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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939. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:28 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting Jedkins01:



Not to be mean, but does she really have a degree with anything to do with weather? I have seen her make so many unscientific statements and errors that are way off and I'm just a weather student. Would you agree?
she has a degree in something iam just not allowed to say that on the blog
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
938. Jedkins01
3:16 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting IKE:
Yes.
Reminds me of The Weather Channel when there's a tornado watch
somewhere and Stephanie Abrams is on-air. You would swear 50,000 people
were fixing to die.



Not to be mean, but does she really have a degree with anything to do with weather? I have seen her make so many unscientific statements and errors that are way off and I'm just a weather student. Would you agree?
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7310
937. DentalPainDMD
2:54 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
What happens to all the water that they are dumping on the reactors? Is it just running off into the groud/ocean? I guess they have no choice
Member Since: May 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 39
936. caneswatch
2:30 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting MagicFan:



Miami is in for a real big embarrassment come playoff time. No big man to control the paint will be their demise. Orlando has beat all the elite teams atleast once while the Heat has struggled among the elite. All this hype they put on last summer will be for nothing. Also should I say the Heat Fans can't even get into the games. When I'm watching a Heat game sometimes you would think the Heat weren't at ho,e playing because it would be so quiet in the arena.


All I can say is not what i've seen. I'm going to the game tomorrow night against the Nuggets, and i'll tell you how it is. Oh yeah, I forgot, so many people were screaming defense so loud when they played it almost broke my speakers. Tell me, whose fans are those?
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
935. caneswatch
2:19 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Yeah, not like Chicago's been firing on all cylinders consistently thru the year. With Rose with his ulcers, Boozer being out, and then Joakim Noah (one of the games best rebounders) injured, I'd say it would be a mistake to dismiss them.

But then again, playoffs are a completely different animal from the regular 82 game season. Therefore, anything can happen. We'll see.


Remember, Miami couldn't beat too many great teams in the 2005-06 season, and you know what happened? They won the 'ship. It's going to be fun.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
932. NRAamy
2:13 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Radioactive fallout from Japan reaches Anaheim, Calif..... "The Happiest Place on Earth"......

You think Mickey is gonna wear a gas mask today?
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
930. hydrus
2:06 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting IKE:
Yes.
Reminds me of The Weather Channel when there's a tornado watch
somewhere and Stephanie Abrams is on-air. You would swear 50,000 people
were fixing to die.
She is all energy and no content.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20569
929. RitaEvac
2:04 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Sheri, thanks, it corrected itself now.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
928. caneswatch
2:02 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Everything may be under control...for now. Didn't Chicago handle them fairly nicely with winning all three of the series games? That's another formidable threat right there, not to mention Boston. I think the road for them will be harder than most folks think.


Handled them.....when they were down and out. Boston would be the only team that i'm even close to worrying about. Wins over the Lakers and a blowout of the Spurs and Grizzlies shows they're back again.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
926. Thundercloud01221991
1:59 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Harmful amounts was what was widely understood.


ok that makes sense although you know the media is going to overplay it now
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
924. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
1:51 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Mauritius Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Advisory #14
TEMPETE TROPICALE MODEREE CHERONO (07-20102011)
16:00 PM RET March 18 2011
==========================================

At 12:00 PM UTC, Moderate Tropical Storm Cherono (995 hPa) located at 16.8S 70.6E has 10 minute sustained winds of 40 knots with gusts of 60 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 14 knots.

Gale Force Winds
===============
30 NM from the center extending up to 80 NM in the southern semi-circle

Near Gale Force Winds
=======================
60 NM from the center extending up to 200 NM in the southern semi-circle due to gradient effect

Dvorak Intensity: T2.0/3.0/W0.5/24 HRS

Forecast and Intensity
======================
12 HRS: 17.9S 67.8E - 45 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modereé)
24 HRS: 19.1S 64.5E - 45 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modereé)
48 HRS: 21.4S 59.4E - 35 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modereé)
72 HRS: 23.0S 54.6E - 25 knots (PERTURBATION Tropicale)

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

Overall pattern has deteriorated this afternoon with a weakening trend compared to 24 hours ago. AQUA of 853z shows an exposed low level circulation center located to the northwest of convection suggesting some northwesterly constraint. However it is not indicated on CIMSS analysis. An arc of cirrus is seen on both infrared and wave imagery in the northwestern quadrant. Moreover mimic TPW still suggest that some dry air is currently present in the northern semi-circle.

