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 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
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Excellent source of information at The Oil Drum.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6061
682 sunlinepr quoting The Guardian
"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."

Yeah a full week later, and wonderful to know Dubya ain't the only screwup. Both cases of regional&national governments telling hospital workers and patients to drop dead.
Then blaming the workers.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
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’re 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.
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Where is the sea water that is being pumped in to cool the reactors going, and is this water contaminated?

To the best of our understanding, the sea water is turning to steam. The reactor is still so hot that the sea water they are pumping in is just intended to replace the amount that boils off. In other words, in the best of situations, they are just managing to keep the reactor covered with water.

In the reactors that have had fuel rod exposure (at least three of them, apparently), the steam would be contaminated with radioactive elements from the fuel, which has been exposed because of cracking of the zirconium cladding around it. The contaminated steam leaves the reactor vessel and enters the containment structure. To avoid a pressure buildup, the containment structure must be vented intermittently, resulting in the release of radioactivity to the environment. (In at least one of the reactors, the containment structure is reported to be damaged; if that’s the case then the radiation release could be continuous.)

Link
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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."

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Quoting twincomanche:
Keeper, you trying to get Grothar off his Barko lounger?
he is not back from bingo yet
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global northern hemisphere water vapour anim image latest
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Different cultures: Different ways of sending a message.. Fells like a novel

10.20am In a bid to explain what is happening at Fukushima to Japan's children an artist has come up with a novel solution, a cartoon featuring "nuclear boy" who has a problem with defecation and flatulence.


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wake up

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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128767
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
a fool and he's army will soon part


+100
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The anti-Post ?

..#666
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128767
Quoting twincomanche:


Hmm. Figures never lie. Liars figure. Break that down by race, ethnicity, and geography and you get some real interesting results.




Yep, as to who has access to what. Makes you go HMM?!
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Gheeze, I was hoping this blog would have taken a different approach to that of which is surely meaningful to many who live on this planet. I guess we still are inflicted by those who want to rule the world "their way" again.

On another note, check this out for a break from the incessant propaganda and continued demeaning comments from those who are here all day/all night. Ever wonder why?

Here ya go, we will soon have a "Messenger" without the flaws ;)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/03/1 10317-nasa-mercury-messenger-first-orbit-insertion -space-science/

"At 8:45 p.m. ET, MESSENGER will perform a "burn" essentially "riding its brakes" by firing its main thruster to slow the spacecraft enough to be captured by Mercury's gravity."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20110318/sc_ac/8082844 _qa_nasas_messenger_mission_to_mercury

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I know I said I was going to stay away from the blog.But everyone is really tense right now.Everyone release those feelings and move on.If you get to tense you might fall from a heart attack J/K.
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Bill Proenza on the Barometer Bob show.

Watch live streaming video from wrbn at livestream.com
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Image 2 speaks where words fail tonight..

Amid the ruins

A woman cries while sitting on a road in the destroyed city of Natori, Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan, on March 13, two days after a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated the area.


The Week in Pictures
Anguish and devastation in disaster-ravaged Japan,


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128767
For those who missed it, here's the video of the leftovers of the Fukushima quadruple meltdown harmless ceiling collapse taken during a helicopter flyover. Take a dramamine first; the camera operator may have been a bit nervous while shooting. Understandably:

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Quoting RecordSeason:


No, it isn't Halo.

It's 2011.

The U.S. has rail guns with a range of 220 miles, and anti-aircraft infrared lasers with effective ranges of several miles installed on it's ships now, in addition to the anti-aircraft missile systems and flak systems.

Although I'm not sure the full scale rail guns have been installed yet. I know they publicly demonstrated the 110 mile range, half-scale rail gun a few months ago...


The full scale rail guns would be perfect for destroying Ghaddafi's anti-air forces, which the majority of them are stationed along the coast within the effective range of the guns, assuming they have been installed. Hopefully they have been installed already...


From what I knew, rail guns were still theory, another name is MAC(magnetic accelerator cannon) or the Guass rifle.

As I said, from what I know they are possible, but still concept weapons of the future. MAC's will probably replace gunpowder as the future for powering arms.
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Quoting twincomanche:


You need help.
Don't we all.

I don't keep an ignore list so I guess I'll be seein' ya' around.
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The US is tied with Cuba, RecordSeason, at 36th in life expectancy.
Only Canada at #11 produces more CO2 per capita. And one could make good argument that a lot of that excess CO2 is due to producing electricity and fuel for export to the US.
The other nations which have higher life expectancy average at ~40% of the US level of CO2 per capita.

According to the UN, the US at #33 has a higher infant mortality rate than NewCaledonia.
According to the CIA, the US at #46 has a higher infant mortality rate than Guam.
Either way, Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than the US.

