New product allows you to explore record-setting extreme weather

By: Angela Fritz , 6:14 PM GMT on February 23, 2012

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We've launched a new extreme weather product this week: Record Extremes. Recent, globally record-setting years have demanded a product that combines U.S. and international record extremes into one, easy to use interface. The Record Extremes page will give you the option to see U.S. and international records on a map and table. You can select any combination of record types at once, which, combined with the map, provides a interesting visual way to investigate record-setting events. The product uses data from three sources: (1) NOAA's National Climate Data Center, (2) Wunderground's U.S. records, and (3) Wunderground's International records.

The NCDC records begin in 1850 and include official NOAA record extreme events for ASOS and COOP weather stations in all 50 U.S. states as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Islands. In this database you can find records for maximum high temps, minimum high temps, maximum low temps, minimum high temps, snow, and precipitation on daily, monthly, and all-time scales.

The Wunderground extremes were compiled by our weather historian Christopher C. Burt. Chris monitors 300 stations across the U.S. for Record Extremes in maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation, and snow events. Most of these U.S. records go back to the end of the 19th century, though the oldest site in this database is Charleston, SC, where precipitation records started in 1737! Internationally, Chris monitors 150 countries worldwide for all-time record high temperatures and all-time record low temperatures. If you're interested in diving deeper into extreme weather in the U.S. and abroad, Chris's book Extreme Weather is an excellent resource.



Figure 1. All-time snow records broken during the Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2011. These records were found by selecting NCDC as the source, a start date of 2011-01-31, an end date of 2011-02-02, "maximum snowfall," and "all-time."


We built the Record Extremes product to make it easy to find specific records you're looking for, or just browse the records in general.

Check records that were set on a specific date
You can check on records that were set yesterday, for example, by setting the calendar to yesterday's date, and selecting all the record variables and types that you're interested in.

Explore all records set in a certain time range
2011 was a record-setting year for the U.S., and most of the records were high maximum temp and high minimum temps. To see all of these warm records that were set last year, select "NCDC" as the source, 2011-01-01 as the start date and 2011-12-31 as the end date. Select Maximum High Temp and Maximum Low Temp in weather variables, and select all-time in the record type.

View current standing international records in the Wunderground database
Select either the Wunderground International records, and instead of choosing a date range, select "Show current standing records." This will bring up all standing records in the database for whatever record variable and type you select. Whereas we've collected every record ever set or broken from NCDC, the Wunderground records are always the current, standing record, whenever it was set. As you move your map around the globe, you'll see each country's all-time maximum high temp and all-time maximum low temp.

Filter your table results
Looking for a specific location or record within your search results? Use the "Filter Results" option in the table to narrow down your search.

Let us know what you think!

Angela

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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.

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We got ourselves a 30% area for western AR, southern MO and eastern OK
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
Quoting AussieStorm:

Woah!!!!
I just downloaded 2 and 3, 2 is not working for me.. I will try 3 now


I am going to wait till just before a moderate or high risk near my area so i can have it as long as possible during this severe weather season.
(or i can ask WDEmobmet for $250 :)
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9727
Quoting ScottLincoln:


GR2Analyst is worth having for any meteorologist or any severe weather enthusiast keen on high-resolution radar data with adaptable hail/rotation algorithms. But it's not for everyone. It does require some knowledge and time to use it properly.



GR2Analyst should be fully operational during the trial. Trial or purchased, you have to have a NEXRAD level2 data source for it to work in realtime. There are sources for this. Some you pay for, some (like ISU's site) that are free.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I've still not figured out how to get it like this, but oh well.





This is one of the best features out there. GR2Analyst provides a volume feature. You can make cross sections, and also has many of algorithms to play with
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Don't know yet as i have only had it for 3 days now.....too soon to really evaluate! GRLevel2 and 3 are about $80.00 each....and the GRAnalyst is $250.00

Woah!!!!
I just downloaded 2 and 3, 2 is not working for me.. I will try 3 now
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Of course, there are two other radar systems similar, but not as advanced as Gr2Analyst that would be nice starters.

GRLevel2: $79.95

GRLevel3: $79.95

GR2Analyst Main page: $250 individual license, $500 commercial license

There are 21-day trials for all of them if you wish to experiment. They are on their pages, respectively.


Quoting AussieStorm:

How much s it for GRLevel2? I no there is a 21 day trial, how much after the trial, and is it worth it?


