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

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

Share this Blog
7
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 589 - 539

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19Blog Index

O yeah,,dats da ticket
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128231
Quoting Patrap:
#538 Reminds me of a Pic of Grothar Ice Fishing near Tromso,,or maybe a tad more North.

Wait,,that may of been a Tusk relief.


I've seen that one...it's fossilized scrimshaw
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting RecordSeason:
No fly zone is a go.

Now I guess we get to test those new rail guns and anti-aircraft/anti-missile lasers the Navy has deployed.

They need a good shake-down anyway before they see real action.

Well, not exactly sure on the rail guns yet. I think they've only deployed one half-scale prototype so far...

The Lasers should be useful though.


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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
VOA news

Photo Galleries
Devastating Situation in Japan
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128231
Quoting bappit:
News from Chicago: Radiation From Japan Detected At O’Hare Airport

Trace amounts of radiation from Japan have been detected in Chicago.

You'd hear about it eventually. It is on/in airplanes arriving from Japan.



It was detected ON two people returning from Japan
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting guygee:


Right. The other 20,000 deaths were on purpose, due to open-air nuclear testing in the SW.
comparing the testing of nuclear bombs to a power plant accident makes no sense....got a link for that 20,000 deaths number?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bappit:
Interesting, another power company's nuclear facility is located on the coast at Onagawa-cho and Ishinomaki City, 70 km north of Sendai, closer to the epicenter than Fukushima Daiichi. It had no apparent problems.

Edit: not sure whether it was struck by the tsunami or not.


If you look at the map, it is far morth of the Dai-ichi facility; at the norht end of the island is a dip and the plant sits in the dip...no tsunami
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting TomTaylor:

Anti coolies=realists

There is no debate the earth is warning. There is no debate humans are at least partly for the warming.

People who think otherwise are fools.

The only thing debatable is how much we are contributing to the warming and the future consequences of a warmer global climate.


Agree 150%!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FatPenguin:


What exactly are "anti-coolies"? In other news -
Link


Anti coolies=realists

There is no debate the earth is warning. There is no debate humans are at least partly responsible for the warming.

People who think otherwise are fools.

The only thing debatable is how much we are contributing to the warming and the future consequences of a warmer global climate.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
US Evacuation Flight Leaves Japan


The U.S. State Department says the first flight carrying American evacuees from Japan lifted off Thursday, as foreign governments began pulling their citizens out of the disaster-struck country.

Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy says the Taiwan-bound flight is carrying nearly 100 people, mostly family-members of U.S. officials. Another flight is due to leave Friday. The State Department has not ordered an evacuation, but is making flights available for those who wish to leave.

The United States has warned citizens about the deteriorating situation at the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant, and ordered Americans to stay at least 80 kilometers away.

U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday defended the recommendation of the evacuation zone even thought it is far larger than the zone recommended by Japanese officials. He told reporters the U.S. decision was based on a careful scientific evaluation.

Britain, China and France are among the other foreign governments arranging transportation out of Japan for their citizens.

Meantime, fuel shortages, power outages and freezing weather have slowed relief efforts in Japan and dimmed hopes for finding any more survivors in the wreckage of last week's earthquake and tsunami.

Search and rescue teams are gradually making their way to communities that have been cut off since the quake due to heavy damage to roads and infrastructure.

But nearly a week after the disaster, it is unlikely they will find any survivors in the wreckage, and the death tolls continue to rise. By midday Thursday, the national police had put the toll at more than 5,300 dead and 9,300 missing.

Conditions are also deteriorating in shelters across the country's northeast, where more than 300,000 people are taking refuge. Agriculture ministry officials said they are unable to get ample supplies to the shelters.

Japan's Red Cross says hospitals and evacuation centers also are running out of medical supplies.

A doctor at a hospital 45 kilometers from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant told Japan's Mainichi newspaper that officials there only have five days' worth of food and three days' worth of drugs for 300 patients. He said many of the staff are unable to come to work because of gasoline shortages or because they have fled due to radiation fears.

Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area near the crippled nuclear facility, but those in shelters nearby say they have not received supplies because relief workers refuse to come to the region. Local media report 14 mostly elderly people have died in the shelters for lack of proper medical care.

U.S. naval forces operating off Japan's east coast said snow and poor visibility limited helicopter operations to deliver food and water to relief sites. Members of the military have also been ordered to stay away from areas within 80 kilometers of the damaged Fukushima plant, due to high radiation levels.

President Obama said the U.S. military is working around the clock to help the Japanese. The president also said he is confident that Japan will recover because of the strength and spirit of its people.

Many parts of Japan are experiencing rolling blackouts as the emergency tests the country's power capacity. The government also has asked railway operators to reduce train service to lessen the strain on the electrical system.

