Long range oil spill forecast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:02 PM GMT en Junio 04, 2010

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Onshore winds out of the south, southwest, or west are expected to blow over the northern Gulf of Mexico over through Tuesday, resulting in a continued threat of landfalling oil to Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. The latest ocean current forecasts from the NOAA HYCOM model show that these winds will generate a 0.5 mph current flowing from west to east along the Florida Panhandle coast Sunday through Tuesday. If this current develops as predicted, it will be capable of bringing light amounts of oil as far east as Panama City, Florida, by Wednesday. Long range surface wind forecasts from the GFS model for the period 8 - 14 days from now predict a return to a southeasterly wind regime, which would bring the oil back over Louisiana by mid-June. If you spot oil, send in your report to http://www.gulfcoastspill.com/, whose mission is to help the Gulf Coast recovery by creating a daily record of the oil spill.

Long range oil spill outlook
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) issued a press release yesterday showing 4-month model runs (Figure 1) of where the Deepwater Horizon oil spill might go. The model runs show that given typical ocean currents in the Gulf of Mexico, we can expect the oil to eventually affect most of the Florida Panhandle, Keys, and Florida East Coast, as well as coastal areas of South Carolina and North Carolina. Very little oil makes it to the West Florida "Forbidden Zone", where offshore-moving surface currents dominate. The oil may eventually affect three foreign countries: Mexico along the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cuba near Havana, and the Bahamas in the Bimini Islands and along the western side of Grand Bahama Island. Once oil does get into the Loop Current, it will probably reach the coasts of France, Spain, and Portugal in about a year. The oil will be too dilute by then to be noticeable, though.

The present ocean current configuration in the Gulf features a newly formed Loop Current Eddy (dubbed "Franklin"), which will tend to capture the majority of oil that flows southwards from the Deepwater Horizon spill site. A plot of drifting buoys (drifters) launched into the Gulf May 19 - 24 (Figure 2) reveals how this clockwise-rotating eddy has been capturing southward-moving surface water. Eddy Franklin will move slowly west-southwest at 2 - 3 mph in the coming weeks. By August or September, the eddy will have moved far enough west that the Loop Current will be able to push northwards towards the spill location again, increasing the chances of oil getting into the Loop Current and being advected through the Florida Straits and up the U.S. Southeast Coast. Between now and mid-August, I doubt that a significant amount of oil will get into the Loop Current, unless a hurricane or tropical storm goes through the Gulf of Mexico. I put the odds of this happening by mid-August at 50%. The odds of a named storm in the Gulf of Mexico will increase sharply after mid-August, when the peak portion of hurricane season arrives. Past history shows a 95% chance of getting two or more named storms in the Gulf of Mexico during hurricane seasons with above-normal activity.


Figure 1. Animation from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) showing one scenario of how oil released at the location of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on April 20 in the Gulf of Mexico may move in the upper 65 feet of the ocean.


Figure 2. During the R/V Bellows 19-24 May 2010 Cruise into the Loop Current, drifters were dropped on the eastern edge of the Loop Current. These drifters have all been caught in Loop Current Eddy "Franklin", and are orbiting the central Gulf of Mexico in clockwise loops. Additional drifters deployed by the Coast Guard over the past few weeks (orange colors) are also shown. The colored balloons show the starting location of the drifters. Image credit: University of South Florida.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
Oil trajectory forecasts from NOAA
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami


Figure 2. Visible satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Phet on Friday, June 4, 2010.

Tropical Cyclone Phet unleashes heavy rains on Oman
Tropical Cyclone Phet hit the northern tip of Oman yesterday as a Category 2 storm, bringing torrential rains and killing at least two people. Masirah, Oman recorded sustained winds of 74 mph yesterday, and Sur, Oman on the northeast coast has received 3.25 inches of rain so far. Phet was the 2nd strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Arabian Sea, when it peaked at Category 4 strength with 145 mph. Only Category 5 Cyclone Gonu of 2007, which devastated Oman, was stronger. Phet has emerged from the coast of Oman this morning, but is likely to weaken over the next day due to increased wind shear. Phet should hit Pakistan as a tropical storm on Saturday, bringing heavy rain and serious flooding.

Next update
I'll probably have one update over the weekend. The tropical Atlantic is quiet right now, with no models predicting tropical cyclone development over the next seven days.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Grothar:
Is it safe to come back on now?

Not for you, pal!
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4205. xcool
JLPR2 yea big time
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4204. Grothar
My goodness, "24 Hours" had less intrigue than this blog. All I know is that we broke records here in SFL for heat. I t5hink the waves may be too low to develop. Any opinions?
Member Since: Julio 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26865
4203. JLPR2
Quoting xcool:
i have headaches. now


you need some headon XD
LOL!

Well I'm off for awhile.
Till later ^^
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4202. GBguy88
Quoting atmoaggie:
While some of the damage is very bad and a EF3 is very possible, a lot of the damage is to structures that still stand.

Even the high school:


Should be able to repair, not bulldoze.


I agree, F5 is a bit much. Still tragic though, and no tornado is a good one. Unless it stays in a field somewhere and poses for the camera ;)
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Quoting Weather456:


one near 35W is.

The one along the African coast is embedded in that part of the ITCZ we call the monsoon trough.


