Trace radioactivity from Japan likely over the Western U.S. today

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:11 PM GMT on March 18, 2011

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Traces of radioactive substances emitted by Japan's damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant will likely arrive over the Western U.S. today, carried by the prevailing west to east winds that have blown over the Pacific Ocean during the past week. Rainfall is expected over California this weekend, and it is likely that the rain will wash radioactive particles out of the air to the surface in quantities that will be detectable at several locations. I want to strongly emphasize that the radioactivity from Japan arriving over the U.S. over the next few days poses absolutely no threat to human health, and is present in only miniscule quantities. The radioactive plumes from Japan have had seven days to dilute over a 5000+ mile journey, and have been subject to deposition to the ocean due to gravity and rainfall along the way. Natural radiation is present in our environment every day, and the extra radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant will cause much less than a 1% increase this background radiation. Radioactive particles from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 were detected in North America ten days after that event, and caused no harmful effects. The radiation from Japan over U.S. during the next week should be at levels even lower than the Chernobyl fallout.


Figure 1. Backward trajectories for the air arriving at the surface (red line) and 300 meters altitude (blue line) in San Francisco, California on Saturday, March 19, at 11am PDT. According to the latest run of the GFS model, the air arriving in San Franciso tomorrow will have originated near the surface in northern Japan last Saturday, when radioactive emissions from the Fukushima nuclear plant began. The radioactive particles arriving in California will be in trace quantities, and will have no harmful effects on human health. Images created using NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model.

Radioactive plumes emitted from Japan's troubled Fukushima nuclear power plant continue to move offshore to the east over the Pacific Ocean today, thanks to predominantly west winds blowing at 5 - 15 mph. These winds are being driven by the clockwise flow of air around a surface high pressure system centered just southeast of Tokyo. As this high pressure system moves northeastwards, parallel to the Japanese coast, today through Saturday, winds will gradually shift to the 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 could wind up over Alaska after five days, and radioactive particles emitted on Saturday could make it to 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.

Of much greater concern is the possibility of dangerous level of radiation over Japan. The next period of onshore winds that will blow radioactivity inland over Japan may occur beginning on Saturday night (U.S. time), continuing through Sunday, according to the latest run of the GFS model. The latest HYSPLIT trajectories show winds on Sunday may carry radiation from the disaster site southwards over Tokyo. A low pressure system is expected to bring considerable rain to Japan on Sunday, and this rain is likely to remove most of the radioactivity from the air where rain and radioactivity are both present. The winds associated with this low are difficult to predict at this time, since the winds will be light and variable.


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) 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 4 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 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) Saturday, March 19, 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 plumes are predicted to move over California and Mexico at high altitude. Images created using NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model.


Figure 4. One-day forecast movement of plumes of radioactive air emitted at 10 meters altitude (red line) and 100 meters (blue line) at 18 UTC (2pm EDT) Sunday, March 20, 2011 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The plumes get caught northerly winds, and the two lower altitude plumes move over Tokyo by 6 UTC on Monday, March 21. This is a low confidence forecast, as winds are expected to be light and somewhat variable on Sunday over Japan. 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

Jeff Masters

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barney is a dino...

my purple hippo is not....
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Baha.Did everyone leave at the same time...............???
Sure felt like it for a while.... lol unless the ADMIN booted them... all except u, me, and Amy...

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Barney is not a dino?
My bad after all of these years
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Can I count this as tropical because it happened in Miami??? lol

Florida man wins lottery, must visit mom
Smart-aleck remark ends in $4 million win — and a trip to see her

By Todd Wright
NBCMIAMI.com NBCMIAMI.com
updated 3/16/2011 8:42:35 PM ET 2011-03-17T00:42:35

MIAMI — When Johan Fourie's mom asked him on Sunday when he was going to come visit her, his answer was as funny as it was seemingly unrealistic.

"When I win the lottery," Fourie said.

Moments later, Fourie checked his Florida Lotto ticket and saw that he had actually won the $4 million jackpot.

"I had no idea I would be calling her back later that day to tell her I was on my way!" he said Wednesday.