Ive had GRLEVEL3 going on 3 years now. It is by far the best software out there.
GR2ANalyst is on the pricey side you pay for what you get. I have been playing with it since yesterday and I will probably end up purchasing soon.
Point being if your a weather enthusiast its a must have
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mornin all...forecast to be 55 today, and then temperatures 60-70 rest of the week! NWS has upped my chances of rain for Tuesday night, Wednesday and Wednesday night to 50%.

Thats 36 hours to get a severe storm. :D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
From NWS Jackson,MS forecast discussion:

BY FRIDAY...STALLED FRONT ON COAST SURGES
BACK NORTH OVER REGION AS WAA SHOWERS COMMENCE AHEAD OF ANOTHER
STRONG SYSTEM ACROSS THE CNTRL PLAINS. WARM SECTOR LOOKS TO BE OF
HIGH QUALITY PER GFS/EC IN DEPTH AND SFC DEWPOINTS IN THE MID 60S
ACROSS MUCH OF REGION BY FRIDAY AFTERNOON. WITH PROGGED SHEAR
VALUES...ANY STORMS DEVELOPING IN THIS ENVIRONMENT WILL HAVE
POTENTIAL TO BECOME SEVERE.


(for the Friday/Saturday System)
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9727
Quoting AussieStorm:

How much s it for GRLevel2? I no there is a 21 day trial, how much after the trial, and is it worth it?


Don't know yet as i have only had it for 3 days now.....too soon to really evaluate! GRLevel2 and 3 are about $80.00 each....and the GRAnalyst is $250.00
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1112. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Seychelles Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #2
TEMPETE TROPICALE MODEREE IRINA (11-20112012)
16:00 PM RET February 26 2012
=====================================

At 12:00 PM UTC, Moderate Tropical Storm Irina (995 hPa) located at 13.8S 50.9E has 10 minute sustained winds of 40 knots with gusts of 60 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west southwest at 12 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T1.5/1.5/D0.5/24 HRS

Gale Force Winds
============
In the southwestern quadrant up to 70 NM from the center and in the northwestern quadrant up to 130 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
========================

12 HRS: 14.2S 48.2E - 20 knots (Depression sur Terre)
24 HRS: 15.2S 46.0E - 25 knots (Perturbation Tropicale)
48 HRS: 16.3S 42.9E - 40 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modérée)
72 HRS: 16.4S 41.3E - 60 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)

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

Synopsis report from Antalaha (between 0500 AM UTC and 0900 AM UTC and then at 1200 PM UTC), Sambava (at 0700 AM UTC then no obs) and Diego-Suarez (between 0700 AM UTC and 0900 AM UTC then no obs) shown mean 10 min winds in the gale force range (35-45 kt). Consequently, the Madagascar Weather Services named the system Irina. Those strong winds seems to be associated with the strong burst of convection that occurred this morning just west of the estimated low level circulation center. This convective features is now collapsing.

Despite this strong winds observed, the cloud pattern of Irina is still miles away from a moderate tropical storm signature

The system is moving rapidly westwards on the northern edge of the subtropical ridge that have built back to the south. It undergoes a moderate easterly constraint so the center is estimated to be just to the east of the main convective mass. This pattern should continue within the next two days. On this track, the system should make landfall within the next hours over the northern tip of Madagascar between Diego-Suarez and Sambava (likely near Iharana). Associated heavy rainfalls should affect large areas of northern Madagascar during the next two days. Rainfall rate in 24hour period of 100-150 mm is likely.

Wednesday, environmental conditions should improve (lower shear, high sea surface temperature over the Mozambique channel) and significant intensification is expected.

By that time, the system should be influenced by two contradictory steering flow; one associated with an equatorial ridge located to its north and induced an easterly motion and another one associated with the subtropical ridge located to the south and induced a westwards motion. Consequently, the track should slow down significantly during the middle of next week. Beyond, the subtropical ridge could weaken and allow a more polewards track.

Inhabitants of the northeastern coasts of Madagascar and the northern channel area (including the Comoros archipelago, the northwestern coasts of Madagascar and the Mozambique coasts) should closely monitor the progress of this system.

The next tropical cyclone advisory from Seychelles Meteorological Service on TC Irina will be issued at 18:30 PM UTC..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Am I the only person who enjoyed reading Julius Ceasar?
Saw a stage production of it here last October, with a female Casca. Great stuff.

Though I never did see what was so bad about 15 March.

Guess Caesar never did, either.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Does anyone know if GRLevel2 and GR2Analyst are having problems....i seem to be unable to go online. Please zip me a note in WU mail. Thanks!

