Favorable winds over Japan continue; all-time record heat in Mumbai, India

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:23 PM GMT on March 17, 2011

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Favorable winds blowing at 10 - 20 mph out of the northwest continue over Tokyo, Japan today, and these winds will take radiation particles emitted by the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant immediately out to sea, without lingering over Japan. The northwesterly winds are blowing in response to the clockwise flow of air around a high pressure system approaching Japan from the southwest. Since high pressure systems are regions of sinking air, the radiation will stay close to the ocean surface over the next day or two as the air spirals clockwise over the Pacific.


Figure 1. Surface weather map for 8am EDT today, taken from the 6-hour forecast from this morning's 6 UTC run of the GFS model. A high pressure system to the southwest of Japan, in combination with a low pressure system to the northeast are driving strong northwesterly surface winds over the country. Image is from our wundermap with the "Model" layer turned on. The lines are sea-level pressure (blue contours, 4 mb interval) and 1000 to 500 mb thickness (yellow contours, 60 m interval). Thickness is a measure of the temperature of the lower atmosphere, and a thickness of 5400 meters is usually close to where the dividing line between rain and snow occurs.

As the high pressure system moves northeastwards and passes just east of Japan on Saturday, winds will gradually shift to the west and then southwest, keeping the radiation from the Fukushima plant blowing out to sea. As the winds shift to southwesterly, the sinking air over Japan will be replaced by rising air, and radioactive emissions will begin being lifted high in the atmosphere. Since there is less friction aloft, and the high speed winds of jet stream increase as the air moves higher in the atmosphere, this radiation will undergo long-range transport. Latest trajectory runs using NOAA's HYSPLIT model (Figures 2 - 4) show that radioactivity emitted today and Friday could wind up over Alaska and eastern Siberia after five days, and radioactive particles emitted on Saturday could make it to Hawaii and California by late next week. I've made trajectory plots for the next three days assuming two possible release altitudes--a surface-based release near 10 meters, which should be the predominant altitude in the current situation, and a higher release altitude of 300 meters, which might occur if there is an explosion and major fire. However, the 5-day trek to Hawaii and California is 4000 - 5000 miles, and a tremendous amount of dispersion and dilution of the radioactive plume will occur. Given the current levels of radiation being emitted, any radioactivity reaching Hawaii or the U.S. may be difficult to detect, and will not be a threat to human health. Keep in mind also that the most dangerous radionuclide to human health in the radioactive plume--Iodine-131--has a half life of eight days, so will be reduced by at least 30% after 5 days of travel time.

The next period of onshore winds that will blow radioactivity inland over Japan will occur beginning on Saturday night (U.S. time), continuing through Sunday morning, according to the latest run of the GFS model. The latest HYSPLIT trajectories show that regions of Japan north of the disaster site would be most at risk of receiving radioactive fallout on Saturday night. On Sunday and Monday, an approaching low pressure system is expected to bring considerable rain to Japan, and it is uncertain at this time what direction the wind might blow during this rain storm.


Figure 2. Five-day forecast movement of plumes of radioactive air emitted at 10 meters altitude (red line) and 300 meters (blue line) at 18 UTC (2pm EDT) Thursday, March 17, 2011 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The plumes initially spiral clockwise around the high pressure system to the southwest of Japan and stay near the surface. By Saturday, though, the plumes get caught in a southwesterly flow of air in advance of an approaching low pressure system. Ascending air lifts the plumes to high altitudes, where winds are stronger and rapid long-range transport occurs. Images created using NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model.


Figure 3. Five-day forecast movement of plumes of radioactive air emitted at 10 meters altitude (red line) and 300 meters (blue line) at 18 UTC (2pm EDT) Friday, March 18, 2011 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The plumes get caught in a southwesterly flow of air in advance of an approaching low pressure system. The plume emitted near the surface (red line) stays trapped near the surface for 4 days then lifted to 2 km, but the plume emitted at 300 meters is lifted to 5 km altitude after 2 1/2 days by the rising air associated with the approaching low pressure system. Images created using NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model.


