90L heads for North Carolina, drenches Bermuda; oil spill changing little

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:54 PM GMT on May 24, 2010

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An extratropical low pressure system (90L) between the Bahamas and Bermuda is moving north-northwest towards North Carolina and is close to tropical storm strength. Last night's ASCAT pass saw a large area of 35 mph winds to the north and east of the center, and buoy 41048 to northeast of 90L's center was seeing sustained ENE winds of 36 mph, gusting to 43 mph this morning. Bermuda is seeing some heavy weather from this storm, with winds blowing at 35 mph on the west end of the island, and the Bermuda radar showing an area of moderate to heavy rain moving over the island. Seas are running 5 - 10 feet in the outer waters of Bermuda today, and are expected to increase to 10 - 14 feet tonight before diminishing on Tuesday.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of 90L this morning.

Strong upper-levels winds out of the west are creating about 25 knots of wind shear over 90L, but the shear has been gradually decreasing over the past day. Visible satellite loops show that 90L does not have a well-defined surface circulation. The main thunderstorm activity is in a large curved band to the north and northeast of the center. This band is several hundred miles removed from the center, which is characteristic of subtropical storms. I expect that 90L will continue to grow more subtropical in nature today through Wednesday as the shear continues to fall. Sea surface temperatures are near 25°C today and will fall to 23 - 24°C on Tuesday. This is warm enough to support a subtropical storm, but probably not a tropical storm. On Wednesday, 90L will be nearing the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, and SSTs will warm again, to the 24 - 25°C range. This is still pretty cool for a tropical storm, and I expect 90L will never become fully tropical. To understand the difference between a tropical and subtropical storm and why we care, see my subtropical storm tutorial.

The SHIPS model predicts that shear will fall to the medium 10 - 20 knot range by Tuesday. A large amount of dry air to 90L's southwest associated with the upper-level trough of low pressure on top of the storm, as seen on water vapor satellite loops , will hamper transition of 90L to a subtropical or tropical storm. The system will move slowly towards the Southeast U.S. coast over the next two days, making its closest approach to the coast on Wednesday, when most of the models indicate the center will be 200 - 400 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. All of the major models currently predict that 90L will not make landfall, but will move slowly eastward out to sea on Thursday, when a trough of low pressure moving across the Eastern U.S. picks up the storm. There presently isn't much to be concerned with about this storm, as it appears that it will remain offshore and will become, at worst, a 40 - 50 mph subtropical storm. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving 90L a medium (30% chance) of developing into a depression or tropical/subtropical storm. Wunderbloggers Weather456 and StormW have more on 90L.

Western Caribbean disturbance
A small region of disturbed weather has developed in the Western Caribbean, off the east coast of Nicaragua. Moisture is expected to increase across in this area in the coming days, and by Saturday, the GFS and NOGAPS models predict that shear will drop low enough to permit the possible development of a strong tropical disturbance or tropical depression. This storm would then move northeastward over eastern Cuba early next week. The other models keep the shear high in the Caribbean all week, and do not show anything developing. Thus, the Western Caribbean bears watching later this week, but the conditions appear marginal for development.

Moderate risk of severe weather today in northern Plains
The Storm Prediction Center has placed western Nebraska and portions of South and North Dakota under their "Moderate" risk for severe weather today. They warn that "a couple of strong and possibly long-track tornadoes appear possible given the forecast scenario." Keep an eye on the activity today with our Severe Weather Page.

Major oil threat continues for the coast of Louisiana
Light winds are expected to prevail across the northern Gulf of Mexico all week, resulting in continued oiling threats to the Louisiana shoreline from the mouth of the Mississippi River westward 150 miles, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA. There is no longer a flow of oil moving southwards towards the Loop Current, and the oil that did move southwards last week was mostly entrained into a counter-clockwise rotating eddy attached to the northern boundary of the Loop Current. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery over the weekend showed that most of this oil has dispersed, and very little of this oil is now visible from space (Figure 2.) Imagery from NASA's MODIS instrument and from NOAA aircraft did not show any oil in the Loop Current headed towards the Florida Keys over the weekend, so that is good news. NOAA comments that there may be some "scattered tar balls" in the Loop Current headed towards the Florida Keys. I expect these scattered tar balls have completed the full loop of the Loop Current and are now headed east towards the Keys, and will pass the Dry Tortugas and Key West sometime Wednesday - Saturday. My guess is that the oil and its accompanying plume of toxic dispersants will be too thin and scattered to cause significant problems in the Keys.