For 12 years, the 62-year-old Hollywood man had played the same numbers — 9, 10, 23, 37, 38 — religiously every week. His diligence finally paid off in a big way.

Fourie chose to take the lump sum payment of more than $2.3 million.

Maybe mom will get a really nice dinner with her visit.

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hippo, not dinosaur...
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Barney
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yes....
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Baha.Did everyone leave at the same time...............???
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Hmmm.... meteoFrance Reunion has gotten very sophisticated ....
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A CYCLONE WARNING IS IN A CLASS OF FORCE RODRIGUES.

2ND CYCLONE BULLETIN ISSUED AT 10:00 p.m. Friday, March 18, 2011 EC.

THE CENTRE tropical weather MODEREE etait cher A 22H00
IN LATITUDE 17.0 DEGREES SOUTH AND LONGITUDE
69.8 DEGREES EAST OR ABOUT 690 KM NORTH-EAST OF RODRIGUES.
Cherono IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-`SOUTHWEST AT ABOUT 20 KM / H.
ON THIS TRACK IT `S APPROACH RODRIGUES.

A CYCLONE WARNING CLASS 1 IS IN EFFECT A RODRIGUES.

THE PUBLIC IS ADVISED TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS PRELIMINARY.

THE TIME WILL BE CLOUDY WITH TEMPORARY WAVES.

SOUTHEAST WINDS OF 35-45 KM / H WITH GUSTS TO REACH 80
KM / H TOMORROW AFTERNOON.

THE SEA WILL steep and confused.
THE PUBLIC IS ADVISED NOT TO VENTURE INTO `S Wed
THERE IS RISK OF TIDAL WAVE IN `TIME OF RISING TIDE.

THE NEXT BULLETIN WILL BE ISSUED AT 4:00 TOMORROW MORNING.

A CYCLONE WARNING CLASS 1 IS IN EFFECT A RODRIGUES.

Translated with Google translator, so I don't know how accurate it actually is.... ;o)
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Looks like Cherono may impact Mauritius.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Since Newton was fascinated by math he was probably closer to a Kabalist.Looking for hidden codes. Don't see where he found much, kind of like the mathematician in a beautiful mind.Oh that's right he was a grand master of free masonry and it's top secret.This post will automatically erase in ten seconds.


Newton was into looking for hidden codes. I just happened to read a little about that today at Wiki, fwiw.
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WEATHER NEWS ISSUED AT 16H10 ON FRIDAY 18 MARCH 2011
GENERAL SITUATION :
(A) A MODERATE AIRSTREAM IS STILL FLOWING OVER OUR AREA.

(B) MODERATE TROPICAL STORM CHERONO WAS LOCATED AT 16H00 THIS
AFTERNOON NEAR LATITUDE 16.8 DEGREES SOUTH AND LONGITUDE 70.8
DEGREES EAST, THAT IS AT ABOUT 800 KM TO THE NORTH-EAST OF
RODRIGUES.
IT IS MOVING IN A WEST-SOUTH-WESTERLY DIRECTION AT ABOUT 22 KM/H.

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Baha......I agree with you...I hate to say it , but it is hard to keep up with all of the natural disasters... Christchurch NZ is helping Japan with all of the problems they have had...I applaud the people of NZ...

.......What a Freekin' mess....
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Had to switch my view from 200 to 50 in order to see this page.... the other way the view's stuck at message 301. Dunno why....


It's because a vid was posted with a width of 640. Only affects IE. Usual fix is tools/compatibility view, but that didn't seem to work this time.
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Since Newton was fascinated by math he was probably closer to a Kabalist.Looking for hidden codes. Don't see where he found much, kind of like the mathematician in a beautiful mind.Oh that's right he was a grand master of free masonry and it's top secret.This post will automatically erase in ten seconds.
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Afternoon, all.

1. I note that the list of confirmed fatalities in the Christchurch earthquake is up to 146. The authorities in NZ have been adding names to an internet list as they confirm identities.

This made me wonder if Japan is going to do something similar.

2. People on this blog need to stop conflating science and religion [or for that matter religion and politics]. They are really not the same thing, and one cannot be used to explain away the other.