Thanks
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Quoting Weather456:


one near 35W is.

The one along the African coast is embedded in that part of the ITCZ we call the monsoon trough.
Do you see any of these waves emerging off of Africa becoming something down the road?
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
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Quoting atmoaggie:
While some of the damage is very bad and a EF3 is very possible, a lot of the damage is to structures that still stand.

Even the high school:


Should be able to repair, not bulldoze.


Agreed. If it was an EF-5 there would be nothing but a slab left.
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4196. xcool
MiamiHurricanes09 stoppppp plz i'm asking you nices
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Quoting MrstormX:


The current wave offshore is still embedded within the ITCZ is it not?


one near 35W is.

The one along the African coast is embedded in that part of the ITCZ we call the monsoon trough.
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


What I don't get is why the Admin just can't ban his IP.


well there is a possibility that they have IP banned him and the people you are targeting are different people imitating JFV just to get attention.

seriously people if you have a problem with someone ignore them and if you ignore them please don't make a totally useless post that wastes blog space just to say poof
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Quoting Grothar:
Is it safe to come back on now?
I think so, too much Just Frustating Violence, get it JFV, lol. Yeah I know I'm dumb.
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
4191. scott39
Quoting Grothar:
Is it safe to come back on now?
Its only safe about 2am on a weekday morning!
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4190. xcool
i have headaches. now
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Quoting Grothar:
Is it safe to come back on now?
Enter at your own risk ;)
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4187. scott39
Quoting IKE:


It's certainly worth following.

You can see it on the 18Z GFS.
thanks
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I don't know whats more frustrating, this blogs monomania over a user, or watching one of the ROVs trying to put a socket onto a nut. I choose the ROV.
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4185. Grothar
Is it safe to come back on now?
Member Since: Julio 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26865
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Wow,Let the tropical games begin
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4182. IKE
Quoting scott39:
Do you think that this ones going to do anything Ike,once its gets in the Carribean?


It's certainly worth following.

You can see it on the 18Z GFS.
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4180. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Julio 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting Weather456:


The highest frequency of waves I have observed so far since 2002.

AEJ mean so far is similar to 2008.



Is it compareable to 2005?
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
While some of the damage is very bad and a EF3 is very possible, a lot of the damage is to structures that still stand.

Even the high school:


Should be able to repair, not bulldoze.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4176. xcool
i'm to old for all jfv stuff
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Quoting Weather456:


The highest frequency of waves I have observed so far since 2002.

AEJ mean so far is similar to 2008.



The current wave offshore is still embedded within the ITCZ is it not?
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4174. Dakster
Quoting atmoaggie:
that turned out bigger than I thought it would...

http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-behave-on-an-internet-forum


Why Thank You.
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4173. scott39
Quoting IKE:
The wave between 30-40 west is suppose to be affecting San Juan later this week. From their afternoon discussion....

"A WELL DEFINED TROPICAL
WAVE WILL FOLLOW BY FRIDAY...BRINGING WITH IT A GENERAL INCREASE
IN CLOUDINESS...SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS."
Do you think that this ones going to do anything Ike,once its gets in the Carribean?
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OMG I leave for a bit and all hell breaks loose! lol Good evening all
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Even I had a past account few know who I was, though I intend to keep it that way.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


agreed 100%
Me too.
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting scott39:
Hows the wave action for june 2010 compared to other active seasons?


The highest frequency of waves I have observed so far since 2002.

AEJ mean so far is similar to 2008.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4167. IKE
The wave between 30-40 west is suppose to be affecting San Juan later this week. From their afternoon discussion....

"A WELL DEFINED TROPICAL
WAVE WILL FOLLOW BY FRIDAY...BRINGING WITH IT A GENERAL INCREASE
IN CLOUDINESS...SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gator23:


he wont stop so I wont. and ignoring him doesnt work. I will fight him off as I please as he has RUINED this blog time and time again.
Enough! Now you are going on my ignore list. What's up with this blog, it's just a bunch of uncivilized people at times, sheesh, the drama. Lol.
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
4165. scott39
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Why are you all targeting me now.Iv'e been peaceful on the blog,and now you all attack me.
Why do you keep responding to bloggers who call you JFV? Let it go and lets get back to weather!
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4161. JLPR2
move on guys, we were actually concentrated on the tropics and weather for awhile -.-


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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:
She's not JFV... this blog is ridiculous at times. I wish everyone would just forget and ignore JFV but everyone has practically made him out to be a celebrity. Is there ever a page on here without his name on it??


What I don't get is why the Admin just can't ban his IP.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:
She's not JFV... this blog is ridiculous at times. I wish everyone would just forget and ignore JFV but everyone has practically made him out to be a celebrity. Is there ever a page on here without his name on it??


agreed 100%
Member Since: Marzo 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
Quoting dsenecal2009:



It looks like our friend TropicalWave is undergoing rapid intensification.
Can someone please photoshop some curlers in his hair with that shower curtain pic?


I am pretty certain baltimorebirds is not the clown we want banned

95% of the people on here have moved on from this nonsense, it would be nice if its 100%
Member Since: Marzo 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
sooo.... a big do-to about nothing here in baltimore as far as storms go...
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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