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 Patrap:
We have a Tutorial back on the first page of this entry I believe on da Publix


I'm just gonna take ya word for it...lol....a grocery store....we don't have Publix here...sounds more like a public restroom area.:P
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O here ya are Boondock Jones! Nah this season is gonna rock and I dont think the canes will be steered out to sea like last year. Watch out gulf! Watch out Carolinas and especially Tampa!
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:


I just gotta ask.....what the devil is the Publix?



Must have an IPAD while working also to answer all the EMAILS also......just sayn......LOL
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Long story EYE...read back the posts from this morning.
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We have a Tutorial back on the first page of this entry I believe on da Publix
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127371
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


You must shop at Publix.


ROFLMAO.........must be the other bagger......LOL
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


You must shop at Publix.


I just gotta ask.....what the devil is the Publix?
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Quoting emcf30:
Quoting Ossqss:


Please correct me if I am wrong (I really mean it), but I believe the hardened back-up generators did just fine, their external fuel tanks (not hardened) were what went missing.

If that indeed proves the root cause of the cooling problem, I would have to ask who was in charge that missed that part of the equation?

If that is true, why didn't they just fly in replacement fuel tanks and hook them up.........i don't get it.

I saw one report earlier that the pumps were wiped out. US Military is delivering high volume, high presure pumps. It was stated they would have sent them sooner but they were not requested until yesterday. Also it was made clear that there will be no US personnel allowed on site to assist with hooking them up.


With that attitude i would not give it to them. Let them find and buy their own. There we are to assist them and they are telling us we are not welcome, but thanks for the stuff. Bring me the desert, but you can't stay to eat it....WOW!
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Quoting RukusBoondocks:
I heard that all of the radiation from the quake will put a huge damper on the hurricane season


You must shop at Publix.
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Quoting RukusBoondocks:
I heard that all of the radiation from the quake will put a huge damper on the hurricane season
Source, please? My guess is that it won't.
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706 sunlinepr quoting DAVID E. SANGER and WILLIAM J. BROAD
"The first readings from American data-collection flights over the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan show that the worst contamination has not spread beyond the 19-mile range of highest concern..."

Be kinda weird if the worst of the contamination had decided to bug outta FukushimaDaiichi to attend the NCAA playoff games.
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.
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Quoting RukusBoondocks:
I heard that all of the radiation from the quake will put a huge damper on the hurricane season


How would that affect the Hurricane Season?
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Quoting emcf30:
Quoting Ossqss:


I saw one report earlier that the pumps were wiped out. US Military is delivering high volume, high presure pumps. It was stated they would have sent them sooner but they were not requested until yesterday. Also it was made clear that there will be no US personnel allowed on site to assist with hooking them up.


How reminiscent is that of the mandate to follow protocol, as we saw with Katrina and the delays experienced. Why!
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Quoting TampaSpin:


How True!!!!

Hey, it's just water and wind.
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Quoting twincomanche:


Don't be fooled by current events. The hurricane season could just be another stamp of how puny we are.


How True!!!!
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I heard that all of the radiation from the quake will put a huge damper on the hurricane season
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Americans: Send your Iodine tablets to Japan where they're really needed! It ain't happenen here.
At least not this time.
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Salt producers benefited from the pandemonium. Shares of Yunnan Salt & Chemical Industry Co. rose by the daily limit of 10%.

In another sign that panic over Japan's nuclear crisis is spreading across borders, authorities in the Philippines held a news conference Thursday to silence rumors that the country would be hit by radioactive fallout.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127371

Union of Concerned Scientists Releases Report on the NRC and Nuclear Plant Safety in 2010

The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami is a stark reminder of the risks inherent in nuclear power. One of its consequences has been heightened concern about the safety of nuclear power facilities in the United States.

Link

With U.S. Nuclear Plants Under Scrutiny, Too, a Report Raises Safety Concerns

Link
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Quoting presslord:


the meaning of life...and where to get a good margarita...

42...Daniel's Taqueria...





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The prospect of hurricanes now seems tame in comparison with the Deepwater Horizon and Fukushima disasters.
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Quoting Ossqss:


Please correct me if I am wrong (I really mean it), but I believe the hardened back-up generators did just fine, their external fuel tanks (not hardened) were what went missing.

If that indeed proves the root cause of the cooling problem, I would have to ask who was in charge that missed that part of the equation?

If that is true, why didn't they just fly in replacement fuel tanks and hook them up.........i don't get it.