How much s it for GRLevel2? I no there is a 21 day trial, how much after the trial, and is it worth it?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WDEmobmet:
There you go TAWX. Did I hear someone say that this is abnormal for Madagascar to be getting so
much "love" from tropical entities
It's been busier than the average for them, but they've had seasons like this before, at least once since I've started watching the SIndian season in '06. I suspect increased activity with tracks across Madegascar is typical in certain La Nina years....
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Morning all. Looks like we're going to get some rain this p.m. but right now sunny and windy out. Anybody from the Destin area down to the Cape [Canaveral] with wx reports?

I also wonder if those central GoM storms will hold together to hit Tampa this p.m....
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1107. yqt1001
Woke up to good news this morning.

City of Thunder Bay
5:20 AM EST Sunday 26 February 2012
Snowfall warning for
City of Thunder Bay issued

15 cm snow expected today into tonight.

Snow ahead of a fairly intense Alberta clipper approaching from South Dakota is expected to move into the Lakehead area this morning. Cold easterly winds will pick up extra moisture from Lake Superior and as a result, the snow will be heavy at times with a general snowfall of 15 to 20 cm expected by the time the snow ends after midnight tonight.

Brisk easterly winds will also cause blowing snow in exposed areas. Motorists should be prepared for hazardous winter driving conditions due to accumulating snow on untreated roads and very low visibility in heavy snow and blowing snow.

Snow day tomorrow? :D
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1106. JNCali
Quoting WxGeekVA:
I think winter is over.....

Yeah, it's funny how the weather changes as time goes by.. I wonder if it's a pattern?
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1105. LargoFl
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
6z GFS appears to give me 6-10 inches of snow in the Wed-Fri timeframe :D
if it pans out, Febuary goes out like a lion huh
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38468
1104. LargoFl
Quoting islander101010:
been getting alot of these days. it looks like rain then its "peters out". in fact the only day it really rained the last few months it came out of no where and poured. e cen florida
yes same here on the west side, man it poured, but that was it for rain,I know what your saying, we need rain
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38468
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
been getting alot of these days. it looks like rain then its "peters out". in fact the only day it really rained the last few months it came out of no where and poured. e cen florida
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6z GFS appears to give me 6-10 inches of snow in the Wed-Fri timeframe :D
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1100. LargoFl
HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY RUSKIN FL
426 AM EST SUN FEB 26 2012

FLZ039-042-043-048>052-055>057-060>062-065-262130 -
LEVY-CITRUS-SUMTER-HERNANDO-PASCO-PINELLAS-HILLSB OROUGH-POLK-
MANATEE-HARDEE-HIGHLANDS-SARASOTA-DE SOTO-CHARLOTTE-LEE-
426 AM EST SUN FEB 26 2012

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST
FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

...WIND AND SEA IMPACT...
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE MORNING IN THE
SOUTHERN OFFSHORE GULF WATERS...AND THROUGH LATE THIS AFTERNOON IN
THE CENTRAL AND NORTHERN WATERS. NORTHEAST WINDS OF 20 KNOTS WILL
CONTINUE OVER THE GULF WATERS THROUGH THE LATE AFTERNOON IN THE
OFFSHORE WATERS...ALONG WITH SEAS TO 6 FEET.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY.

...THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
THERE WILL BE A SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS ON MONDAY ACROSS
THE AREA. SEVERE WEATHER IS NOT EXPECTED.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTER ACTIVATION WILL NOT BE NEEDED TODAY.

$$

JOHNSON
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38468
Quoting TaylorSelseth:


The GFS is showing one final cold blast for the Upper-Midwest, then the March Warm-up starts for Fargo!


Go Fargo Bears!
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1098. LargoFl
Good Morning folks! 56 degree's here in not so sunny Florida this morning, chance of showers and cloudy for my area, most of the rain will be headed to the northern counties above me they say, good stiff breeze outside right now, that weak low in the gulf is headed towards Florida they say, good we need any rain we can get..well have a great day everyone
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38468
1097. LargoFl
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Here's one from last year:



URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 405
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
840 PM CDT MON MAY 30 2011

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

PARTS OF NORTHWEST IOWA
PARTS OF CENTRAL KANSAS
MUCH OF EASTERN NEBRASKA
SMALL PART OF SOUTHEASTERN SOUTH DAKOTA

EFFECTIVE THIS MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY MORNING FROM 840 PM UNTIL
200 AM CDT.

...THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION...

WIDESPREAD DAMAGING WINDS
WIND GUSTS TO 90 MPH LIKELY
SCATTERED LARGE HAIL
ISOLATED HAIL TO 1.5 INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE
ISOLATED TORNADOES

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 75
STATUTE MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 35 MILES NORTHWEST OF
SIOUX CITY IOWA TO 50 MILES SOUTH SOUTHEAST OF RUSSELL KANSAS.
FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH
OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU5).

REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE
FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY
DO PRODUCE TORNADOES.

OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...CONTINUE...WW 402...WW 403...

DISCUSSION...INTENSE SQUALL LINE HAS DEVELOPED N/S ACROSS CENTRAL
NEB AND CONTINUES TO DEVELOP SWD AS IT MOVES EWD. VERY STRONG PRES
RISE/FALL COUPLET IS DRIVING THE LINE EWD WITH THE FORCING FROM
LARGE SCALE TROUGH ROTATING ACROSS THE NRN/CENTRAL PLAINS PROVIDING
BOTH SHEAR AND UPWARD MOTION TO RESULT IN POTENTIAL FOR VERY
DAMAGING WINDS. IN ADDITION BRIEF TORNADOES ARE STILL POSSIBLE BUT
DAMAGING WINDS NOW ARE THE DOMINANT THREAT.

AVIATION...A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL SURFACE AND ALOFT
TO 1.5 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE WIND GUSTS TO 80
KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO 550. MEAN STORM
MOTION VECTOR 23040.


...HALES
winds 90 mph? omg
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38468
The previous earthquake of similar magnitude was a 6.3 in 1991. This appears to have been the strongest earthquake in this region. It was also very shallow (7.3 miles), so it's no surprise the shaking was very severe near the epicenter. On the bright side, this part of Russia has a very low population density, so few people would have felt the severe shaking.
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1095. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Mauritius Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #1
ZONE PERTURBEE 11-20112012
10:00 AM RET February 26 2012
=====================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Area of Disturbed Weather 11 (997 hPa) located at 13.2S 51.1E has 10 minute sustained winds of 25 knots with gusts of 40 knots. The disturbance is reported as moving west southwest at 15 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T1.5

Forecast and Intensity
========================

12 HRS: 33.7S 63.7E - 20 knots (Depression sur Terre)
24 HRS: 14.6S 47.0E - 20 knots (Zone Perturbée)
48 HRS: 15.9S 43.5E - 30 knots (Depression Tropicale)
72 HRS: 16.1S 41.3E - 45 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modérée)

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

The system could reach at most the tropical depression stage before landfall over the northern tip of Madagascar later today.

Although, convective activity strengthened and concentrated during the last 24 hours, the system still present an ill-defined low level circulation with a center difficult to localize even with microwave imagery.

The system is moving rapidly westwards on the northern edge of the subtropical ridge that have built back to the south. It undergoes a moderate easterly constraint so the center is estimated to be just to the east of the main convective mass. This pattern should continue within the next two days. On this track, the system should make landfall later today over the northern tip of Madagascar between Diego-Suarez and Sambava (likely near Iharana). Given the current conditions and the short timing before landfall, significant development appear as a low probability possibility (the system may reach the tropical depression level but not much). However, associated heavy rainfalls should affect large areas of northern Madagascar during the next two days. Rainfall in 24 hour period of 100-150 mm is likely.

Wednesday, environmental conditions should improve (lower shear, high sea surface temperature over the Mozambique channel) and significant intensification is expected.

By that time, the system should be influenced by two contradictory steering flow; one associated with an equatorial ridge located to its north and induced an easterly motion and another one associated with the subtropical ridge located to the south and induced a westwards motion. Consequently, the track should slow down significantly during the middle of next week. Beyond, the subtropical ridge could weaken and allow a more polewards track.

Inhabitants of the northeastern coasts of Madagascar and the northern channel area (including the Comoros archipelago, the northwestern coasts of Madagascar and the Mozambique coasts) should closely monitor the progress of this system.

CURRENT INTENSITY DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE ISSUANCE OF REGULAR WARNINGS
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1094. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Magnitude 6.8 - SOUTHWESTERN SIBERIA, RUSSIA

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Does anyone know if GRLevel2 and GR2Analyst are having problems....i seem to be unable to go online. Please zip me a note in WU mail. Thanks!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1091. Patrap
Life inside Japan’s dead zone Published On Sat Feb 25 2012


IITATE, JAPAN—Iitate was once a village.

In the lap of the towering Abukuma mountains and 30 kilometres from the nuclear reactor Fukushima Dai-ichi, it was a collection of homes, offices, two gas stations and three grocery stores; a place where people rode bicycles to work, children played in parks and seniors read newspapers on porches.

The village of Iitate is no more.