Figure 2. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) image of the oil spill taken at 11:41am EDT Saturday May 22, 2010, by the European Envisat-1 satellite. Only scattered patches of oil are evident in the counter-clockwise rotating eddy on the northern boundary of the Loop Current. A small amount of oil appears to be in the Loop Current, and is moving southward. Image credit: Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing, University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. SAR images have a resolution of 8 - 50 meters, and can be taken through clouds and precipitation.

Future threats to the Keys
Mostly offshore winds are expected this week over the northern Gulf of Mexico, thanks to the approach of the 90L storm along the Southeast U.S. coast. It is uncertain if these winds will be strong enough to push oil southward into the Loop Current, though at least one ocean trajectory model does show this occurring. As I discussed in my post Wednesday, the Loop Current is very unstable right now, and is ready to cut off into a giant clockwise-rotating eddy, an event that occurs every 6 - 11 months. At least one ocean model (the Global HYCOM model from the HYCOM consortium) is predicting that such an eddy will form this week. In the event a Loop Current Eddy does break off, it would create a rotating ring of water 250 miles in diameter to the south of the oil spill. Oil moving southwards would tend to enter the giant eddy and circulate around it, not threatening any land areas. Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecast Service has a nice discussion on the possibility of the Loop Current cutting off into a Loop Current Eddy. Keep in mind, though, that during the first month that a Loop Current Eddy forms, it exchanges a considerable amount of water with the Loop Current. Thus we can expect that a portion of any oil moving southwards into a Loop Current Eddy will find its way into the Loop Current and move past the Florida Keys.

Oil spill resources
My post Wednesday with answers to some of the common questions I get about the 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
NOAA trajectory forecasts
Deepwater Horizon Unified Command web site
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Surface current forecasts from NOAA's HYCOM model
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

I'll be back with a new post Tuesday morning.

Jeff Masters

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334. xcool
keeping watch central america....
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting wadedanielsmith:
Patrap:

You cite a bunch of high paying government jobs, but that has little to do with normal private sector jobs. You can check salary websites and job agencies for validation of what I said.


Louisiana is one of the poorest states, and New Orleans is one of the poorest cities according to government stats.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wadedanielsmith:
213:

Not to mention the fact that most people in louisiana do not have "high paying jobs".

In fact, Louisianians on average have incomes SIGNIFICANTLY below the national average, and far, far below states like california or New York. Also, almost nobody in louisiana makes as much income as people in the automobile industries in Michigan, for example.


It is questionable whether there has even been any net economic profit to Louisiana from either the oil industry or the louisiana cypress company...even if there was, it really hasn't been worth the ecological damage.

Not much argument here about the non-monetary "costs" of industry.

But hold on there about the "national average" talk...nothing, and I mean nothing here costs as much as it does in NY, Cali, Miami, etc. From groceries to housing, everything is cheaper (except in a very few areas).

Check out HGTV sometime (my wife's fav). A med-sized $150k house here is a $500k smaller house in the places where the income substantially exceeds the national average.

You know what else? Those places seem to be more economically fragile. With their inflated (falsely, IMO) economies, things get bad very quickly as soon as the stock market dips. Take a look at who had the worst of the housing pop and ask why.

Not as bad here as you purport, IMHO...and a lot more honest (as in fair wage and fair costs).
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting stillwaiting:
Broad low pressure forming over central america!!!


Yep:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wadedanielsmith:
314:

Well, if you don't believe me, you can check it on salary websites and the LAWorks website...

I dont doubt you.
But thanks for the info.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24390
Good afternoon!

What's the latest with 90L?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting pottery:
OZ, post 310.
YES !! Looking fantastic there man.
Have fun. Stay safe.


Wow...you know...we are so very ready as a team. From our survival gear to our documenting equipment, to our live broadcasting equipment, to our transportation vehicles...everything is stellar, and top-drawer quality.

