A few people emailed me asking for update trajectories from the vicinity of the Japanese reactors. These trajectories use the NOAA Hysplit model, driven by output from the U.S. GFS global forecasting model. I have launched trajectories from 50, 4500 and 9000 meters above the surface. Keep in mind that there are considerable uncertainties in such trajectories. So here they are:Strangely, the trajectory starting at 50 meters ends right over Seattle...after nine days!! Even if this was true and the initial concentrations were large, trubulent and diffusive motions in the atmosphere would reduce concentrations over us to minimal, if not infinitesimal, levels.
This time of the year there is often good transport across the Pacific. It is not unusual for smoke and dust from Asia to reach us in measurable quantities...but these are extensive sources spread out over a huge area (see graphic below for an example)
Professor Dan Jaffe of UW Bothell is an expert on such cross-Pacific transport and has documented the movement of particles and chemical species across the Ocean.
On another topic... there is an extraordinary rain shadow today. Take a look at a typical radar image this morning:The San Juans have essentially been completely dry. Only .01 inches in Friday Harbor! A trace at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. But .31 inches here at the UW. The rain shadow extends all the way to Bellingham where only a trace has fallen. Just shows you that even on wet days, you can escape it by heading for the current location of the rainshadow.