The homes, offices, gas stations and grocery stores are boarded up. Snow is unshovelled on driveways and walkways. Weeds have invaded rice fields. Cattle pens are empty, cows have been slaughtered.

The only sounds are of crows cackling, dogs barking.

This is Japan’s nuclear wasteland.

When the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the subsequent tsunami hit last March 11, it not only killed 18,000 people but triggered a third disaster. Three reactors at Fukushima melted down and a fire broke out in a fourth, making it the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, a quarter of a century earlier.

As the nuclear disaster unfolded, thousands fled. More than 70,000 were evacuated.

One year later, the crippled plant still leaks radiation into the sea, its makeshift cooling system is still vulnerable to quakes and the cleanup is years from being complete.

The radioactive zone is bigger than that left by the 1945 atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some scientists say it is impossible to decontaminate the area and it may never be habitable again.

There are at least a dozen nuclear ghost towns and villages around the reactor. In some towns, evacuation was mandatory; in others, people fled when radiation levels spiked.

But there are some who continue to live in this wasteland.

They work at nursing homes, hotels and banks. Some are farmers who can’t farm their land, others retirees and some, almost all of them men, work at the reactor.

Some, like Kenji Miyamoto, live within kilometres of the nuclear plant. They never left. Not when there was an explosion in the first reactor, not when a fire broke out in another. Not when everyone around them fled, leaving their front doors unlocked, food in their refrigerators.

“I am scared of getting sick but I’m still better off in my own home,” says Miyamoto.

There are some defiant souls like him in the no-entry zone who have refused to leave, he says.

Daily life is like science fiction for them. They almost always wear surgical masks. Many conversations are about the state of the reactors or readings from the Geiger counters. They listen to TV bulletins that carry daily radiation updates for specific neighbourhoods.

But they won’t leave.

0.11 microsievert per hour.

It’s the reading from Masami Sanpei’s black Geiger counter on a sunny Monday morning in Iitate. Sanpei takes the pager-size device everywhere.

If the reading is too high, he puts on a face mask.

Microsievert quantifies the amount of radiation absorbed by human tissue. The average radiation exposure from Japan’s natural environment is 0.11 microsievert per hour, or one millisievert a year while the World Health Organization (WHO) says the average background radiation people are exposed to worldwide is about 2.4 millisieverts a year.

But it goes up and down at Iitate. And there are places where the reading has been 6.0 microsievert per hour, many times over the maximum allowed.

One February evening, Sanpei’s Geiger counter beeped furiously in the nursing home’s parking lot: the reading was 5.8 microsievert per hour.

Iitate is 35 kilometres northwest of Fukushima Dai-ichi. The day the reactor melted down, this picture-postcard village was caught in a wind that carried radioactive particles, including plutonium, much farther than anyone had initially expected.

But no one knew that until early April, almost four weeks after the meltdown. Someone at the village office got a Geiger counter out of curiosity and, when he saw the readings, raised an alarm.

(At Iitate, several spots showed radiation levels exceeding those at the nuclear reactor’s main compound. These spots were decontaminated but villagers fear there could be more they are not aware of.)

It took the government weeks to start the evacuation and at least a month to declare the village uninhabitable.

Sanpei, 64, is one of those who come in for work.

He was born and raised in Iitate, where the population was 6,000 until last March. He has lived here all his life and for the past 11 years, he has been running the local nursing home. He couldn’t leave the patients, he says.

The patients, 99 of them, refused to leave, he says.

“They were adamant. . . I don’t blame them. The average age is 85 and they didn’t want to move to a new place.”

The patients and the nursing home’s 75 employees: are all that is left of Iitate.

Exposure is dangerous over long periods of time but the risks are minimal for a few hours, the exposure less than a 12-hour plane ride.

Sanpei sent his wife, Katsuko, to an evacuation centre in Fukushima City, an hour’s drive from Iitate. Their three-bedroom traditional Japanese house stands empty. Their two children, who had moved away a few years ago, visit sometimes. Their neighbours are gone. He has no idea if he will ever see them again.

He drives in from Fukushima City daily, where the couple live in a pre-fab apartment allocated by the government. But when he works late, he stays in Iitate.

He hears dogs barking at night. They were abandoned by owners during the evacuation. He dreams of cows “mooing angrily.” Hundreds of cows, he says, were slaughtered in the village over contamination fears.

“Everything has changed,” he says. “It will never go back to what it was before March 11.”

Miki Kawamura used to visit her grandmother at the nursing home every month.

In the past year, the 34-year-old from Tokyo has only been three times.

As she enters the nursing home, she asks an employee for the Geiger counter reading.

