Short Weather Forecast , Nuclear Power, and Japan Tsunami

Thursday, March 17, 2011
12:28 P.M.

There isn’t really much to talk about today. We have seen some strong thunderstorms over the past few days, but those will come to an end. We will see a minor storm on Friday that may cause some instability and some showers, but it won’t be anything major. After that, the storm track will shift southward over central or even southern California and give them some rain, with large amounts of snow in the Sierra Nevada.
This picture below shows the upper level air flow at the 300 millibar level. This means this is the level of the atmosphere where the pressure is 300 millibars. It varies, but it is generally around 18,000 feet high. It is forecast on the UW WRF-GFS model at 11 A.M. Saturday.

As you can see, there is a large trough of low pressure with associated light upper-level winds over the Pacific Northwest, with the jet stream dipping down towards California. We will still see some showers and cooler than average temperatures, but there will be less rain, which is  good for the people who dislike rain I guess. Unfortunately, if you live in Seattle, you probably like rain, so in my opinion, this isn’t good news. But if it is in the summer, I want sun all the way and 90 degree temperatures. Nothing like swimming in Lake Washington.
 
Yesterday, I talked about nuclear power and how we still need it. I’ve been thinking over it a little bit, and I actually think that Eastern Washington would be one of the best places to put the power plants. Any earthquake energy from Western Washington would largely be dissipated by the time it gets to Spokane or Pullman, and those places also don’t see much in the way of severe weather. Also, this would help us remove some dams and restore salmon populations. I love salmon and fishing btw, so this would be pretty awesome. And it is a large economic opportunity because since this would be one of the safest places in the country to have these plants, we could sell our energy to other places in the U.S., creating jobs and some greenbacks to spend on more important things, like replacing our viaduct (don’t even get me started on earthquakes there), our light rail system, improved agricultural opportunities, and helping make the cities on the eastside more prosperous and larger. If Washington generated all electricity via green energy (hydroelectricity, wind, and nuclear), I would be a very happy person. And although I said I didn’t really like wind power, wind power works pretty well in some places in central Washington. There is a large wind farm by Ellensburg. I still think solar power is our worst clean energy solution.

I’m at the library right now, so I still have a couple minutes before my jazz band class starts. I might as well talk about the huge whirlpool caused by the tsunami in Japan. Take a look at this bad boy!

This whirlpool in a eastern harbor of Japan was formed because of a unique combination of the rushing water and the bathymetry (topography of the sea floor) of the harbor. I hope that boat was ok!

And one more tsunami video. Absolutely amazing stuff. Tragic, but amazing. 

Thanks for reading,
Charlie
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