Monday, April 2, 2012

(Updated) Japan Meteorological Agency's Highly Unusual Storm Warning on TV: "Don't Go Outside"

The warning comes from the government agency that prohibited its own researchers from disclosing any information regarding the dispersion of radioactive materials right after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. Many on Twitter are saying, "Why didn't they say the same thing on March 15 and 21 last year and warn us about radioactive plumes from Fukushima?"

Well, the answer is easy. Because issuing warnings about radioactive material dispersions was not in their job description. It still isn't.

Anyway, a highly unusual low is about to sweep through entire Japan from the Japan Sea side, and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) decided to hold a press conference which was broadcasted on TV to warn people in the evening of April 4.

From NHK News (4/2/2012):


About the low pressure system, the Japan Meteorological Agency held an emergency press conference in the evening of April 2, and warned that a storm wind may blow in Kanto and other areas affecting the transportation, and that people should refrain from going outside during the period of strong wind.


Hiroyuki Uchida, chief forecaster at the Agency explained, "The low-pressure system will rapidly grow tomorrow as it moves in the northeastern direction over the Japan Sea. It is expected to pass through the northern Japan. It is very rare for a low-pressure system to grow this big over the Japan Sea."


The period of the strongest storm wind is expected to be from the afternoon till the evening on April 3 in Kinki, Tokai, and Hokuriku regions, and from the afternoon till night on April 3 in Kanto and Koshinetsu regions. It will be from the afternoon of April 3 till April 4 in Tohoku. Hokkaido mayl experience stronger wind toward the night on April 3.


Mr. Uchida said, "The wind speed in Kanto is expected to be 25 meters per second, which is almost like a typhoon wind. We expect the wind to be stronger than in the last weekend. In particular, from 6PM to 9PM, it is possible that the wind will be so strong that people may get knocked down by the wind. Transportation may be affected as it may be dangerous to drive a car. So tomorrow, take ample precaution by going home earlier than usual, or by not going out unless it is necessary to do so."

JMA satellite image, water vapor:

Storm warning has been issued to Hamadori (coastal 1/3) of Fukushima Prefecture, where Fukushima I Nuke Plant is located.

Warnings issued for Futaba-machi and Okuma-machi say (from the JMA site, in Japanese):

Storm warnings: wind up to 28 meters per second on the ocean
Wind direction: from south
Peak hours: evening of April 3
High waves advisories: 8 meters

The wind visualization by a Swiss company shows the strong storm wind from south for the coastal areas of Fukushima. Click on the image to view the video at

(h/t anon reader)


Anonymous said...

Hold on tight - this looks severe.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

wow, that's a great visualization. thank you!

Anonymous said...

Did you see this as well?

Thanks for your work.

Anonymous said...

@anon at 6:53PM, not only we saw it on this blog first but in much more details with real information. Maybe they should become readers of this blog.

Anonymous said...

@arevamirpal ~ You're well~come :-)
btw. I forgot to mention the 'pulldown-menu' above the flash for to switch various views. And having another look I found they also provide a japanes page:
~ V

Chibaguy said...

I hate to say this but people will not heed this warning for the most part in Tokyo and they will get stuck at work while doing nothing. Thanks for the post ex skf!

Anonymous said...

What do you think will happen to all the "decontamination" and any mapping of radioactive hotspot efforts? The wind and rain will "relocate" the fallout--back to re-decon and mapping. The north flow of fallout may protect Tokyo a little, but the rain will still deposit more from Fukushima I -- assuming no other weather event occurs such as any collapse of those frail reactor sites.

Darth3/11 said...

Staying safe at home in Tokyo. Cancelled all evening appointments. It's crazy blustery outside. Blowing cesium pollen and recontaminating the entire benighted regions of Tohoku.

RgC said...

@Chibaguy Tokyoites got an option to get out of the office at 3pm. Most of my officemates left as soon as it was announced. Most trains now are stopped due to the strong winds.

If you remembered the BBC documentary posted here before one of the kids there mentioned something about a giant electric fan to fan away all of the contamination. Guess somebody made that giant electric fan and turned it on today :-)

I'm staying indoors the winds sound nasty outside.

Anonymous said...

there's too much going against a favorable outcome "uncontrollable compounding", I don't want to list them. I just wanna say if I was a betting man…
Take a "vacation" /leave japan, it is imperative, this is getting closer to zero hour. Heed my call, PLEASE PLEASE take a "vacation" now!!!! I do know best. Truth,
Do or Die

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the tent will hold. I am not the only one to wonder, as the TEPCO webcam server is rejecting connections.

Anonymous said...

Chibaguy said...

@RgC - the people I work with will not leave the office under any circumstances. I have been here 11 years and do not understand why they need to be in the office when they can work at home. I think we need 10 years to get these people out of the system and maybe Japan will recover. I applaud those that have started to think for themselves. It is not just today's weather but the overall situation in Japan. When everything in Japan is peaceful it is easy to live here, when it is in chaos, kizuna has a completely different meaning.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to express a slightly different opinion (once in a while!) but I don't have the impression that the warnings are/were different from usual. Today I was out in Tokyo and apart from workers, employees and students being asked to go back early (as always in case of a typhoon),which resulted in an earlier-than-usual rush hour in trains and subways (around 3:30-4:00 pm instead of the normal 6-7 pm),I cannot say that we were advised to be especially careful. Does anyone else share my impression ?

Anonymous said...

Follow from the previous post:
I do not mean it was not dangerous, I only mean I did not feel the "warning" mood you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Yes, as above, the warnings were not any different to any other strong weather event. People are implored to take caution when going out, not because of some unspoken dread in the air, but because of the real prospect of the public transport system getting buggered up as happened last Saturday, and again happened last night. It is prudent advice. It is not, however, a covert warning about any airborne harm.

Anonymous said...

The good news is "we will see" ;) and that is what's great about living, we get to live and find the truth through passage in time.

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