It’s 0.12 microsievert per hour.

It’s close to the accepted level of 0.11 but Kawamura grimaces; she doesn’t want to be here.

But it’s her grandma’s 92nd birthday and she has brought gifts: a paper bag full of packs of instant noodles, fresh fruit and two books.

Kawamura tried to convince her grandmother to move in to her Tokyo apartment. “She refused. She said she was dying already. . . some radiation didn’t bother her.”

She spends an hour, chatting and having the lunch that she brought from Tokyo because she doesn’t trust locally grown food. Then it’s time to leave. It is a long drive home, about four hours, but nothing will make her stay overnight in Iitate.

“I’m terrified. I don’t know how much contamination is around here,” she says as she puts her face mask on and steps out.

Radiation, background or contamination, is always a tricky subject, but it didn’t help that the Japanese government added layers of confusion and intrigue.

A year later, it’s still not clear how much radiation was released during the meltdown.

At first, the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company denied there had been a meltdown or an explosion. When news of the unfolding catastrophe started trickling out, the government said there was no immediate threat.

The explosions at the reactors were finally acknowledged but information about how much radiation escaped and how far it spread was withheld.

It still is.

The meltdown was at first ranked at a level four on the international scale of nuclear accidents. It was upgraded to a maximum seven — the same as Chernobyl — a month later.

Some experts have said that hydrogen explosions created plumes of radiation that spread for hundreds of kilometres.

Days after the first reactor blew up, the government ordered about 75,000 residents within 20 kilometres of the reactor to evacuate. It then recommended that people within 30 kilometres also evacuate.

Evacuees from areas between 20 and 30 kilometres have been allowed to return but few have.

According to reports in Japanese newspapers, the environment ministry admits that at least 2,400 square kilometres around the nuclear plant needs to be decontaminated.

Japan will also have to remove enough radioactive soil to fill 23 baseball stadiums.

Jin Watanbe still lives in a contaminated area. He works at the reactor.

“No, I don’t have a death wish,” he says wryly.

Watanabe, 39, grew up in Kawauchi village high up in the mountains where he could see the six hulking reactors of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor.

They were always there, he says. “Like mountains, like landmarks.” Six imposing structures surrounded by smaller buildings. Smoke billowed from chimneys.

Watanabe, who has a construction business that employs 30 people, has done all sorts of work at the reactor for years. He has built small out-buildings, repaired drains. Sometimes he worked exclusively at the reactor for months at a stretch.

It was the hand that fed him, gave him and his family a good life.

Before taking it away.

Kawauchi village, also in the mountains, is about 28 kilometres from the stricken nuclear reactor. When the earthquake struck, Watanabe was at his home office doing paperwork. As power went off, he quickly led his family outside, where they stayed for an hour. Soon, he heard about the tsunami, which rose to a peak of 40 metres.

He prayed, hoping for the best.

But he never gave a second thought to the reactor. “Every time the topic of earthquakes would come up, people there said Fukushima Daiichi couldn’t be rocked, it was invincible.”

The next day he learned about the troubles at the reactor.

On March 13, two days after the earthquake, he and his wife, along with their 10-year-old daughter, his parents and an uncle, were in his Range Rover on their way to Nagano, 500 kilometres away where the family owns a house.

Watanabe returned the same day. He hasn’t let his family come back.

“Look at this reading,” he says, pointing to his black Geiger counter, which reads 0.18 microsievert per hour. “I don’t know what that could mean. But I know it is not good. I don’t think I will ever let my family back here. I can’t.”

But he is still here. There are a dozen men who still live in Kawauchi village, he says. Most homes are empty, some boarded up.

Watanabe and his staff work six days a week at the reactor cleaning debris. The tsunami caused so much havoc that it will take several years to clean up, he says. Everything is broken and shattered and scattered.

“We are told everyday what to touch, what not to,” he says.

Everyone at the reactor wears protective gear.

Watanabe works long hours and worries about the effects of contamination.

It’s a conflict he has been struggling with for months. It’s also led to multiple fights with his wife and daughter. They want him to join them in Nagano.

He refuses.

Sometimes he and his wife don’t talk for days.

“I can’t leave my staff. . . they need the work and the money. So do I,” he says philosophically. “When everything was okay at Fukushima Dai-ichi, it gave us all we wanted. . . homes, cars, a good life. We can’t just leave now. Somebody has to clean up too now.”

Thousands fled after the meltdown. But many, mostly men, returned because they couldn’t find jobs elsewhere.