Upper level environmental conditions remain favorable with a weak vertical wind shear and a 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. However, given the current trend and last STIPS output, intensification trend has been lowered in this package.

000z Numerical Weather Prediction outcomes remains in rather good agreement for a west southwest track on the the northern edge of the low to mid levels subtropical ridge for the next 60-72 hours. Beyond some of the models forecast a southward recurvature and other models continue to track the system west southwestward. At day 4-5, and according to Numerical Weather Prediction fields, a strong weakness should appear within the subtropical ridge ahead of the system and may result in a southward turn of the residual low.

UNHABITANTS OF RODRIGUES ISLAND SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM AS IT SHOULD PASS VERY CLOSE OR OVER THE ISLAND SATURDAY NIGHT.

The next tropical cyclone advisory from Mauritius Meteorological Services will be issued at 18:30 PM UTC..
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44918
923. Thundercloud01221991
1:51 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Link

I know it is low but I thought that we were not supposed to get radiation here in the US
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
921. caneswatch
1:44 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Dwight Howard is da man. I hope they go far this year. And especially knock off the damn heat!!


Two words, not happening. They have no chance of getting knocked out in the first round if they play the Knicks. Remember, the Cavs have barely any weapons and they still beat New York.

Miami, even though with Wednesday's loss, now has everything under control.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
920. catastropheadjuster
1:41 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
I removed it sorry to everyone.
sheri
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3657
919. kellnerp
1:27 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Overnight the rating of the situation at Daiichi went from 4 to 5 on a scale of 1 to 7.

3 milliSieverts at 300 meters
87 milliSieverts at 100 meters

Water is getting to the storage pools, but some of the spent fuel is still uncovered partially.

NHK compared the situation to 3 Mile Island at this point.

Electricity to pumps expected to be completed on Saturday.

An eyewitness testified to the strength of the quake. He had to hold on to a pillar to stay upright. He was in Reactor 4 at the time. People came out of Reactor 3 during the quake also. They had difficulty because power was knocked out by the quake. The fact that these people left the building testifies to the strength of the quake.

Looking at the site for the reactors, they appear to be built on a filled in area. This type of site sometimes amplifies the effects of a quake, but I don't know if they sunk piles down to bedrock.

Access to the quake/tsunami/nuclear incident (QTNI) area is hindered by the inability to use the main north south road through the plain. Supplies have to come in via a central north south road and then have to cross mountains to get down to the plain. Lack of fuel to run vehicles into the area is a problem. Some trains have started running to bring fuel to the area. There is a shortage of kerosene to heat shelters.

Patrap's link to NHK is a very good source for on the ground news. NHK

Overnight lows a little below to above freezing still expected. Day time low double digit temps are expected. High tide warning is also expected. Rain is expected on saturated ground.

I have not seen anything yet that shows just how far the tsunami went inland.

If you travel up the coast from Tokyo you will find many power plants. These include the crippled reactors and coal and oil fired power plants. The plants are all located right on the sea side just like the nuclear plants. The plain is only 4 to 6 km wide so this type of siting makes a lot of sense from a logistics and cooling standpoint. All the plants can receive fuel via ocean going vessels.
Member Since: September 1, 2003 Posts: 0 Comments: 172
917. RitaEvac
1:24 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting catastropheadjuster:


I don't understand what's wrong with it?

sheri


Seems to have messed up the blog for me for whatever reason.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
915. Chicklit
1:18 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting MissNadia:

Chicklit..just go do it!!!.. before it's tooo late .

I was referring to Grothar and his brother Sweet Miss Nadia, but thanks.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11210
914. MissNadia
1:17 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting Chicklit:

My bet is not a day goes by that you do not think about each other; however, you just cannot speak to each other.
Another solemn day.

Chicklit..just go do it!!!.. before it's tooo late .
Member Since: July 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3002
912. catastropheadjuster
1:16 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting RitaEvac:
897, can you remove that post, thanks.