3. Local mets made a preliminary forecast on the up-coming hurricane season, supporting other early forecasts that suggest an above average season is likely and suggesting that hurricane preparations be in place before the beginning of June. I'm not sure if this means they expect early activity or just were giving the "standard" warning....

Now to catch up on the blog. Had to switch my view from 200 to 50 in order to see this page.... the other way the view's stuck at message 301. Dunno why....
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Sky all you had to do was ask. You know what I do for a living. This one is a freebie for all your hard work



March 18, 2011 - The simulation results published
IASB-BIRA published on 15 and 16 March are now completely obsolete, as the situation changes from hour to hour.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO)asked the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (Austria) to support the International Agency for Atomic Energy (IAEA) by performing calculations of plume dispersion. More information, and the results regularly updated simulation results can be found on the website of this Austrian Institute.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25352
Quoting sunlinepr:


In this blog, I've seen bloggers call wetbacks, roaches to Latins.
I've seen bloggers classified themselves as American citizens "From the north", suggesting that American citizens from the islands are inferior.... I've seen comments like a black is not supposed to give orders to a white American...

And now your prejudiced comment against religious groups including Jehovahs Witnesses..

I agree with you, THIS IS NOT the blog to talk about religion...


I have black, white, American, Latin, Witnesses, Catholic, Buddhist, Pentecostal, Baptist, communist, atheists, skinny, fat friends and family; And I really don't judge them or make jokes about their beliefs or the way they look and think...

I personally are against and do no approve Racism and religious prejudice and coments like the one that started this.... And I hope the Administrator does the same....




+ 1000

I agree, peace and love and the way. Love conquers war.
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the largest earthquake I see on record today is 5.5 (off the east coast of Japan, of course). In other words, I don't see any 6.0 quakes yet today. If this holds out it would make today the first day since the big one without a >6.0 aftershock. It's too soon to tell, but that might indicate that things are slowing down. Let's hope...

Update time = Fri Mar 18 21:03:43 UTC 2011

MAG UTC DATE-TIME y/m/d h:m:s LAT LON DEPTH Region
5.2 2011/03/18 19:53:07 37.596 141.479 63.5 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.0 2011/03/18 18:32:50 39.158 142.299 46.2 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.1 2011/03/18 17:28:53 35.125 141.484 24.5 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.0 2011/03/18 13:38:42 37.707 143.323 25.1 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.0 2011/03/18 12:17:02 38.930 142.447 31.7 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.3 2011/03/18 08:01:34 35.775 140.869 24.2 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.5 2011/03/18 03:23:56 37.771 143.502 19.0 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.2 2011/03/18 02:47:49 37.270 141.833 45.2 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.4 2011/03/18 00:41:22 35.863 141.697 45.8 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

SOURCE
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JFV is heating up and I'm out. Limited doses, limited doses!
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nevermind... the letters are in the wrong order... just another wanna-be troll...

snore......
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Quoting Floodman:


You bet he did...at a time when the majority of the population still thought that disease was caused primarily by bad air, that the earth was 5000 some odd years old, that mice generated spontaneously from piles of dirty rags and that one could, with the aid of certain arcane symbols, chemical elements and tubing make gold from lead. Bear in mind also that at the time he was alive, most believed in witches, werewolves and vampires. That the man was able to get any serious work done is a testament to his genius and ability to separate fact from fiction.


Indeed that may true of the times, but do consider this, I don't think superstition of times could be applied to Issac Newton. I myself read the Bible everyday, and I am a student of science, but yet I separate myself form pop culture and popular belief because it is useless to me and amounts to nothing productive, and it really isn't that enjoyable in my opinion either.

That being said, I don't think you can attribute Issac Newton's belief in the Bible as having anything to do with the ignorance an superstition of the those days.

Instead, why not be open mined and acknowledge that Issac Newton attributed this amazing complex Universe we live in to that of a Creator? Issac Newton wasn't super conservative though, if he was he wouldn't have been a scientist. Furthermore, he thought for himself, casting off superstitious ideas that people had in the Church of the day such as purgatory and other things which do not exist by any means in the Bible.


