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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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.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13455
Gaddafi will be gone soon. The only ? is who will replace him. Friend or foe?
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I Kinda favor the Day Viz to Night IR mode myself.


Japan WunderMap®
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
603 PrivateIdaho "Help!...I'm being exposed to 3 times the radiation of Pat!"

Don't worry about it. It's not energetic enough to cause ionization: Patrap radiates infrared.
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Quoting weatherboy1992:
Does anyone besides FloridaHeat think this app is real?

"Great to make fun of your friends! The more you tilt your phone the more it ticks."
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13455
By Michael Winter, USA TODAY
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Comments


USA Today
Recommend Update at 6:53 p.m. ET: British and French warplanes could make initial air raids on Libyan positions as early as Friday, the BBC reports, citing senior U.N. sources. Arab allies might provide logistical support.

Update at 6:52 p.m. ET: The vote was 10-0 with five abstentions, including Russia and China.

Original post: The U.N. Security Council has approved a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized "all necessary measures" to protect civilians.

The resolution also calls for an immediate cease-fire and an end to all violence.

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I belive the resoultion will be effective beginning on Friday. So be assured when we wake in the morning, the wrath of Hell would have been released upon the current Libya leaders and military.
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A 4.5 tremor off the East Coast of Trinidad yesterday.
What is surprising is the location.
Generally, our quakes are from the area just northwest, along the fault there. Off the coast of Venezuela.
Strange stuff.

BBL


http://www.uwiseismic.com/NewsDetails.aspx?id=192
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NHK TV Japan,English,yada,yada USTREAM feed
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Re: 605
Thanks for the reply PlazaRed. The Cumbre Vieja is the name of the volcano on the Isla de La Palma that KarenRei was discussing. Basically, same source of the threat.
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...wonder if I could take out a life insurance policy on Gadafi....might be some easy money...
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Quoting Patrap:
Certainly press,,but be sure to download the new Geiger Counter App for your Phone..

Just in case.
(pssst....I'm selling a lead shield app if you're interested..)
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same thing, really...
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I see a Hellfire Missile in Kah-Daffy's immediate Future.

Id give Him a Wide Berth the next 24,,say about 500 meters at the least.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
what ya want now


the meaning of life...and where to get a good margarita...
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here's a picture for ya

full northern hemisphere enhance IR. anim image

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Quoting presslord:
Who's in charge here?
what ya want now
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Certainly press,,but be sure to download the new Geiger Counter App for your Phone..

Just in case.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting Floodman:


Good thing I no longer wear my old wind up Timex with the radium painted hands...I'd never be able to fly anywhere (well, maybe Russia)
lol! Yeah Grothar just checks his sun dial so he never has TSA issues.
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Would it be an appropriate time for me to head down to the beach and start drinking heavily?
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Quoting guygee:


Also, to my knowledge their are no subduction faults that could cause a tsunami risk to the US East Coast. Cuba serves as a shield for the Caribbean faults, although their south coast is at risk. The Bahama Bank is a backup.

The risks seem to be limited to a giant underwater landslide on a continental shelf, a meteor hit, or maybe a catastrophic volcanic eruption in the vicinity of Iceland. If anyone has different information I would be very interested to hear it.


The 'Cumbre Vieja' [translates old hill or slope,} has been the subject of a lot of debate and speculation over the last few years of which I understand very little,.

As far s the visible evidence seems to bear out there are quite a lot of cracks in the surface of one of the hillsides of the volcano but as these cracks are not continuous across the entire island they might not have the importance that some people give to them.

It is often stated that the hillside has slipped some 9 meters,[30 feet] down into the ocean but vilages on the shore are still at the same level compared to the sea as they have been for many years.

Added to this there has been speculation that a type of landslide of this area would be slow and as such would not cause a tidal wave, as the ocean would easily absorb the land mass like a sinking boat.