Figure 4. Five-day forecast movement of plumes of radioactive air emitted at 10 meters altitude (red line) and 300 meters (blue line) at 18 UTC (2pm EDT) Saturday, March 18, 2011 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The plumes get caught in a southwesterly flow of air in advance of an approaching low pressure system and lifted to 4 - 5 km altitude. The plume emitted at 10 meters (red line) ends up getting caught in the clockwise circulation of air around a high pressure system situated north of Hawaii, and spirals down towards the surface in the high's sinking air. The plume emitted at higher altitudes (blue line) ends up escaping this high and making it over California at high altitude, getting caught in the southwesterly flow around a low pressure system predicted to affect California next week. Images created using NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model.

Resources
Seven-day weather forecast for Sendai near the Fukushima nuclear plant

The Austrian Weather Service is running trajectory models for Japan.

Current radar loops from the Japan Meteorological Agency

Mumbai hits its hottest temperature of all-time
The temperature in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India skyrocketed to an all-time high of 107°F (41.6°C) yesterday, March 16, at the downtown Colaba observatory. Records at the observatory go back to 1847, which may be the longest time series of temperature observations at any location in Asia. Mumbai's previous all-time record temperature was 105°F (40.6°C) recorded on April 19, 1955. Mumbai's Santacruz Airport, located in the suburbs several miles inland, did not set an all-time high yesterday, hitting 41.3°C (all-time record: 42.2°C on April 14, 1952.) The record heat yesterday was due to an unusually hot and dry northeasterly flow of air from the center of India that kept the usual cooling sea breeze from establishing itself along the coast. Hot weather continued in Mumbai today, with the mercury hitting 102°F (39°C.) Thanks go to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera for supplying these statistics for me.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Ossqss:
Footprints?


Ah, the Mojave wind farm. Ugly, to be sure. But the windmills create no ozone haze; the windmills don't cause earthquakes, or pump the earth full of free carcinogens, or make flammable liquids shoot out of people's kitchen faucets. And the windmill's owners didn't need to make shady back-room deals with the Vice President that would allow them an exemption from anti-polluting laws.

Some may not see the difference, but I sure do...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13528
Footprints?

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Post #749 Shows the same,but it is a Shocker.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128269
Patrap originally posted this in #749, but for those who haven't: we've all seen videos taken at street level or from helicopters of the tsunami engulfing cars, and, if you're like me, you've wondered how horrifying it must have been to be driving along when the wave came in.

Wonder no more.

This dashcam video is from a vehicle driving along the shore the moment the tsunami broke. Not sure why someone would be there at that time, but, well, here you go:

Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13528
Quoting cajunkid:
I wish more people would take this opportunity to discuss using more natural gas instead of coal and nuclear.

Its clean, cheep, won't melt down and we have more than we need.

Well, about the only positive thing I'll say about natural gas is that it's cleaner than coal or oil, yes. But that's only a relative comparison; just about anything is cleaner than the black death of coal or oil extraction. The big boom in natural gas of late has come about because of technology such as fracking and horizontal drilling. And fracking, as you know, is proving to be very dirty and destructive. (If it weren't, gas companies wouldn't have needed an exemption from environmental laws to use it, would they have?) It also leaves a huge, ugly, and environmentally destructive footprint (look at the image below from Wyoming's Jonah Field), diverts precious water resources, and fills the air with pollution; the once pristine air around Pinedale, Wyoming, for instance, is now sometimes so thick with ozone and other airborne particulates that schools have to keep kids home on some days.

Cleaner than coal or oil, yes. But not clean. Not at all.

Click for larger image:

Appropriate tropical weather-related image.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13528
I wish more people would take this opportunity to discuss using more natural gas instead of coal and nuclear.

Its clean, cheep, won't melt down and we have more than we need.
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Quoting Jedkins01:
I'm not even totally sure why this picture is so funny, but it is... lol


these guys try to take charge when unemployment is high
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CNN had this link to a site that recorded the earthquake uinderground. It is a bit freaky to listen to.

http://listentothedeep.com/acoustics/index.html.Link
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879. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Mauritius Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Advisory #13
TEMPETE TROPICALE MODEREE CHERONO (07-20102011)
10:00 AM RET March 18 2011
==========================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Moderate Tropical Storm Cherono (992 hPa) located at 16.5S 72.3E has 10 minute sustained winds of 40 knots with gusts of 60 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west southwest at 12 knots.

