Plume forecast through the morning of Thursday March 24 Japan Standard Time (JST). Smoke/steam continues during the day Tuesday March 22 and is linked to the spent fuel rods of reactor 2. Somewhat elevated levels of radiation are also detected Tuesday in Tokyo, consistent with the prior plume trajectory forecast below (3/22 post). CBSNews reports that the USS Washington left port in Yokohama (southwest of Tokyo) Monday over concerns about airborne radiation.
The images below show the likely future trajectory of any released material. Through noon Wednesday March 23 JST the winds are projected to be toward the south, taking the plume over the ocean. The winds will shift increasingly eastward in the afternoon and be directly to the east by 10 pm Wednesday March 23 JST. Winds are expected to remain eastward at least through the morning of Thursday March 24 JST. [Plume images are a research tool; contours are arbitrary units for visualization purposes.]
The forecast fields are from the Naval Research Laboratory’s COAMPS weather prediction model. The model is nested down to 5 km resolution and assimilates all available local weather observations. The model is particularly skillful at predicting coastal winds (see more details below).