You folks will be in for quite a show, day or night storm doesn't matter now. We're going to show you everything we can in these storms or my Wunderground handle isn't CycloneOz! :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TexasGulf:


Would it make a difference? If you KNEW that the American people were keeping 25% of the oil from that well... so at 45,000 barrels/day (divided by four for 25/75 split) @ $80/barrel we would have an annual income of $328.5 Million/year... is it worth this?

Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas actually make more than a 25/75 split of the oil in terms of jobs and earned income. Still, this one spill might cost much more than 10-years of potential state income.

This whole line of thought about profit percentages has NOTHING to do with the oil spill, which is an entirely different matter.

If we, as a nation, are willing to pass and enforce regulations to dramatically improve off-shore drilling safety, then if we're willing to spend 50-Cents more per gallon to pay for the new enforcement and equipment so those regulations are met... then we can correct the problem for the future.

New regulations and better equipment costs money. The additional money makes drilling in the Gulf more expensive, so will eventually go into the product overhead making gasoline more expensive. People gripe about 10-cents per gallon increases or oil industry profits. If we want better safety and a cleaner environment, it is achievable but expect to pay more for it.


AFAIK, Louisiana makes much less than TX and MS because of politics in the 30s. It's been quite an issue here since Katrina, especially.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting superweatherman:


Yesterday you had a map with black background and like the shear map with does waves but with blue, light blue and violet and you said was looking bad... it said that the 1008mb and dropping lower in August and even lower in September... can you give me a link for that doo...and what does it mean?... I am trying to lean.


I posted a GFS shear map out 14 days which can be found at weatherunderground's model page.

The other image you are referring to is Accuweather's CFS long range forecast showing MSLP and MSLP anomalies for the upcoming months of the hurricane season. That was not posted by me since I do not have an accuweather pro subscription. It was posted by StormW I think.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
OZ, post 310.
YES !! Looking fantastic there man.
Have fun. Stay safe.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24390
Quoting stillwaiting:
Broad low pressure forming over central america!!!


What's the current movement on that?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Yeah,,Tulane, Loyola and Other Colleges are not big names in Medical nor Engineering.

Pfffft.

NOLA has the Lowest unemployment rate of any Current US Metro area.

And 500,000 folks in the Burbs in Jefferson Parish...and nother 100,000 on the N shore.
Half of whom are NASA employees,

They built the 119 SHuttle ET's.

NRL,NWS,NOAA,or Lockheed Martin Employed.

And dont forget the Military,and COE guys, The 4th Marine Reserve Division,NAS Belle Chase.

Yeah,we dont know squat.


And then there's this Tourism thing.

And were the first NFL team below sea Level to Win a Super Bowl


LOL




So I guess the 9 officials the Saints hired to help them beat the Vikings put you guys at the lowest unemployment rate in the country lol

Congrats lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7822
hey non-husband!!!

;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Yeah,,Tulane, Loyola and Other Colleges are not big names in Medical nor Engineering.

Pfffft.

NOLA has the Lowest unemployment rate of any Current US Metro area.

And 500,000 folks in the Burbs in Jefferson Parish...and nother 100,000 on the N shore.
Half of whom are NASA employees,

They built the 119 SHuttle ET's.

NRL,NWS,NOAA,or Lockheed Martin Employed.

And dont forget the Military,and COE guys, The 4th Marine Reserve Division,NAS Belle Chase.

Yeah,we dont know squat.


And then there's this Tourism thing.

And were the first NFL team below sea Level to Win a Super Bowl


LOL


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wadedanielsmith:
213:

Not to mention the fact that most people in louisiana do not have "high paying jobs".

In fact, Louisianians on average have incomes SIGNIFICANTLY below the national average, and far, far below states like california or New York. Also, almost nobody in louisiana makes as much income as people in the automobile industries in Michigan, for example.


It is questionable whether there has even been any net economic profit to Louisiana from either the oil industry or the louisiana cypress company...even if there was, it really hasn't been worth the ecological damage.


The concern isn't the oil industry nor the cypress. Rather, the fishing industries are going to be hit and hit hard. With Barataria bay being intruded (Half of Louisiana's production, and greater than MS, AL, and FL combined) by oil, it may get worse.

