Severe local fallout contamination can extend far beyond the blast and thermal effects, particularly in the case of high yield surface detonations. The ground track of fallout from an explosion depends on the weather from the time of detonation onwards. In stronger winds, fallout travels faster but takes the same time to descend, so although it covers a larger path, it is more spread out or diluted. Thus, the width of the fallout pattern for any given dose rate is reduced where the downwind distance is increased by higher winds. The total amount of activity deposited up to any given time is the same irrespective of the wind pattern, so overall casualty figures from fallout are generally independent of winds. But thunderstorms can bring down activity as rain more rapidly than dry fallout, particularly if the mushroom cloud is low enough to be below ("washout"), or mixed with ("rainout"), the thunderstorm.
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