I might add that i have no scientific knowledge of this but several programmes on it have been shown here in Spain.
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:
....got a link for that 20,000 deaths number?
Yes, extrapolating from this older study, 20,000 seems to be a reasonable estimate:

Study: 1950s nuclear fallout worse than thought

Testing has killed thousands, a new study shows.

Besides, you forgot about the Demon core.
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Help!...I'm being exposed to 3 times the radiation of Pat!

Photobucket">
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"The Mayan's "... why of course, press
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
In the 1970s, Libya claimed an illegal 12 mile extension zone of its territorial waters in the Gulf of Sidra, which had prompted the US to conduct Freedom of Navigation operations in the area, the so called "Line of Death". These operations further increased when President Ronald Reagan came to office. In August 1981, he ordered two carrier battle groups to the Gulf to challenge the Libyan claim. The Libyan Air Force responded by launching a high number of fighter aircraft toward the battle groups. Early on the morning of August 18, at least three MiG-25 Foxbats approached the carrier groups but were escorted away by F-4 Phantom II and F-14 combat air patrols. Many pairs of MiG-23 Floggers, MiG-25s, Su-22M Fitter-Js and Mirage F.1s then flew into the area over several days. The situation was tense, but neither side fired any weapons. In a couple of cases, MiG-25s tried to breach the MiG CAP by flying over 70,000 ft at Mach 2.6.

This is the Incident that spun off into the Movie "Top Gun".

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Who's in charge here?
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:

Keep in mind that we have very low detection limits for radiation. Much below the levels known to cause acute or chronic health concerns.


Good thing I no longer wear my old wind up Timex with the radium painted hands...I'd never be able to fly anywhere (well, maybe Russia)
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Operation EL DORADO CANYON 1986 Libya

After years of occasional skirmishes with Libya over Libyan territorial claims to the Gulf of Sidra, and years of vulnerability to Libyan-supported terrorism, especially the Abu Nidal group behind the Rome and Vienna airport attacks of December 27, 1985, the United States contemplated a military attack to send a message about support for international terrorism. In March 1986, the United States, asserting the 12-nautical-mile (22 km; 14 mi) limit to territorial waters recognized by the international community, sent a carrier task force to the region. Libya responded with aggressive counter-maneuvers on March 24 that led to the destruction of Libyan radar systems and missile attack boats. Less than two weeks later on April 5, a bomb exploded in a West Berlin disco, La Belle, killing two American servicemen and a Turkish woman and wounding 200 others. The United States claimed to have obtained cable transcripts from Libyan agents in East Germany involved in the attack.

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Quoting Floodman:


It was detected ON two people returning from Japan

Keep in mind that we have very low detection limits for radiation. Much below the levels known to cause acute or chronic health concerns.
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Quoting Grothar:


sun, those Intellicast maps are usually posted by . It gives him something to do. We try to let him have his fun. Isn't there some other map you can post. (LOL)



Grothar & GeoffWPB, I'm really sorry for that post, violating copyright posting rights... From now on I will look in Europe Weather Agency....
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Splash Two, Maverick!!!
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Quoting TomTaylor:


What does a no fly zone for Libya mean exactly? Who cant fly there, everybody?

Someone please fill me in haven't heard much from Libya since the Japan disaster happened


It means we splash any of Qhaddafi's planes that head out to napalm his citizens...roughly **grins sheepishly**, I think
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Quoting weatherboy1992:
Do you have a link for this?



On January 3, 1961, nuclear reactor SL-1 exploded in rural Idaho, spreading radioactive contamination over thousands of acres and killing three men: John Byrnes, Richard McKinley, and Richard Legg. The Army blamed "human error" and a sordid love triangle. Though it has been overshadowed by the accident at Three Mile Island, SL-1 is the only fatal nuclear reactor incident in American history, and it holds serious lessons for a nation poised to embrace nuclear energy once again.

google "SL-1 Idaho" and you will get tons of links.
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O yeah,,dats da ticket
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536

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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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