Chernobyl forest fire plume now on the US west coast.

The forest fire near Chernobyl that broke out a week ago has spread radionuclides, notably plutonium, over eastern Europe, Asia, Alaska, and is now moving in over the west coast of the US.

This image from the downloaded Windows HYSPLIT atmospheric dispersion model shows the spread of this plume, as of 2 PM Eastern time on May 7.

This simulation uses actual winds, not predicted winds.

It has moved over southern Alaska, where it is currently raining, and northern B.C. Some tendrils have moved over NW Washington, Salinas CA, Fresno CA, Santa Barbara CA, and Las Vegas NV.

For users of Google Earth or other visualization software, a KML file is available here.

As of Friday morning, the rain outside of Fresno has some measure of this smoke plume mixed in with it, and is falling as snow in the mountains to the northeast.

The plume should become entrained in a storm that is developing in this area. This image is a forecast for Saturday night. A snowstorm is moving over the Rockies, and the rain and snow will later move over the northern plains, the upper Great Lakes, into Canada.

8 thoughts on “Chernobyl forest fire plume now on the US west coast.

  1. Let’s see, since Fukushima, around here I have additionally been affected by releases from Honeywell, the Perry nuclear plant, WIPP, and now Chernobyl redux.

    Chernobyl is not going away. It keeps spreading. Just like Fukushima is not going away, it keeps spreading.

  2. The snow contains up to 5 times as much radioactive particles as the rain. Ironic, when California has 1% of its typical snowpack… snow starts falling in May, and it has Chernobyl in it.

  3. This plume has pretty much covered the northern hemisphere now, except for the southeast US, north Atlantic & southwest Europe. It is pretty spread out and diffused. I have had some minor arthritis symptoms (which had gone away the past year) and kidney pain (which I haven’t had since 2012) the past few days.

  4. Wildfires engulfed large areas of the exclusion zone surrounding the defunct Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine early Tuesday morning. The flames reportedly spread over around 130 hectares after the fire started Monday evening, but were brought under control by emergency services by Tuesday afternoon. Radiation levels in the area have not changed since the fire broke out, according to Victoria Ruban, a Kiev representative of the Ukrainian State Service.

    • This one lasted for a day, rather than four days from the previous one. Another commentator said it was not in the exclusion zone. ‘Radiation levels have not changed’ is standard BS.

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