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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Quoting Herbertsbox:


I don't know whether to laugh or cry...
LMAO, Well I was 6.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting kmanislander:


Yep, all 3 miles it took me to drive home LOL

Funny thing though. I dropped my daughter off from school at 3:30 and when I came back at 5:30 we had received 1.63 inches of rain !!

Crazy tropics.
None on this side today though. We got ours last week. LOL
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Oil Pollution Act Overview


National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan Overview

Key Provisions of National Contingency Plan

§300.110 Establishes the National Response Team and its roles and responsibilities in the National Response system, including planning and coordinating responses to major discharges of oil or hazardous waste, providing guidance to Regional Response Teams, coordinating a national program of preparedness planning and response, and facilitating research to improve response activities. EPA serves as the lead agency within the National Response Team (NRT).

§300.115 Establishes the Regional Response Teams and their roles and responsibilities in the National Response System, including, coordinating preparedness, planning, and response at the regional level. The RRT consists of a standing team made up of representatives of each federal agency that is a member of the NRT, as well as state and local government representatives, and also an incident-specific team made up of members of the standing team that is activated for a response. The RRT also provides oversight and consistency review for area plans within a given region.

§300.120 Establishes general responsibilities of federal On-Scene Coordinators.

§300.125(a) Requires notification of any discharge or release to the National Response Center through a toll-free telephone number. The National Response Center (NRC) acts as the central clearinghouse for all pollution incident reporting.

§300.135(a) Authorizes the predesignated On-Scene Coordinator to direct all federal, state, and private response activities at the site of a discharge.

§300.135(d) Establishes the unified command structure for managing responses to discharges through coordinated personnel and resources of the federal government, the state government, and the responsible party.

§300.165 Requires the On-Scene Coordinator to submit to the RRT or NRT a report on all removal actions taken at a site.

§300.170 Identifies the responsibilities for federal agencies that may be called upon during response planning and implementation to provide assistance in their respective areas of expertise consistent with the agencies' capabilities and authorities.

§300.175 Lists the federal agencies that have duties associated with responding to releases.

§300.210 Defines the objectives, authority, and scope of Federal Contingency Plans, including the National Contingency Plan (NCP), Regional Contingency Plans (RCPs), and Area Contingency Plans (ACPs).


Oil Removals

§300.317 Establishes national priorities for responding to a release.

§300.320 Establishes the general pattern of response to be executed by the On-Scene Coordinator (OSC), including determination of threat, classification of the size and type of the release, notification of the RRT and the NRC, and supervision of thorough removal actions.

§300.322 Authorizes the OSC to determine whether a release poses a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States based on several factors, including the size and character of the discharge and its proximity to human populations and sensitive environments. In such cases, the OSC is authorized to direct all federal, state, or private response and recovery actions. The OSC may enlist the support of other federal agencies or special teams.

§300.323 Provides special consideration to discharges which have been classified as a spill of national significance. In such cases, senior federal officials direct nationally-coordinated response efforts.

§300.324 Requires the OSC to notify the National Strike Force Coordination Center (NSFCC) in the event of a worst case discharges, defined as the largest foreseeable discharge in adverse weather conditions. The NSFCC coordinates the acquisition of needed response personnel and equipment. The OSC also must require implementation of the worst case portion of the tank vessel and Facility Response Plans and the Area Contingency Plan.

§300.355 Provides funding for responses to oil releases under the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, provided certain criteria are met. The responsible party is liable for federal removal costs and damages as detailed in section 1002 of the Oil Pollution Act (OPA). Federal agencies assisting in a response action may be reimbursed. Several other federal agencies may provide financial support for removal actions.

Subpart J Establishes the NCP Product Schedule, which contains dispersants and other chemical or biological products that may be used in carrying out the NCP. Authorization for the use of these products is conducted by Regional Response Teams and Area Committees, or by the OSC in consultation with EPA representatives.


Hazardous Substance Removals

§300.415(b) Authorizes the lead agency to initiate appropriate removal action in the event of a hazardous substance release. Decisions of action will be based on threats to human or animal populations, contamination of drinking water supplies or sensitive ecosystems, high levels of hazardous substances in soils, weather conditions that may cause migration or release of hazardous substances, the threat of fire or explosion, or other significant factors effecting the health or welfare or the public or the environment.