Also keep in mind, the science world has generally become Secular, so most scientist are expected to be so. Even still, this does not mean all scientists are atheists, or will become them. Therefore you can't assume Isaac Newton studied the Bible so much only because of the day he lived in.

My only conclusion here is, have freedom to believe what you want, but keep an open mind!

By the way, this not another religious debate, rather I'm just pointing out that becoming a scientist does not have to lead towards believing in a Creator, neither does it lead toward it. Science is a study of the natural not the supernatural/unexplained.
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What do they sale those blowups with heater's installed now.
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Quoting NRAamy:
OMG... the shower curtain is back...

Say it ain't so, Joe... say it ain't so....


LOL!!! I was wondering when you were gonna notice.
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355. Skyepony (Mod)
CA~ Tornado Warning Expires, Hail and Strong Winds Continue
A tornado warning for San Mateo County has expired, but forecasters are now watching for hail and strong winds across much of the Bay Area. The storm carrying that tornado weakened after heading northeast across the Bay. But the National Weather Service is now looking out for pea-sized hail and very strong winds, in San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37339
OMG... the shower curtain is back...

Say it ain't so, Joe... say it ain't so....
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352. Skyepony (Mod)
Wheat prices rose Friday after Russia cut its forecast for this year's harvest, renewing concerns that global supplies will tighten.

Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said the forecast called for 84 million to 85 million tons of wheat to be harvested this year, compared to an earlier estimate of 85 million to 87 million tons.

Russia was one of the world's largest wheat exporters until last year when its crop was damaged by a drought that prompted an export ban. Zubkov said the ban remains in effect.

In the U.S. dry conditions have created problems for the winter wheat crop in the Great Plains.

While global wheat supplies are ample, stockpiles remain tight in the United States. Traders are speculating that global supplies may grow smaller, which could cause prices to rise.

Wheat for May delivery rose 12.75 cents, or 2 percent, to settle at $7.23 a bushel.

In other trading, corn prices soared as strong export sales raised expectations of improving demand.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37339
Yeah, I'll knock it off myself. What's the use anyway. By the way I must be a real hard head as I haven't quite mastered that arguing with Grandma thing. Talk about doing something into the wind.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Recordseason I think you would have more success if you hoped on a bicycle and went door to door.


There's no way he'll see this as he's busy working on his next book/post. My lord is that kid prolific.
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Recordseason I think you would have more success if you hoped on a bicycle and went door to door.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Heard, George Carlin in 8th grade journalism class in the late sixty's I believe. It was the seven words you can't say monologue. Do to the nature of things today teacher probably wouldn't be working to long. What with all the free speech we have today.


Funny how that works, isn't? We are free to say whatever we want as long as it doesn't contradict how the vocal minority wants education to work...which, unfortunately, based on the proposed cuts in budget, is not at all...

Damn it, now I'm discussing politics again...my self control leaves something to be desired
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:


I am a grandma and gentlewoman, and it is a GREAT philosophy to live by , ....even in not so polite company.. :)


It has been mine, though at times my self conrtrol is not what it should be and I find myself arguing with ruffians, low-lifes and riff-raff of all sorts...most unfortunate
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Japan NHK TV Live Feed USTREAM English
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127546
Heard, George Carlin in 8th grade journalism class in the late sixty's I believe. It was the seven words you can't say monologue. Do to the nature of things today teacher probably wouldn't be working to long. What with all the free speech we have today.
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339. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


You had it as German, it is French


Oh.. French.
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338. Skyepony (Mod)
Sun is coming up in Japan. Here's a webcam of Mt Fujiyama.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37339
Quoting Floodman:


You;re welcome, man! As for George, I saw him at Wash U in St Louis a couple of times and once at the Fox Theater; hioghly intelligent, incredibly irreverent and and dead on the money...


Amen Brother! George is a laugh riot! RIP George Carlin...
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www.defenseimagery.mil * Operation Tomodachi (all) (554)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127546
Quoting tkeith:
ovah by da Huey P.


Ovah by my mama an'dem...LOL
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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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