Saito Kunihiro, a manager at Takami Hotel in Minamisoma, a couple of kilometres outside the 20-kilometre no-entry zone, left the city but was back within six weeks.

“I have three kids, a wife and old parents and I couldn’t find a job,” says the 44-year-old. He went to Kyoto, in southern Japan, where he has family. But in the tough economic times he wasn’t able to get work.

Heart in his mouth, he returned to Minamisoma, population 68,000.

It had changed.

There were no women, no children. The schools were closed. A few have since reopened.

Restaurants and hotels report few customers. The ones who visit are those working at the crippled reactor.

Even though the government declared Minamisoma safe months ago, steady news of radiation hot spots and contaminated vegetables make him wonder if he made the wrong decision.

Excess level of radiation has been found in cow milk and spinach from farms within 80 kilometres of the stricken plant.

A small, wiry man with an economics degree from the Kyoto University, he speaks slowly, as if weighing every word. “I think about radiation every day. I want to run away but. . . there is no work.”

Every day, he records the Geiger counter readings — what he has been exposed to — in a small, brown diary.

“You know, I never understood why people in Chernobyl didn’t leave, but now I’m in the same situation. I don’t know where to go.”

He lives alone in a four-bedroom house, wears a face mask when out and talks to his family every night.

He never tells them the Geiger counter readings.

Inside the 20-kilometre zone, achingly close to the crippled reactor, Kenji Miyamoto does not even have a Geiger counter.

He lives on the outskirts of Minamisoma, about a kilometre inside the no-entry zone. He is in his 70s, balding and missing a few teeth.

For 11 months and three weeks, he has breathed contaminated air, defying official orders to evacuate.

After the explosions at the reactor, Miyamoto’s wife of 40 years hurriedly left for Tokyo, where her mother lives. The retired mechanic believed the reactor would be brought under control, so he stayed.

“And then I didn’t want to go,” he says. “I don’t want to live in a small Tokyo apartment.”

His other option was to move into a tiny prefab apartment provided by the government. It didn’t appeal to him.

He’s sitting on a low bed in his living room, a cup of tea in hand. The windows are open. A cat hisses nearby.

“I am scared of getting sick but I’m still better off in my own home.”

Miyamoto hides when he sees police cars and hardly ever leaves home during the day. He hasn’t seen his neighbours since March 13. Once, he went without talking to anyone for almost nine weeks. “Well, I talk to the cat sometimes,” he says.

He admits he gets terrified at night sometimes. That is when the sound of silence becomes too eerie to handle.

Chernobyl's no-entry zone lives on

Twenty-six years after its nuclear accident, Chernobyl still has a 30-kilometre no-entry zone.

The disaster left more than 130 cleanup workers with acute radiation sickness — 28 died within a year. Millions more were exposed to lower doses of radiation.

In a follow-up study about five years ago, WHO said the catastrophe caused an additional 4,000 cancer deaths among the 626,000 most highly exposed people. For those exposed to lower levels of radiation, it estimated cancer fatalities would rise by 0.6 per cent.

Upwards of 400,000 people from around Chernobyl were evacuated and relocated after the accident. Some — reports suggest a couple of hundred — have returned to their homes in the past years.

Like in Chernobyl, it is expected the area around Fukushima Daiichi will stay a no-entry zone for decades. Like Chernobyl, the reactor will be encased in a concrete-and-steel shelter, while the contaminated farmland will be allowed to grow wild and the houses bulldozed.

But all that is after the cleanup at the reactor. That, experts, have warned could take up to 10 years or even more.
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1090. Patrap
Well we all saw the Hydrogen Blast rip upward and outward. So the Trajectories are consistent with the physical laws of gravity, ballistic trajectories, V squared,etc.

And remember, MOX is very, very B-A-D



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1089. Skyepony (Mod)
I read somewhere months ago rods were found 2 miles away..
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1088. Skyepony (Mod)
Japanese government and Tepco have started publicly seeking technology to decommission nuclear reactors such as decontamination of the reactor buildings and remote controlling robot.
They will accept offers until 3/9/2012.
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7 reports of nuclear fuel rod pieces being ejected from Fukushima reactors and/or spent fuel pools

Published: February 25th, 2012 at 1:11 pm ET

Several news articles and experts have said nuclear fuel pieces were ejected onto the ground at varying distances from the reactors and spent fuel pools. Here's a list of reports beginning in early April:

