say is that they were remarkably consistent, and probably desparately need something to do... like a social life.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THE HACKING STUFF THING ITS DANEROUS


keeper- it's a quote from a silly, fun movie called Napoleon Dynamite. That's all, just a quote.

B'sidez, Hackerz.org was a little before my time. I got a t-shirt, tho...

FlaHeat is Tazmanian species, Florida subset, ok?

ya'll please be nice and let it go...
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UKGuardianUPdate from ~ 1 hr ago

The crises in Japan is worsening.
Time to send aid money is now.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11387
Quoting SQUAWK:
God, I hope I am right and it is not a real person.
I sure hope you are correct...but the mentality does resemble some of our regulars if only one step further in the arrogant direction. Just sayin.
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Quoting SQUAWK:
OK, OK, I got it figured out.

Floridaheat is not a real person. It is an old blogger that used to visit the blogs and left some time ago and is back just to pull our chains and see how we react. Poking us just for fun.

I mean - come on - a Publix bagger, high school nuke expert. Gimme a break. Nobody is that FUBAR.

Dontchathink?



OOH. Squawk. Being a little harsh on the lad, aren't you? :)
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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)
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238. I concur, he cannot be real.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
OK, OK, I got it figured out.

Floridaheat is not a real person. It is an old blogger that used to visit the blogs and left some time ago and is back just to pull our chains and see how we react. Poking us just for fun.

I mean - come on - a Publix bagger, high school nuke expert. Gimme a break. Nobody is that FUBAR.

Dontchathink?

God, I hope I am right and it is not a real person.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
*sigh*

Classic case of "I know everything and am arrogant enough to believe it". Not that we haven't seen that in here before.
kinda like being so smart we are stupid
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Quoting jeffs713:
212.

Oh, yeah. Soap and Dihydrogen Monoxide are extremely dangerous. They foam up, and scour surface material from your skin. Bad stuff, there.

-------
Ok, I'll be good now.
:-0 Should I be worried? What products contain that nasty chemical and how can I avoid it?
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News and information = useful

Speculation and fear-mongering = not so useful

Here's a thought: if you have "very important information" to share, post that information HERE instead of using this blog as a platform to advertise your (probably FUD-filled) twitter feed. /rant

Besides some discussions about the wind, I haven't heard much talk here about the upcoming weather for Japan... unfortunately, things are going to turn pretty cold in the coming days, with temps dipping below freezing several nights this week in Sendai. Looks like things warm up a little by the weekend.
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
Quoting 7080734:
Was there Oil Rain? No. There won't be any Radioactive Rain.
rad rain is refer too as black rain

sorry aquak caps lock was on
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Quoting atmoaggie:
*sigh*

Classic case of "I know everything and am arrogant enough to believe it". Not that we haven't seen that in here before.

But I *do* know everything!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
*sigh*

Classic case of "I know everything and am arrogant enough to believe it". Not that we haven't seen that in here before.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aquak9:
like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills....
DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THE HACKING STUFF THING ITS DANEROUS
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Quoting FloridaHeat:
I am afraid that millions upon millions in Tokyo are dying and they do not know it yet. The government won't tell them until it is to late this is the worst disaster in the history of the planet! You mark my words! I have been reading up on this a lot and I did take a class in high school where nuclear plants were covered and I got a 99% on that chapter. So you can take it from me or one of the lying government people of Japan!


wow, your high school education is more reliable than phds? didnt realize that, cause high school is so tough to get through.
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Hey Patrick,
Thanks for the reminder.
Took care of that sooner rather than later this time.
:-)
j.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11387
Quoting 7080734:
Was there Oil Rain? No. There won't be any Radioactive Rain.

Any particle can serve as the nucleus for rain. Including soot from oil fires. That said, the difference at hand is that soot from oil fires isn't radioactive on the same level as this would be.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Was there Oil Rain? No. There won't be any Radioactive Rain.
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Quoting Skyepony:


Twitter.




The map was at the top of Dr Master's 3-11 blog the other day. It's the energy map from the tsunami, wave height in cm. Doesn't even begin to look like the jet stream. As for the plume map.. If you believe those numbers..had the whole west coast with 750rads..the effects of over 600rads exposure is..Death in less than two months for over 80%. Really? You really think that is what is coming?

People who directly observed nuclear explosions (which are completely uncontained) from 50 miles away got survivable doses... and people over 2000 miles from a nuclear reactor should be concerned about fatal dosages of radiation?

This isn't even taking into account the half-lives of the radioactive material, the tendency for substances in the stratosphere to not make it across the tropopause, the tendency for dust in gaseous suspension to diffuse over time, or the different types of radiation (alpha, beta, and gamma).
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222, the plume map. I wasn't taking the numbers into consideration I'm talking about path, like a hurricane track. That would be like trying to predict the maxium sustaned winds on a hurricane. Hell with the numbers, nobody buys into that
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224. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
If there was a "Like" button, I would have pressed it on this post :)


The "+" button is what you click on to like a post/comment.
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Quoting Skyepony:


Twitter.




The map was at the top of Dr Master's 3-11 blog the other day. It's the energy map from the tsunami, wave height in cm. Doesn't even begin to look like the jet stream. As for the plume map.. If you believe those numbers..had the whole west coast with 750rads..the effects of over 600rads exposure is..Death in less than two months for over 80%. Really? You really think that is what is coming?


I love Twitter. Y'all should probably follow me on Twitter because I post some very important information in times such as these. I am sorry all, but I have to go to work now. Publix calls. Also, when I ask you plastic or paper, I would prefer you say "Neither, I brought my own bags." Thank you.
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222. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting FloridaHeat:


Where did you find this information. I am so nervous y'all.


Twitter.


Quoting RitaEvac:


lmao it showed the jet stream winds carrying that stuff, not a radiation wave of water?!


The map was at the top of Dr Master's 3-11 blog the other day. It's the energy map from the tsunami, wave height in cm. Doesn't even begin to look like the jet stream. As for the plume map.. If you believe those numbers..had the whole west coast with 750rads..the effects of over 600rads exposure is..Death in less than two months for over 80%. Really? You really think that is what is coming?
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 191 Comments: 38624
Quoting jeffs713:
212.

Oh, yeah. Soap and Dihydrogen Monoxide are extremely dangerous. They foam up, and scour surface material from your skin. Bad stuff, there.

-------
Ok, I'll be good now.


You are assuming that those items have not been contaminated and also that the water has not been contaminated.
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Thanks Amy, I appreciate that. ((((()))))
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212.

Oh, yeah. Soap and Dihydrogen Monoxide are extremely dangerous. They foam up, and scour surface material from your skin. Bad stuff, there.

-------
Ok, I'll be good now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SQUAWK:
No names, just a link for a certain blogger to think about.

LINK


Oh my that is very funny.
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aqua... vote for Pedro...

:)

SQUAWK-meister.... you have mail....
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Quoting SQUAWK:
No names, just a link for a certain blogger to think about.

LINK
If there was a "Like" button, I would have pressed it on this post :)
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Quoting aquak9:
like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills....


Did you watch CSI Miami last night? Those human-hunters using those bows and arrows were crazy.
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No names, just a link for a certain blogger to think about.

LINK
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like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills....
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Let me just say they are not decontaminating U.S. military over there just for the fun of it. The decontamination process in and of itself is very dangerous!
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Quoting FloridaHeat:

I am very smart so I resent that remark.
Sorry, but you don't act like it.
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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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