Tokyo's Electric Power Company said it was able to avert a much larger-scale blackout in the capital. Still, many parts of the city were dark Thursday night and many businesses remained closed to conserve power.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128231
Quoting DocNDswamp:
Just an observation from channel surfing the cable news networks past few evenings give good indication how serious the nuclear plant disaster is - Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity have both offered fair reportage and presented nearly identical concerns!

We're toast if this continues...
:(



Well, that's great. The agreeing part, not the toast, although I do like toast.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well thats not good Doc..

LOL

Same here then.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128231
Quoting Patrap:
I want a Crawfish update from Terrebone..desperately


LOL...
Still anxiously awaiting the expected price drop, Pat!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
News from Chicago: Radiation From Japan Detected At O’Hare Airport

Trace amounts of radiation from Japan have been detected in Chicago.

You'd hear about it eventually. It is on/in airplanes arriving from Japan.

Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6016
I want a Crawfish update from Terrebone..desperately
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128231
Howdy Shore and Pat!

...just doing my part... ;)

PS: Hiya Guygee!
Great to see you on lately as well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
555. This reminds of the time when a neighborhood kid said, standing on the beach, hey, you know what causes these waves? What, we said, and he said, pointing...that boat out there. It was so comically wrong it required no further discussion.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DocNDswamp:
Just an observation from channel surfing the cable news networks past few evenings give good indication how serious the nuclear plant disaster is - Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity have both offered fair reportage and presented nearly identical concerns!

We're toast if this continues...
:(



Keen Observation skills DocNDswamp, good to hear from you been awhile.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Power is only available for Unit 2,, and is not being utilized until they can safely use it,,as the Units are damaged
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128231
Quoting DocNDswamp:
Just an observation from channel surfing the cable news networks past few evenings give good indication how serious the nuclear plant disaster is - Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity have both offered fair reportage and presented nearly identical concerns!

We're toast if this continues...
:(



Thats quite a obs and one not expected Doc,,thanx as that says volumes for sure.

Hope all is well in yer neck of da Bayou
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128231
Quoting JohnTucker:
My first question on the vessels stranded in Finland is what were they doing there this time of year???:

Gulf of Finland

Because of the large influx of fresh water from rivers, especially from the Neva River (two thirds of the total runoff), the gulf water has very low salinity – between 0.2 and 5.8 ‰ at the surface and 0.3–8.5 ‰ near the bottom. The average water temperature is close to 0 °C in winter; in summer. The gulf is usually frozen from late November to late April; the freezing starts in the east and gradually proceeds to the west.

Hmmmm its normally frozen till late April and yet boats were navigating it in mid March?

Sounds like warming
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PrivateIdaho:
First and only fatal nuclear accident in the U.S.


Right. The other 20,000 deaths were on purpose, due to open-air nuclear testing in the SW.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DocNDswamp:
Just an observation from channel surfing the cable news networks past few evenings give good indication how serious the nuclear plant disaster is - Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity have both offered fair reportage and presented nearly identical concerns!

We're toast if this continues...
:(



ROFL! Always nice to come home to some true humor. Thanks, Doc!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
555

The effects of harvesting ice in a few lakes and sea lanes has little to no effect on global climate.

If it did temp graphs would show it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just an observation from channel surfing the cable news networks past few evenings give good indication how serious the nuclear plant disaster is - Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity have both offered fair reportage and presented nearly identical concerns!

We're toast if this continues...
:(

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KarenRei:
A La Palma collapse is overhyped. I read a paper on a full Navier-Stokes simulation of the collapse. The tsunami height potential for the US east coast was quite small -- a meter or so. The landslide collapse wave dissipates more rapidly than an earthquake tsunami. Portugal would still get quite a whallop, though.


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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6016
Quoting iceagecoming:


Ice Ensnares Dozens of Vessels in Gulf

Ten icebreakers are leading the ships to open water in convoys, Rosmorrechflot said.

By Irina Titova

The St. Petersburg Times

Published: March 16, 2011 (Issue # 1647)

At least 97 ships were stranded in the ice in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland while waiting for help from icebreakers Tuesday, the administration of the St. Petersburg seaport reported.

On Monday, there were 138 ships awaiting help, and two days ago, the line consisted of 160 ships. The problem has been particularly serious during the last month.

Ten icebreakers, including the nuclear ship the Vaigach, which came to the rescue from Murmansk, are currently trying to ease the maritime traffic jam.

The icebreakers are leading the ships to open water in convoys, the Federal Agency of Sea and River Transport, or Rosmorrechflot, said.