Gale Force Winds
===============
30 NM from the center extending up to 50 NM in the southeastern quadrant

Near Gale Force Winds
=======================
40 NM from the center extending up to 90 NM in the southeastern quadrant

Dvorak Intensity: T3.0/3.0/D0.5/24 HRS

Forecast and Intensity
======================
12 HRS: 17.2S 69.7E - 45 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modereé)
24 HRS: 18.1S 66.8E - 55 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)
48 HRS: 20.2S 61.0E - 45 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modereé)
72 HRS: 22.5S 56.3E - 30 knots (DEPRESSION Tropicale)

Additional Information
=====================

Intensity has changed little during the last 6 hours. Visible imagery shows a rather well defined vortex with convective bands wrapping into from the western semi-circle; However a warming cloud top is evident on infrared imagery since this morning. Subjective Dvorak estimation at 40 knots is support with equivalent estimate from PGTW (05.30z) and KNES (2.30z). Mimic TPW suggest that some dry air is currently present in the northern semicircle and may impede low level humidity convergence from the monsoon flow.

Upper level environmental conditions remain favorable with a weak vertical wind shear and good poleward outflow.

Conditions aloft should remain favorable up to Saturday night. Beyond, system should undergo a strengthening vertical wind shear ahead of a deep mid latitude trough. Last Numerical Weather Prediction outcomes are in rather good agreement for a west southwest track on the northern edge of the low to mid levels subtropical ridge for the next 3 days. Beyond some of the models (including CMWF from 12z) Forecast a recurve southeastward and other models continue to track the system west southwestward. It is estimated that under the shear constraint, the steering flow will go down in the lower level and stay towards the west southwest before recurvature in the end of the forecast range ahead of a surface mid latitude trough.

UNHABITANTS OF RODRIGUES ISLAND SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM.

The next tropical cyclone advisory from Mauritius Meteorological Services will be issued at 12:30 PM UTC..
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 45301
so, if you have the USGS earthquake kml in Google Earth, you can see a series of shallow 6ish mag quakes within a relative stones throw of a boundary that runs south of Yokohama, past Mt. Fuji and other mtns, across the island, then north.

(If you follow that boundary *all* the way, it crosses near the North Pole and tracks down through Iceland to Morocco :) ... not implying anything there, but interesting to note.)

So should we be worried about that fault? What is it? Strike-slip in that region?

Apologies if this has already been discussed. I can't read them all :)
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I'm not even totally sure why this picture is so funny, but it is... lol


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Quoting Grothar:


I have a brother I haven't spoken to in over 20 years because of a misunderstanding.




sorry to hear that man...
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Quoting JohnTucker:

Even using the lowest end of projections for a decade of coal related deaths, I don't know if you could even have a accident that bad in nuclear energy.

Ill have to research it some more and see how many accidents occurred at US nuclear power plants. (And coal plants for that matter) and what emissions levels were.

You do understand how radiation works, correct?

All that is living is affected by it. The very DNA that allows for life to exist is altered.

If a nuclear disaster some how managed to be as bad as it possibly gets, everybody and everything would be affected. The "stuff" in the opposite hemisphere (N vs S wise), and near the poles and equator may not experience the direct effects, but they would still feel the effects since everything in our earth's systems are connected in some way or another.

The chance of something getting that out of control in this day of age is ridiculously low. But we are discussing hypotheticals here, so this is relevant.
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Quoting JohnTucker:
No there is greater risk from nuclear accidents but also our dependence on fossil fuels lead to mine deaths, mine health issues and arguably two recent wars.

Would you not also add that in when discussing risk?


Yea, absolutely.
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Quoting JohnTucker:
It is estimated 10000 to 50000 Americans die prematurely each year, mainly from respiratory diseases attributable to the burning of coal. (Brooking institution study)

In our countries worst nuclear accident, Three Mile Island it is thought that no public was exposed to enough radiation to result in one cancer death.

