Last updated on December 27th, 2012
Jet-Stream animation forecast
Given the concern by some regarding the possibility of some radioactive Fallout contamination making its way from Japan across the Pacific Ocean, 4,500 miles to California and the west coast of the United States (and beyond), here is the current forecast loop of the Jet Stream.
This is not intended to be alarmist in any way. Rather, only showing what ‘could’ happen if enough ingredients come into play.
It is possible that some Cs-137 (Cesium) and-or iodine-131 from the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown could make its way into the Troposphere and get disbursed over the northern hemisphere, including the West Coast U.S. Note that unless there is a catastrophic explosion that sends large quantities of radioactive particles high up into the atmosphere, the quantity of radioactive particles that makes its way to the U.S. will be limited to surface winds, and of course, dispersion over distance.
Current Infrared image of cloud tops (brighter yellows, orange, indicate colder – higher clouds, which helps visualization of the the atmosphere as it flows from left to right (west to east) towards the U.S.
There is a fair amount of speculation whether or not any significant levels of radioactive particles will actually make it across the Pacific ocean, that is, enough to present any serious concerns towards health risks. The skepticism that exists regarding this possibility is warranted – because a number of critical elements would have to come together for this to happen in a ‘significant’ way, and there is a push to keep people from panic (some people unfortunately do panic).
There really is only one historical reference point for this (Chernobyl), which makes it difficult to determine what ‘might’ happen (or not).
The following image shows the radiation distribution from the Chernobyl fallout
It seems that whatever ‘might’ happen, might be more problematic from long-term effects rather than short term high dosage effects (assuming there actually is a complete core meltdown which leads to total environmental release of radioactive particles that actually make it into the troposphere).
Long term effects could include Cesium-137 particles (30-year half life) scattered on the ground or in the soil, getting in to water supplies, food crops, animal feed, and up the food chain to us – or worse – you could breath in the particles. No amount of radioactive particle ingestion is good, even though some may say that the dosage is miniscule. Getting cancer is partially about the odds – so being aware of what could increase the odds is a good thing.
Arguments against any significant radiation making its way to the U.S.
- Sufficient disaster would have to take place at Fukushima – total meltdown and release
- Particles would have to mix high enough into the atmosphere to ride along wind streams sufficient to travel the distance
- Particles may be washed out into the ocean if there is precipitation
- Local wind currents could keep the particles localized in Japan where they would wash out there
- Lesser amounts of particles will travel along lower elevation wind currents
Arguments for any significant radiation making its way to the U.S.
- Current Jet-Stream patterns are favorable to bring particulate matter to the U.S. west coast
- Wind patterns typically bring wind currents directly away from Japan and across the Pacific
- It is proven that dust particulate matter is regularly deposited on the west U.S. from places like China
- The Japanese war machine successfully launched balloon bombs that made their way to the west U.S. during WWII
- There has already been measurable amounts of radiation now in the U.S.
- By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail
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