NYTimes on "Ejection of Nuclear Material": Confidential US doc suggests pieces of fuel blown up to a mile away -- Some between two units bulldozed over April 6, 2011
NYTimes: Broken pieces of nuclear fuel rods found outside Reactor No. 2, says nuke executive -- Covered up by bulldozers April 7, 2011
Report: Nuclear fuel fragments found over a mile away were "ejected from the reactor cores in those explosions" not spent fuel pools, according to NRC (VIDEO) August 18, 2011
Nuclear engineer: NRC now says reactors and containments have breached and released plutonium off-site -- "Much worse" than if from spent fuel pools (VIDEO) August 22, 2011
US nuke industry report: Explosions at Fukushima Units 1, 3, 4 may have caused inventory (nuclear rods) to be lost from spent fuel pools -- "Debris" on ground near Unit 3 was extremely radioactive after blast November 11, 2011
Mag: Curium and plutonium outside Fukushima plant indicate nuclear explosion at Reactor No. 3 -- Broken spent nuclear fuel rods may have been scattered December 17, 2011
Watch BBC Clip: US video suggests flakes of nuclear fuel were scattered around Fukushima reactors -- Secret plans to evacuate citizens from Japan (VIDEO) February 24, 2012
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Tokyo station is contaminated as mandatory evacuating zone in Fukushima
February 25th, 2012 Following up this article ..Tokyo is contaminated as the worst place in Chernobyl

On 2/21~23/2012, a Twitter user measured radiation level at Tokyo station and it turned out to be 2.94~6.5 microSv/h.(Only gamma ray)

↓ Aisle from Yaesuguchi underground parking lot to underground mall of Tokyo Station


Tokyo Station is more contaminated than mandatory evacuating zone in Fukushima

↓On the platform of Tokaido Shinkansen

Tokyo station is contaminated as mandatory evacuating zone in Fukushima2

The picture above is one of the 6 measurements.

The results are like this below

1m height from the ground : 6.5~4.8 microSv/h

1.8m height from the ground : 3.0~4.2 microSv/h

6.5 microSv/h is converted to 57 mSv/y.

It’s higher than 50 mSv/y in mandatory evacuating zone in Fukushima.

The reason of this high level of contamination is assumed to be because hot particles are brought from Fukushima or North Japan by the shoes of passengers.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
I think winter is over.....



The GFS is showing one final cold blast for the Upper-Midwest, then the March Warm-up starts for Fargo!
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one thing i like about chorme what i dont like about firefox that chorme have his own PDF reder i had too ues foxit reader for firefox
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1082. Patrap


cool
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1080. Skyepony (Mod)
Excellent animated graphic from NASA about the path of the CME from the sun on the 24th is going to impact the solar system. I give it 10 in the psychedelic loop category.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Im gona guess 80's next week.


I'm guessing 60s will be common around here for early March....This actually is getting a little disconcerting with all of these waaaaayyyy too warm temperatures. Do this: Go outside without any electronics and sit in the middle of a field on a clear, calm, and sunny day and let yourself feel nature. And I'll tell you what: You get the feeling that something isn't right......
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
I think winter is over.....



Ya know that ridiculous wive's tale, "If it thunders in February it freezes in March"?

LOL.

I call BS on that one, always did.

Ain't happening, at least not down here anyway.
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1077. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
I think winter is over.....

Im gona guess 80's next week.
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1075. Skyepony (Mod)
Awesome TRMM pass of 92S. It's playing with a lot of rain. Click pic for animated graphic.

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I think winter is over.....

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Quoting j2008:
Hate to change you topic real quick but look at this,
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS ARE ESTIMATED AT 25 TO 30
KNOTS. MINIMUM SEA LEVEL PRESSURE IS ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR 1000 MB.
THE POTENTIAL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE
WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS IS HIGH.. Then theres the satellite picture.



Lo, storm forms;
Heading due west.
Fish? Ya Wish!



Pathetic. LOL.

Technically, it follows Japanese Haiku rules, using English phonology.
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1072. beell
GFS 18Z 500mb vorticity-Valid Friday 18Z.



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Quoting SPLbeater:


my dream outlook would be for my region(GA, FL, SC, NC):


Categorical outlook: High

Tornado Probability: 2%

Hail Probability: 15%

Damaging Wind Probability: 100%

:D


Come on, this is terrible.
15% hail??!!!!!

My dream:

High(AL,GA,SC)
60% everything.
2 day, 4 round outbreak
Nobody hurt(which i know would be impossible in this case)

Quoting SPLbeater:
I just made myself a sign.

It has a picture of all 4 tornado alleys, and in a font size of 72 underneath,

PROUD MEMBER OF CAROLINA ALLEY!!!!!

lol


Carolina alley sucks.
Dixie alley all the way.

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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.