Yeah, that's good news (not the coal deaths part, I meant that towards the fact that "no public was exposed to enough radiation to result in one cancer death")

...but that doesn't mean it can't or won't happen.
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Quoting Grothar:


Glad to hear it. So you think I'm an Ostrich, HUH! LOL

;)

Haha silly grothar.
Quoting Grothar:


I have a brother I haven't spoken to in over 20 years because of a misunderstanding.

That's unfortunate, sorry to hear that grothar
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Quoting KrippleCreekFerry:
I'm sorry you have that caveman antinuke attitude. This attitude will set back nuclear another 30 years while we belch pollutants from the coal plants. I'm for solar and wind also but on commercial scales they are still not prime time.

Wow 30 years? That's a lot longer than I figured the anti nuke crowd would be able to hold off the pro nuke crowd.

Nuclear energy probably will become our primary source of energy in the future because it is very efficient and relatively simple.

But the potential for disaster will always be there. And accidents will happen.

It's an unfortunate truth. Man's energy demand is increasing. Fossil fuel supplies are decreasing. True green energies are yet to become very efficient and cheap. Nuclear energy meanwhile, is fairly cheap and very effective (1kg of uranium yields 3 million times as much energy as 1kg of coal) but is capable of completely whipping us out.


It's a game of pick your poison. I know my choice...
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Quoting Jedkins01:


hahaha funny video!

Agreed, I think that's how blogs can be though, its easy to misunderstand who each of us are. I would probably get along with everyone pretty well here as long as they are willing :)


I have a brother I haven't spoken to in over 20 years because of a misunderstanding.
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Quoting TomTaylor:


Thanks, Gramps!



Jedkins and I had a rough start, but I think it was more because we misunderstood each other. Either way, things are much better now


Glad to hear it. So you think I'm an Ostrich, HUH! LOL
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Quoting TomTaylor:


Thanks, Gramps!



Jedkins and I had a rough start, but I think it was more because we misunderstood each other. Either way, things are much better now


hahaha funny video!

Agreed, I think that's how blogs can be though, its easy to misunderstand who each of us are. I would probably get along with everyone pretty well here as long as they are willing :)
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Quoting Grothar:


We all do that. I got made at a blogger because of a remark that I thought was derogatory. He wasn't even directing it at me. I rarely get angry. I jumped all over him. I really regret it to this day.



Yeah I am a very passionate person, so I can be very happy and I have a heck of a lot of fun, but I can get angry easy, its in my nature.

The best thing we can do is learn from those failures and mistakes and never be content with being stuck in our failures. Like a sports team, we should always desire to improve and move forward, rather than getting stuck or moving backwards
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Quoting Grothar:


Nice to see you two getting along. Try to find some common ground. You're both good bloggers.


Thanks, Gramps!



Jedkins and I had a rough start, but I think it was more because we misunderstood each other. Either way, things are much better now
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Thanks, I actually thought I was apposed to his view on Climate Change, only to find it was very similar! lol

As I've said, sometimes I let my anger run wild about what I find to be injustice or just not true, so I have jumped to conclusions many times.

Even for those who do have much different views on things then me, hopefully we can be at peace as well, I am really not out to be against anyone.


We all do that. I got made at a blogger because of a remark that I thought was derogatory. He wasn't even directing it at me. I rarely get angry. I jumped all over him. I really regret it to this day.
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Quoting Grothar:


Nice to see you two getting along. Try to find some common ground. You're both good bloggers.


Thanks, I actually thought I was apposed to his view on Climate Change, only to find it was very similar! lol

As I've said, sometimes I let my anger run wild about what I find to be injustice or just not true, so I have jumped to conclusions many times.

Even for those who do have much different views on things then me, hopefully we can be at peace as well, I am really not out to be against anyone.
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Quoting KrippleCreekFerry:
This was a freak natural disaster. A once in 1000 years. Nuclear is still a proven technology that can produce clean energy whereas coal is not. We do need to get moving again and commission one national depository for spent rods instead of storing them indefinitely at each plant. As we decommission these old Mark 1 plants and replace them with modern safer plants in safer locations we can solve our energy needs and mitigate AGW.