§300.415(c) Authorizes the OSC to direct appropriate actions to mitigate or remove the release of hazardous substances.




After reading the above, it is aparent that the Federal government has the authority to take over the cleanup, and containment of the oil spill, that BP apparently has been unable to do. BP would still be responsible for the bill...

This makes me think again as to who has been derelict in their duty to control the spill, once it become apparent two weeks ago that BP was incapable.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
90L's pressure continues to rise. With the way things are going 90L might be discontinued within 48 hours. Winds still at 45 MPH though.

AL, 90, 2010052500, , BEST, 0, 280N, 704W, 40, 1007, LO, 34, NEQ, 300, 0, 0, 0,


It's because i posted a blog entry saying how it's likely going to be Alex. Soon after that NHC downgraded to yellow, and everyone here started talking down on it.

Wonder if I can pull that off mid-august too.. and save thousands of lives :)

I still think it has a greater than 50% chance because there is finally convection blowing right near the center and it has been gradually breaking from the front-structure all day. I guess I'm alone on that though.
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1800
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Where is it circled ? You lost me now.

On the EPAC side.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The Panama AOI is already circled by the NHC and showing signs of strengthening, plus it has good model support. So if things persist we should have 91L within 72 hours.
Where is it circled ? You lost me now. OOps, I see now. On the Pacific side.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Well you beat me there, I got interested in weather at age 6. That same year I asked for a radar for Christmas, I never got it, but I did get a small basketball hoop, lol.


I don't know whether to laugh or cry...
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Quoting kmanislander:


Not before late this weekend IMO.
I can see that as a good time frame.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting pottery:
Election results are starting to come in here.
Looks like we may have a new Government tomorrow.


The 5 party coalition ?
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yeah Kman I know u have dealt with many,,Ivan, emily, dean,,I know camille formed near the caymans in 1969,,and of course gilbert...gotta love the islands but sometimes u deal with those uninvited guests
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Election results are starting to come in here.
Looks like we may have a new Government tomorrow.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24648
Quoting reedzone:
Let the games begin!! New burst on 90L, looks promising, we'll see...


I cant help but laugh. No offense but the smallest little tiny storm you see you think it is this massive burst that is going to make this thing sub trop. Maybe you are the one who is right but I am still looking for this new burst you are talkin about.
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I guess its not the age but the interest,,Dr masters blog is suppose to be of tropical chat mostly but this year has been unusual concerning the oil spill,,I know since Ive been on here since 2005 Ive learned alot but, with anything tropical science is something we will all learn from and try to understand but sometimes mother nature can throw a monkey wrench into any so called perfect science
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b.t.w the nhc still has this up hmmm... I wonder

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from the 745 special tropical outlook on 90l

NO FURTHER SPECIAL TROPICAL
WEATHER OUTLOOKS ON THIS SYSTEM ARE ANTICIPATED.
$$
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Quoting hydrus:
sounds more ferocious than 1974,s Hurricane FiFi. That storm killed thousands. The name FiFi makes me want to vomit.:)

fifi? sounds like an ankle dog. that name does turn my stomach
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Bouy 41048 - 90L

Member Since: January 14, 2007 Posts: 17 Comments: 4140
Let the games begin!! New burst on 90L, looks promising, we'll see...

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
So you're thinking more towards 120+ hour time frame.


Not before late this weekend IMO.
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Newest WINDSAT on 90L:

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting stormhank:
older but wiser ehh kman lol


Sat through a few and followed many. Gotta love the tropics.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Pass the hanky please :-(

Anyway, on to Invests. 91L will not show up until 90L has been gone for two days and is 700 miles or more ENE of Cape Hatteras. Then the window of opportunity will open in the NW Caribbean.
So you're thinking more towards 120+ hour time frame.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
older but wiser ehh kman lol
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
this blog just turned into a tear fest about age and respect. I think now that respect has made it full circle when will we get 91L become an offcial invest?