I saw one report earlier that the pumps were wiped out. US Military is delivering high volume, high presure pumps. It was stated they would have sent them sooner but they were not requested until yesterday. Also it was made clear that there will be no US personnel allowed on site to assist with hooking them up.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Here is the 850mb voriticity......NOT REALLY MUCH THERE!
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Quoting bappit:
Excellent source of information at The Oil Drum.


I'm not surprised. That was the go-to place for intelligent discussion on the Gulf oil spill.
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 1262
Radiation Spread Seen; Frantic Repairs Go On
By DAVID E. SANGER and WILLIAM J. BROAD 53 minutes ago

The first readings from American data-collection flights over the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan show that the worst contamination has not spread beyond the 19-mile range of highest concern established by Japanese authorities.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Happy St. Patti Day everyone!


Cheers! :)


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Quoting sunlinepr:




Wow thats pretty strong......need to look at vorticity on that!
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Quoting Ossqss:


Please correct me if I am wrong (I really mean it), but I believe the hardened back-up generators did just fine, their external fuel tanks (not hardened) were what went missing.

If that indeed proves the root cause of the cooling problem, I would have to ask who was in charge that missed that part of the equation?


If that is true, why didn't they just fly in replacement fuel tanks and hook them up.........i don't get it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


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Quoting Ossqss:


Please correct me if I am wrong (I really mean it), but I believe the hardened back-up generators did just fine, their external fuel tanks (not hardened) were what went missing.

If that indeed proves the root cause of the cooling problem, I would have to ask who was in charge that missed that part of the equation?


Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO)
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Happy St. Patti Day everyone!
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Q. The Onagawa nuclear plant is much closer to the earthquake and tsunami zone than the Fukushima plant but appears to have shut down safely while Fukushima has not. Can you explain the differences in what happened and is happening at the two nuclear locations?

A. We%u2019re still trying to figure it out completely, but the answer appears to lie in the backup cooling systems. At Fukushima, the plants appeared to survive the earthquake without major damage, but the backup cooling was wiped out by the tsunami. The question of why one plant survived so well and another did not will be the focus of many of our questions as we try to reconstruct events.


Please correct me if I am wrong (I really mean it), but I believe the hardened back-up generators did just fine, their external fuel tanks (not hardened) were what went missing.

If that indeed proves the root cause of the cooling problem, I would have to ask who was in charge that missed that part of the equation?
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enhanced water vapour image

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
Quoting bappit:
Excellent source of information at The Oil Drum.


Excellent, a lot of reading there...
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

You got the news of the two hurricanes last year that were retired, right?
Yes.They should have at least retired Karl,or Alex even.SMDH.But even if Igor wasn't retired for property damage I would retire it just by he scary name.Who wants a storm named Igor coming twards their house?.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
acceptable losses i know this may sound cruel but its not if given the choice a lot more may have stayed behind they took with them those they knew could be saved again this is not to be cruel given the situation choices will be made that not all will agree with


True; Japan is known by a culture that takes care of the elderly...
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One ­Fukushima worker hit back at claims some staff had “run away” from the stricken plant when it was hit by the tsunami. Furious Michiko Otsuki said on a blog: “Staff continue to work even at the peril of their own lives. Please stop attacking us.

“As a member of the Fukushima Two reactor team I was dealing with the crisis at the scene until yesterday. In the midst of the tsunami alarm at 3am when we couldn’t even see where we were going, we carried on working to restore the reactors, with the realisation that this could be certain death.

“The machine that cools the reactor is by the sea, it was wrecked. Fighting fatigue and empty stomachs, we dragged ourselves back to work.

“Many haven’t got in touch with their family, but are facing the situation and working hard.”


Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/03/1 8/japan-earthquake-and-tsunami-heroic-fukushima-wo rkers-ignore-risks-to-battle-nuclear-danger-115875 -22997368/#ixzz1GuorXKd7
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Quoting sunlinepr:
8.50am The Guardian has revealed the heavy toll taken by the Japan quake on the country's ageing population as the death toll continues to rise.

"In one particularly shocking incident, Japan's self-defence force discovered 128 elderly people abandoned by medical staff at a hospital six miles from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. Most of them were comatose and 14 died shortly afterwards."

acceptable losses i know this may sound cruel but its not if given the choice a lot more may have stayed behind they took with them those they knew could be saved again this is not to be cruel given the situation choices will be made that not all will agree with
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285

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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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