There was an 8.8 in Chile last year. And a 9.3 in Indonesia in 2004.

9.0 earthquakes and tsunami's which accompany them ARE NOT 1 in 1,000 year events. You are terribly wrong.

More like once-every-decade events to once-every-other-decade events. Additionally, tsunamis and earthquakes are not the only things which can cause a meltdown...other natural disasters, human error and accidents are also factors.


Point is nuclear accidents are rare, but not as rare as people think. And when an accident does occur, the outcome can potentially be catastrophic.
Nuclear energy (ONLY when properly contained and stored) is better than Coal. However, there is no 100% guarantee that something won't go terribly wrong.



Therefore, I disapprove of the idea of adding more plants.
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Quoting aspectre:
Thanks, Jedkins01, truly. I'll plus your reply to make up for minusing.


You're welcome.

Yeah, I probably shouldn't have even replied, but that really upset me.

I do jump to anger pretty quickly, but its usually as a result to stand for what's right. Sometimes I have attacked bloggers in here because I jumped to conclusions about them as a result from interpreting their posts the wrong way.

I do apologize for any of that, for I do seek to be at peace with all people as much as possible. I believe love conquers all, not hate and bitterness.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


haha agreed. I just figured I'd say a little how I feel about it.


Nice to see you two getting along. Try to find some common ground. You're both good bloggers.
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Quoting Grothar:


Not a wise thing to do on here sometimes. The blog police were on earlier.



One of the reasons my presence here has been scarce, lately. I appreciate the ones who try to maintain a peaceable order.
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In the Big Red One didn't the closing line say the only winners of war are the survivors. I know I am going to catch hell if I am wrong. But tend to agree with that statement even though I am not a veteran, something that I am not proud of, one way or the other. Although whether one believes it or not I cannot put into words the respect for those that are veterans.
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Quoting TomTaylor:

Foreign policy is tough...

don't really feel like getting into that debate haha


haha agreed. I just figured I'd say a little how I feel about it.
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Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:



Hiya, Gro! I may have walked in, unarmed so to speak. Been a long day.

How are you, my friend?


Not a wise thing to do on here sometimes. The blog police were on earlier.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Personally I figure we should let the country work out its problems. America too often plays as the international military police. I believe we should have a strong military, but for defense, the whole purpose of military in the first place. I am a proud fire arm owner, I mainly use them for hunting, however they could be for self defense as well. Whatever the case, I would only use them as last resort, I certainly don't go around showing them off and how powerful they are.

I believe military should be the same. If that makes any sense?

Foreign policy is tough...

don't really feel like getting into that debate haha
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Quoting Grothar:


Be careful who you quote PSL. You may be keeping the wrong company. LOL (How you doing) Are we still allowed to ask that?



Hiya, Gro! I may have walked in, unarmed so to speak. Been a long day.

How are you, my friend?
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Thanks, Jedkins01, truly. I'll plus your reply to make up for minusing.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
lol recordseason

idk why i didnt add him to my ignore list earlier, I haven't seen him make one post that I didn't at least partially dislike.

Even his posts on Libya bugged me. Seemed a little too in to the ray guns, and guys holding joysticks in one hand and coke in the other controlling uavs.

...it bugged me, tho I absolutely agree Gahdafi has to go


Personally I figure we should let the country work out its problems. America too often plays as the international military police. I believe we should have a strong military, but for defense, the whole purpose of military in the first place. I am a proud fire arm owner, I mainly use them for hunting, however they could be for self defense as well. Whatever the case, I would only use them as last resort, I certainly don't go around showing them off and how powerful they are.

I believe military should be the same. If that makes any sense?
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Quoting aspectre:
Grothar "See I remember everything, except where I left my cars keys."
aspectre "They're in the fridge. Unless ya opened the freezer: keys like to hide out in the spots that make their owner feel the stupidest when they're found."
Grothar "Been there, have ya?????"

Like I'd be dumb enough to answer that. It's bad enough having my keys snickering at me without having the whole world joining in.


We'll all be there someday.
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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.