The severe winter in Western Europe this year has had consequences across the region, including in the Baltics. Meteorologists said in January that the area saw a lot of winds coming from the west that compacted the ice in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland. Such dense ice was last registered in the area in 1992, Rosmorrechflot said.

The ice is most dense close to St. Petersburg, where in some places it is more than a meter thick. The strength of the pressure exerted by the ice is measured at three points — a serious threat for the exteriors of the vessels.

Most of the ships trapped in the ice are cargo vessels, but some are passenger ferries. The Princess Maria ferry that travels between St. Petersburg and Helsinki reportedly arrived seven hours late in the Finnish capital last week. The vessel’s operators then decided to temporarily postpone its trips through Tuesday, March 15.

Another ferry — the St. Petersburg — that carries passengers between the port of Ust-Luga in the Leningrad Oblast and the city of Baltiisk in the Kaliningrad Region waited for help from icebreakers for six days from March 3 through March 9 — triple its usual journey time of two days. The ferry’s 12 passengers, who included a pregnant woman, were reportedly running out of food.

A tanker and a dry cargo ship collided in the Gulf of Finland on Sunday due to the situation. As a result of the collision, the tanker sustained a three-meter-wide hole and the front part of the cargo ship was damaged. No fuel leaks or injuries were reported, according to the 100 TV local television station.

The captains and crews of some ships in the Gulf of Finland, especially large cargo vessels, turned out to be unprepared for navigation under conditions of thick ice, as well as for traveling in a convoy and under manual operation, Rosmorrechflot said.




Link


You anti-coolies call this regional, DA?


What exactly are "anti-coolies"? In other news -
Link

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
MSNBC: IAEA: Electrical power now in place at nuclear site.


Well I hope they can Power up a Miracle,,cuz they going to need one.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128231
Quoting JohnTucker:
515

Was that an argument?

I can honestly say that is the worst post I have seen here with regard to reason and accuracy and I have seen some whoppers.


Yea record season has made some ridiculous posts on here like when he tryed to prove quantum physics wrong by denying the existence of dark matter and that one time he tried to calculate the total heat contribution of roads, but I think this may top them all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bappit:
Interesting, another power company's nuclear facility is located on the coast at Onagawa-cho and Ishinomaki City, 70 km north of Sendai, closer to the epicenter than Fukushima Daiichi. It had no apparent problems.


Somehow, everything is the fault of Big Oil, Large
Corporations, or George Bush the younger (W)

I wonder how they would all fair for one day without?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Anyone watching ncaa basketball?

Go aztecs!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
MSNBC: IAEA: Electrical power now in place at nuclear site.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
#538 Reminds me of a Pic of Grothar Ice Fishing near Tromso,,or maybe a tad more North.

Wait,,that may of been a Tusk relief.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128231
Interesting, another power company's nuclear facility is located on the coast at Onagawa-cho and Ishinomaki City, 70 km north of Sendai, closer to the epicenter than Fukushima Daiichi. It had no apparent problems.

Edit: not sure whether it was struck by the tsunami or not.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6016
Quoting RecordSeason:


I understood your sentence perfectly well.

The problem is you're just plain wrong.

Without CO2 (i.e. from fossil fuels,) all those ambulances over the year would not have saved anyone to extend their lives.

All those research facilities would not have had power to run their tests and modern microscopes and stuff to make vaccines and antibiotics.

All those refrigerators wouldn't run and food would spoil.

All is made possible by the production of CO2.

At the rate things are going, conversion to non-CO2 technologies won't be fully implemented for at least several more decades.


Industrialization is not possible without fossil fuels and their CO2 waste. Therefore Fossil fuels are most certainly causative in the doubling of human life expectancy, and CO2 correlates directly to fossil fuels, which have doubled said life expectancy.

The benefits of burning fossil fueles, and producing CO2 as a by-product, out weight any risk by many, many orders of magnitude..



Co2 doesn't indicate health it only indicates fossil fuel usage. The use of fossil fuels does not indicate health because fossil fuels aren't the only source of energy. And they are not used in equal amounts in every country
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
CO2 is an indicator of industrialization which in turn causes health benefits, however C02 as an ingested chemical does not benefit human health and to argue that an increase in CO2 directly causes health benefits is incorrect
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2372
Don't you just love Big Oil?

WTI Crude Oil
$101.85 ▲$3.87
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
Some more from The Australian. I guess they aren't the Wallstreet Journal.

THE nuclear catastrophe unfolding in Japan is revealing to the world what can happen when the corporation is king.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6016
The local scuttlebutt that is still told about this accident is that it was no accident. The two killed on the top of the reactor were involved with the same girl so what you really had was a murder-suicide with the third guy as collateral damage.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
First and only fatal nuclear accident in the U.S.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 589 - 539

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy
71 °F
Partly Cloudy