Oil and gasoline refinery fire in the city of Cataño, October 23, 2009
Late Thursday night, the winds were light from the east through the mid-levels of the atmosphere.
By early Friday morning, the winds were calm at the surface allowing the plume to rise vertically for about 500 feet. Beyond this, winds were out of the southeast, taking the plume away from land and over the water.
By later Friday morning into the early afternoon, the winds showed a definitive shift to the south-southeast from the boundary layer to the mid-levels of the atmosphere.
This wind setup remained the same for most of the morning of the initial explosion, so the reach of the plume has extended outward for many miles. These satellite imagery loops show the plume coverage on Friday:
The following image is a one minute interval loop for the TSJU Terminal Doppler radar, located in Toa Baja, PR, from around 1 am through 2 am early Friday morning...morning of explosion.
The following image is a 12 loop for the TJUA Doppler radar, located in Cayey, PR, from around Midnight through Noon Friday...includes time of explosion.
The fire was finally extinquished on Sunday October 25, 2009.