Pass the hanky please :-(

Anyway, on to Invests. 91L will not show up until 90L has been gone for two days and is 700 miles or more ENE of Cape Hatteras. Then the window of opportunity will open in the NW Caribbean.
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. AN AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER HAS FORMED NEAR CENTRAL AMERICA...A FEW
HUNDRED MILES WEST OF COSTA RICA. ALTHOUGH ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT
IS NOT ANTICIPATED...THIS SYSTEM COULD BRING HEAVY RAINS OVER COSTA
RICA...NICARAGUA AND HONDURAS DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS AS THE
SYSTEM MOVES SLOWLY TOWARD THE NORTHWEST. THERE IS A LOW
CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
www.animated-gifs.eu/emoticons-fighting/0010.gif smiley says of 90l
LOL. hehehe
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Here's my most recent take on 90L.

This system is giving me a headache, though I suspect I'm not the only one. :P
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When my interest in tropical weather started you had to listen to NOAA radio to get the updates to hand plot the storms.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
90L's pressure continues to rise. With the way things are going 90L might be discontinued within 48 hours. Winds still at 45 MPH though.

AL, 90, 2010052500, , BEST, 0, 280N, 704W, 40, 1007, LO, 34, NEQ, 300, 0, 0, 0,
smiley says of 90l
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
this blog just turned into a tear fest about age and respect. I think now that respect has made it full circle when will we get 91L become an offcial invest?
The Panama AOI is already circled by the NHC and showing signs of strengthening, plus it has good model support. So if things persist we should have 91L within 72 hours.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
903. xcool
kmanislander lmao
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
902. xcool


Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Payback, the fans auto-reverse towards summer.
i know i forgot about that
lol
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Down here in West Palm Beach...gas prices have gone down 10 cents a gallon.
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Quoting xcool:
kmanislander 51.


I'll take it. Sold.
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this blog just turned into a tear fest about age and respect. I think now that respect has made it full circle when will we get 91L become an offcial invest?
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90L's pressure continues to rise. With the way things are going 90L might be discontinued within 48 hours. Winds still at 45 MPH though.

AL, 90, 2010052500, , BEST, 0, 280N, 704W, 40, 1007, LO, 34, NEQ, 300, 0, 0, 0,
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
I guess when it comes to tropical science the age doesnt matter its the interest, ive been interested since 1985 when my area got affected by kate n elena..so do the math and guess my age...btw im not on geritol yet LOL
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Quoting stormhank:
hey Kman u make it home from the office


Yep, all 3 miles it took me to drive home LOL

Funny thing though. I dropped my daughter off from school at 3:30 and when I came back at 5:30 we had received 1.63 inches of rain !!

Crazy tropics.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
894. xcool



Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting stormhank:
Im gonna name the storm I think will be the worst this year,,,,my pick is Igor...the name alone is intense lol
sounds more ferocious than 1974,s Hurricane FiFi. That storm killed thousands. The name FiFi makes me want to vomit.:)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21734
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Its all good Kman. Been reading your comments over the past couple of years and I have a tremendous amount of respect for you.
Me too.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
891. xcool
kmanislander 51.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Somewhere between you and Pottery !
LOL, you don't need to tell me, but I know you are young.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting kmanislander:


Somewhere between you and Pottery !
hehehehehehe
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Quoting kmanislander:
I was thinking of joining in the discussion but the age thing kind of made me think twice LOL


Its all good Kman. Been reading your comments over the past couple of years and I have a tremendous amount of respect for you.
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Quoting cajunkid:
Link

enjoy your current gas prices

as our commander and thieves say "never waste a good disaster."
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hey Kman u make it home from the office
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Quoting reedzone:
Looks like 90L may get it's act together tonight, notice some banding of convection to the northeast side, also notice new pop up storms kind of moving along with the bands of convection to the north. Definitely some warm core coming in.



Dunno why the floater is earlier on here, but go to the NHC site here and you'll see new popcorn storms forming around a possible new low near 70W 31N .. Can anybody see what I am seeing here?


you guys are hilarious...
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
gettin hot here big fish


Payback, the fans auto-reverse towards summer.
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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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