Blizzard warnings are expanding to include west metro counties including Carver and Wright. Near blizzard conditions with blowing snow and winds gusting over 30 mph are occurring Saturday morning, even in the metro.
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Expect difficult travel for a few hours Saturday morning until the wind and snow subside.
Japan nuke explosion: Possible radiation release?
From Japan’s NHK News:
“Tokyo Electric Power Company says an explosion was heard at one of its nuclear reactors in quake-hit Fukushima Prefecture. It says several workers were injured.
The power plant operator told a news conference on Saturday that it had been informed smoke was seen near the scene of the explosion, the Fukushima Number One power station.
The utility firm had been releasing air from the container of the reactor to lower pressure.
Pressure inside the container had been rising after the reactor’s cooling system broke down due to power failure.
Radioactive substances have been detected near the reactor.”
Winds near the reactor site in Fukushima are very light; meaning any plume of radiation would not disperse quickly. It is not yet known how severe the radioactive release will be.
Japan Meteorological Agency winds
***original post Friday at 3:53pm***
A powerful cold front is racing through Minnesota overnight into Saturday.
As the front sails through, a shot 2″ to 4″ of new snow will combine with winds of 25 to 40 mph to reduce visibilities to under 1/4 mile in the Red River Valley tonight and early Saturday. The winds will also be strong enough to pick up snow already on the ground and send it airborne, creating “ground blizzard” conditions.
Blizzard warnings have been issued by Grand Forks NWS.
Be prepared for blizzard conditions in the Red River Valley tonight & Saturday morning.
Anatomy of a megaquake & tsunami:
As posted here early Friday morning, Japan’s 8.9 magnitude megaquake wat the 5th strongest in the world since 1900. The scenes of devastation from Honshu are both horrifying and unreal.
Believe me, with all of the weather drama that Minnesota can dish out, we’ve never seen anything like this. I can only imagine the shock and devastation the people of Japan are living through, and this is only the beginning if what will take years to rebuild.
You’ve seen the video, but there are also some amazing graphics that illustrate the power and reach of the tsunami.
NOAA Tsunami propagation animation: This incredible video animates the tsunami waves as the propagate throughout the Pacific basin.
NOAA maximum wave amplitude show energy streaming from epicenter.
Maximum wave amplitude plot.
You can find more information from the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.