The fishing industry is the base level of many communities' economy. This is why the oil needs to be kept OUT of the marshland, not cleaned up after it's already been there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
To add the high numbers this year....this website is predicting 24-27 named storms. NOAA comes out on Thursday and if they are above 16 named storms, then this year probably has the most consensus when it comes to well above average to hyperactive.


Yesterday you had a map with black background and like the shear map with does waves but with blue, light blue and violet and you said was looking bad... it said that the 1008mb and dropping lower in August and even lower in September... can you give me a link for that doo...and what does it mean?... I am trying to lean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wadedanielsmith:
213:

Not to mention the fact that most people in louisiana do not have "high paying jobs".

In fact, Louisianians on average have incomes SIGNIFICANTLY below the national average, and far, far below states like california or New York. Also, almost nobody in louisiana makes as much income as people in the automobile industries in Michigan, for example.


It is questionable whether there has even been any net economic profit to Louisiana from either the oil industry or the louisiana cypress company...even if there was, it really hasn't been worth the ecological damage.

OK> I could not imagine that could be so!
That's pretty sick, really.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24390
NAO

Negative






Positive


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wadedanielsmith:
213:

Not to mention the fact that most people in louisiana do not have "high paying jobs".

In fact, Louisianians on average have incomes SIGNIFICANTLY below the national average, and far, far below states like california or New York. Also, almost nobody in louisiana makes as much income as people in the automobile industries in Michigan, for example.


It is questionable whether there has even been any net economic profit to Louisiana from either the oil industry or the louisiana cypress company...even if there was, it really hasn't been worth the ecological damage.


...And I thought it was just Florida that has crappy pay lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting lickitysplit:
Have any of you been watching the BP oil flow feed? There are now major eruptions of oil and the seafloor seems to be...well...I dont know. Seems like a major development.

Oh and nice how BP has been telling us they've been siphoning 5k bpd the past week but that in fact they admit today its only been about 1k.

Time to get a new energy policy.

Looks like some interference on the periphery of the lens of the camera, making the sea-floor look like it is moving around.
Bear in mind that this is the view of the leak on the pipe a long way from the BOP, which sits on top of the well itself. The pipe you are seeing there does not come out of the ground there, but is laying along the bottom.
You can also see the amount of oil seems to have increased recently. And the "whiter" part of the flow must be the gas coming up with the oil. The gas will flow from the "top" of the pipe as shown, being lighter.
The pipe in the vid. is some 20" diam., so that is an awfull lot of stuff coming out.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24390
Quoting pottery:

Check out a "steady-cam" attachment for your video camera.
Bolts onto the camera housing, and keeps the camera steady through most action. It is quite incredible, and allows for shooting action to be smooth. Basically a counter-ballanced gimbal mounting, but it works.
Most storm vids I have seen, the camera is jumping around so much that it spoils the thing.


The live web cam I'll be using doesn't have a steady cam attachment. However, it will be strapped down very securely to the backpack I'll be wearing.

The HD cams we'll be using do not have steady cam attachments either. They're tiny...and shoot 170 degrees of wide angle.

Here is the test I conducted with my daughter Elena and our Yamaha Rhino. I think you'll agree that we're ready with great equipment!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting twhcracker:


and if you find oil on your property, and some big oil company comes out and digs a well and pumps it and refines it, they only give you every fifth or eighth barrel, I forget which. So how come they get to drill offshore and the american people dont get at least the fifth or eighth barrel. *&^*&%&$


Would it make a difference? If you KNEW that the American people were keeping 25% of the oil from that well... so at 45,000 barrels/day (divided by four for 25/75 split) @ $80/barrel we would have an annual income of $328.5 Million/year... is it worth this?

Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas actually make more than a 25/75 split of the oil in terms of jobs and earned income. Still, this one spill might cost much more than 10-years of potential state income.

This whole line of thought about profit percentages has NOTHING to do with the oil spill, which is an entirely different matter.

If we, as a nation, are willing to pass and enforce regulations to dramatically improve off-shore drilling safety, then if we're willing to spend 50-Cents more per gallon to pay for the new enforcement and equipment so those regulations are met... then we can correct the problem for the future.

