I'm interested in seeing authoritative model results showing how radioactive contaminants from Japan might circulate through wind and water.

map lie The AGU blog points out this bad model, but in skimming the sites they reference I didn't see any other models. I see no mention of radiation at NOAA's Global Forecast System. Where are the reputable models?


5 Answers 5


Here's a model published by NYT, linked to from this article.

Update Paul Kedrosky says ...

"There was an irresponsible piece in the New York Times last night suggesting that radiation from Japan’s Fukushima reactor could be in California by tomorrow"

He likes Jeff Masters blog post about to this NOAA model better. I think the public needs a weatherman dancing and waving hands in front of a chroma key map of model results to effectively communicate probabilities. Perhaps Morten Nielsen's kinect tool could be used by analysts to mashup their own interpretive dance on top of a map video.

enter image description here

  • Anyone know why random clouds start appearing over California on 3/17?
    – jvangeld
    Commented Mar 17, 2011 at 18:15
  • Two of the links in this post result in 404 errors.
    – Fezter
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 5:27

One from the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy:

enter image description here

  • +1 for a bit of hope, no idea if its accurate though.
    – jvangeld
    Commented Mar 17, 2011 at 18:14

Here the ZAMG model as of today: Fukushima plume end of March 2011http://www.zamg.ac.at/pict/aktuell/20110329_fuku_I-131.gif (go to their main page)





Probably the best suite of models for atmospheric dispersion, especially of nuclear materials, is from NARAC of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any public results attributed to NARAC. If you have business or public safety mission needs, you may a be able to get access to NARAC model results if available.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.