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Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day….Hope Grothar is staying away from the cabbage this evening. At his age, not a good thing.
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Quoting RecordSeason:
So to sum it up, if Ghaddafi tries to deploy his air units or artillery against our destroyers or carriers in the region, not only will we shoot down all his aircraft....our ships will literally shoot their weapons right out of the air: artillery shell, rocket, missile, jet, whatever, our laser systems can aquire multiple targets simultaneously and shoot down not only the aircraft, but it's weaponry in-flight, with centimeter accuracy and precision.
a fool and he's army will soon part
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Quoting twincomanche:


Yeah I have a linky thing but with your snotty attitude I think I will let you look it up yourself if you really care. I didn't write the stuff I am just quoting.
Just wondering if you get paid per post or by the hour...
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Quoting Patrap:
The #2 Unit is putting out a lotta Steam/Fallout,Vapor ATM
unit 4 will go up soon as well the roof from pictures i have seen shows bubbling or bulging or at least thats what it looks like that place is soon to go
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652. beell
Happy St. Patrick's Day:

Compliments of our resident Newfie, WU Blogger - Incogkneetoe



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Japan NHK TV English USTREAM Feed
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128767
The #2 Unit is putting out a lotta Steam/Fallout,Vapor ATM
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128767
Quoting twincomanche:
"During the 1950s and 1960s, the dangers of using radium was recognized and it was phased out in the US. Instead, either non-radioactive phosphorus compounds were used or various tritium compounds were used. Other countries, especially third world countries, still use radium. For example, Iraqi tanks captured during the Gulf War had radium dials on gauges."
That is about as credible as the Geiger counter app. Got a linky-thing for those falsehoods? The full dangers of radium were well-known before the 1950's and 1960's.

For example, here is a differing source, quoted from The Human Plutonium Injection Experiments (pdf)
In January 1944, at the same time the first milligrams of reactor-produced plutonium were being shipped from Clinton, Seaborg and others at the Met Lab began thinking seriously about the fact that more and more people would soon be working with gram quantities of plutonium—perhaps thousands of people at Hanford alone. Hamilton had probably informed Seaborg of a 1943 paper by Robley Evans about the dangers of radium and the deaths of radium-dial painters in the 1920s, in this way alerting Seaborg to a potentially similar situation with plutonium. The Evans paper estimated that as little as 1 or 2 micrograms of radium retained in a person’s skeleton could cause cancer, a latent radiation effect. It also explained the reasoning behind the occupational tolerance limit of 0.1 micrograms for radium retained in the body.

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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Gaddafi will be gone soon. The only ? is who will replace him. Friend or foe?


and how many he and his sons will take with him
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Quoting RecordSeason:


Fortunately, our rail guns (hopefully), lasers, and Cruise Missiles are broken/OP vs Ghaddafi's pathetic forces.

We also have those armed UAV drones as well. Guy got a joystick in one hand and a soda in the other ready to cap a tank or support vehicle.

This should be short.


Rail guns and lasers? this isn't Halo....
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Published: 3/17/2011 - Updated: 1 day ago
14 elderly patients die in Japan as tsunami and its aftermath takes toll on the aging
ASSOCIATED PRESS



TOKYO First came the tsunami, which killed many elderly people unable to flee their homes. Then came the radiation, which forced a hospital to evacuate some 100 older patients. Fourteen did not survive.

The earthquake-spawned tsunami and the nuclear crisis it created has taken a particularly heavy toll on the elderly in this rapidly aging nation. Many have already died and now those who lived are struggling to survive in cold emergency centers or hospitals without electricity or water and shortages of everything from medicine to adult diapers.

On Monday, about 100 patients were moved out of a hospital and into a temporary shelter at a high school gymnasium in Iwaki, said Chuei Inamura, a government official in Fukushima, the prefecture north of Tokyo that is home to a nuclear plant where authorities are struggling to stem radiation leaks from overheating reactors.

Two died in transit and another 12 while at the gym. Plans to transfer them to other hospitals were delayed by a shortage of vehicles and fuel and the fact that nearby hospitals were already full. By Thursday morning, the remaining patients had all been moved to other hospitals.

We feel very helpless and very sorry for them, Inamura said. The condition at the gymnasium was horrible. No running water, no medicine and very, very little food. We simply did not have means to provide good care.

Many of the rural, seaside towns hit by the tsunami were in economic decline and had seen an exodus of young people, who moved to major cities for work.

That may explain why many of those staying in temporary shelters are elderly.

At one, a junior high school in the city of Kesennuma, a few ointment tubes, bandages and boxes of aspirin and stomach and cold medicines were stacked on a table at a shelter at a junior high school.

There's not enough, Keiko Endo, a 58-year-old nurse, said. It's a problem.

Nearby sat a group of elderly men and women, a single kerosene heater doing nothing to warm a large drafty gym in chilly, often snowy weather.

It's freezing, there are people who are sick and injured, Endo said. People are mostly putting up with whatever's wrong. We're trying to comfort and help them, but we cant do too much.

The very sick can be taken by ambulance to a hospital, she added, but with no electricity and sketchy or no cell phone service, setting that up is often difficult.

Doctors Without Borders, the international assistance group, has seen cases of hypothermia, serious dehydration and respiratory diseases in some of the shelters, said Eric Ouannes, general director of the group's Japan affiliate.

The consequence of the earthquake, but more the tsunami, has caused the loss of their prescriptions, he said.Some don't remember what they were taking, how much, and what was the exact prescription. So that makes things a little more complicated.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128767
Quoting presslord:


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


each day is but a gift treat it as such

as for the drink you will know when you get there

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It's very obvious the TEPCO/government spin machine has shifted into an even higher gear than before, if that's possible. The helicopters were completely ineffectual yesterday, while the water cannon (fire hoses) used today were pretty much worthless. However, after some early headlines stating that things were no better, now the spin machine is claiming the hoses were "effective". Basically, radiation levels dropped by a few percentage points, but the news is being told as "Hey, it worked".

Not very likely. The fact is, #4 is dry, and getting drier. #3 is still boiling off, and #2 is in possible worse shape internally.

I read earlier today that decommissioning and cleanup will likely cost $10 billion plus. Ouch.

Appropriate tropical weather-related image.
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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.