New regulations and better equipment costs money. The additional money makes drilling in the Gulf more expensive, so will eventually go into the product overhead making gasoline more expensive. People gripe about 10-cents per gallon increases or oil industry profits. If we want better safety and a cleaner environment, it is achievable but expect to pay more for it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Broad low pressure forming over central america!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting errantlythought:
Dr. Masters will be on the Spud show on WWL in a few minutes. Dont know quite when, but will give an update for anyone wanting to listen.

Believe he's going to be speaking on the possible effects of a hurricane in the gulf. Spud also mentioned 90L.

Wwl.com stream for you out of towners.


repost
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1797
Quoting JeffMasters:


It is scheduled for 2:10pm CDT...

Jeff Masters


Listening now!
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1797
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JeffMasters:


It is scheduled for 2:10pm CDT...

Jeff Masters


I'm listening on my Wunderground radio app on my ipod touch. :D
Member Since: January 14, 2007 Posts: 17 Comments: 4140
Quoting JeffMasters:


It is scheduled for 2:10pm CDT...

Jeff Masters
thanks doc i will give a listen
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54390
To add the high numbers this year....this website is predicting 24-27 named storms. NOAA comes out on Thursday and if they are above 16 named storms, then this year probably has the most consensus when it comes to well above average to hyperactive.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks, Doc!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Did 90L received an eye?
I think i seen the eye on satellite image and the real COC is nr.3(post nr 202)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
7 minutes to that cue.

Thanks
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
296. JeffMasters (Admin)
Quoting Patrap:
Listening to WWL now..thanx for the update.

Spuds da man
Quoting errantlythought:
Dr. Masters will be on the Spud show on WWL in a few minutes. Dont know quite when, but will give an update for anyone wanting to listen.

Believe he's going to be speaking on the possible effects of a hurricane in the gulf. Spud also mentioned 90L.

Wwl.com stream for you out of towners.


It is scheduled for 2:10pm CDT...

Jeff Masters
295. IKE
Quoting Patrap:
90L RGB still Image


Never before was so much said about so little by so many.

90L the 2010 Primer



I'm beginning to think "no-name" for 90L.

(1)Still no recon.
(2)Convection is waning.
(3)Computer models kill it off within 48-72 hours.
(4)NHC special advisory says it's still rather disorganized.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Have any of you been watching the BP oil flow feed? There are now major eruptions of oil and the seafloor seems to be...well...I dont know. Seems like a major development.

Oh and nice how BP has been telling us they've been siphoning 5k bpd the past week but that in fact they admit today its only been about 1k.

Time to get a new energy policy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
293. IKE
Boy the 12Z ECMWF sure looks different with 90L then it did about 3 days ago.

Doesn't show much in the Caribbean through day 10.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What is the direction i should be looking for as it would be favorable for hurricane development?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
90L RGB still Image


Never before was so much said about so little by so many.

90L the 2010 Primer

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:


Many thanks!

BTW: I just found out how much it costs to rent 4,000 watts of portable, generator-powered lighting for use during hurricanes.

The cost per week is surprisingly affordable. And I already carry 50 gallons of gas on the roof of the van...

So...what this means is that we will be able to roll cameras during night storms.

We've also got a case of red flares, too...just in case. :)

Oz---

Check out a "steady-cam" attachment for your video camera.
Bolts onto the camera housing, and keeps the camera steady through most action. It is quite incredible, and allows for shooting action to be smooth. Basically a counter-ballanced gimbal mounting, but it works.
Most storm vids I have seen, the camera is jumping around so much that it spoils the thing.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24390
Quoting StormW:


Welcome!

Here ya go...take a look just after the 16th of May:



Thanks again, Storm! You are a huge help to this blog, as well as Drak and 456. Look forward to blogging with you this season!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
260- Spencer had a write up on that a few days ago.

Global Average Sea Surface Temperatures Poised for a Plunge
May 20th, 2010 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.


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StormW what exactly are those charts showing?
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Just have to put on the mathematician hat from time to time...the bane of many a met-hopeful.

Get past cal 2 and nothing else will slow you down.


scared me away to a career of GIS/Geography
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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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