I don't understand what's wrong with it?

sheri
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3657
911. IKE
1:16 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting RitaEvac:
Ike you think?
Yes.
Reminds me of The Weather Channel when there's a tornado watch
somewhere and Stephanie Abrams is on-air. You would swear 50,000 people
were fixing to die.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
908. RitaEvac
1:12 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
897, can you remove that post, thanks.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
907. Chicklit
1:11 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
I have changed my mind about nuclear energy.

As long as it relies upon man-made electricity to maintain control if and when everything shuts down (all hell breaks loose), this is no longer a viable alternative energy source to me.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11210
906. RitaEvac
1:11 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Toyota's popular Prius hybrid car may be in short supply in the coming months, Time reports. The car's batteries are made in a factory near Sendai while the vehicle itself is assembled near Tokyo. Although both plants were not damaged in the quake, Toyota does not know when production can resume because of the reduction in power supplies and rolling blackouts now imposed in the affected areas. Time, citing Autodata, says there were 18,000 Priuses available in the U.S. at the beginning of the month.

Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
905. emcf30
1:11 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting MagicFan:
Good Morning! 86 and partly Cloudy today in Orlando. Summer is coming early for us folks in FL. Highest it's been so far here in Orlando is 89 and that was in February. An amazing stretch of warm temps since about 2/15/2011. Should tag 90 mid next week here in C FL.
Dwight Howard is da man. I hope they go far this year. And especially knock off the damn heat!!

It has been nice weather here, going to bet a hot summer i believe. I hope we are going to be able to keep Dwight next year but have a feeling he will be leaving soon
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
904. kwgirl
1:11 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting Jedkins01:


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.
Good morning everyone. I get very upset when bloggers attack each other on this site. I try to ignore the offensive ones, unless they are consistently offensive, then I permanently hide them from my screen. It is so strange how some people can defend their positions even in the face of truth and logic. It defies the imagination. Case in point, American politics. Just be nice to each other....Peace and love:)
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
903. RitaEvac
1:10 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
902. RitaEvac
1:09 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Ike you think?
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
900. IKE
1:07 PM GMT on March 18, 2011

Quoting RitaEvac:
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Friday that the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant remains "very grave." Kan said he is committed to doing all that is needed to overcome the nuclear crisis and stressed that this was not a time for pessimism.

Then he should stay away from this blog.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
899. Chicklit
1:06 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting Grothar:


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

My bet is not a day goes by that you do not think about each other; however, you just cannot speak to each other.
Another solemn day.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11210
898. RitaEvac
1:05 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Friday that the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant remains "very grave." Kan said he is committed to doing all that is needed to overcome the nuclear crisis and stressed that this was not a time for pessimism.

Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
897. catastropheadjuster
1:03 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
I removed sorry to everyone.
sheri
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3657
896. RitaEvac
1:02 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Japan's death toll in the earthquake and tsunami rose to 6,911 on Friday, the National Police Agency reported. At least 10,316 people are missing.

Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
894. greentortuloni
1:01 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting Ossqss:


You left out the "changes the climate" part, and I will not go into this any deeper. L8R, back to work >>

http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/2053/2010/acp-1 0-2053-2010.pdf


Huh? A 1 degree local effect due to roghness slowing wind speed? Is that what everyone else takes from this article?

Personally, I like windfarms. Elegant and in cooperation with nature. Eg. Honey bees as opposed to ticks or parasitic worms.
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
893. biff4ugo
12:59 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Good Morning!

This is the first time I have ever seen "fire weather" stop when it hits the Florida boarder, rather than start.

As for wind farms footprint...Oil farms aren't pretty either.
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 114 Comments: 1559
892. Ossqss
12:44 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting Neapolitan:

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...


You left out the "changes the climate" part, and I will not go into this any deeper. L8R, back to work >>

http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/2053/2010/acp-1 0-2053-2010.pdf
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
891. nrtiwlnvragn
12:40 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Recent update from the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc. (JAIF). Since this is industry, make your own opinion on bias.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10961
890. Neapolitan
12:36 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
Quoting Patrap:
Post #749 Shows the same,but it is a Shocker.

Ah, I missed yours. Duly noted on mine...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13474
889. Neapolitan
12:35 PM GMT on March 18, 2011
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: 13474

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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.