Long range oil spill forecast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:02 PM GMT on June 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 Hurricanes101:


Is it going to hit Florida?? :P
If it does follow current steering currents, yes. Lol.
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4655. hydrus
Quoting Weather456:


I think they issued the last advisory on that one. If you did not hear the news, The Great Red Spot is gone. This is not a joke.
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well be at 5,0000 be for the night is out
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Quoting Weather456:




Is it going to hit Florida?? :P
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4652. beell
Quoting Weather456:




LOL
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Quoting Weather456:


LMAO!!!
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4650. hydrus
Link ECMWF model.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Funny story about having ice after a Hurricane. I work at a place that produces a lot of ice. During the Frances and Jeanne power outages, I would take trash bags to work and fill them up to distribute to my neighbors. After a while, they said the ice smelled funny. It was then I realized that I had put them in the Glad “Scented” trash bags. But everyone was happy to have ice brought to them instead of waiting in line.


Just add water for a Friska.........ROFLMAO....good one Geoeff.
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Quoting CycloneOz:
Can someone here please point me to the nearest hurricane?
from what has been said today in here it want be long. Sometime around June 21st could be our first storm coming into the Gulf....

Taco :o)
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Quoting CycloneOz:
Can someone here please point me to the nearest hurricane?


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4646. bappit
Quoting Patrap:
Ill take a good radio anyday over a TV.

If calamity has come..yer gonna get nuthing anyway from yer local TV.

And real time info is key to knowing distribtion sites and other post storm critical info


Jawohl!
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Good evening folks.

It looks like June is going to be quiet as per climatology.

We might still get one TS and/or a TD by the end of the month but little in the way of action before the 20th IMO
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Funny story about having ice after a Hurricane. I work at a place that produces a lot of ice. During the Frances and Jeanne power outages, I would take trash bags to work and fill them up to distribute to my neighbors. After a while, they said the ice smelled funny. It was then I realized that I had put them in the Glad “Scented” trash bags. But everyone was happy to have ice brought to them instead of waiting in line.
LMAO!
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What do the bloggers here tonight think of the effort/progress being made on the oil well?
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Quoting CycloneOz:
Can someone here please point me to the nearest hurricane?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->
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Quoting Patrap:

You have flour on yer nose..too.

Shes much prettier than you so she gets the atta boy .

No argument there...
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The preliminary summary of Yesterdays tornado outbreak is available here.
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Funny story about having ice after a Hurricane. I work at a place that produces a lot of ice. During the Frances and Jeanne power outages, I would take trash bags to work and fill them up to distribute to my neighbors. After a while, they said the ice smelled funny. It was then I realized that I had put them in the Glad “Scented” trash bags. But everyone was happy to have ice brought to them instead of waiting in line.
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Quoting masonsnana:

$$=stress Sadly not all of us have a lot of it


Isnt' someone supposed to share the wealth so we all have the same amount?
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3835
Quoting Patrap:


Always good to buy two of anything for Prep.

Money well spent for sure.

Our families and friends are worth every cent.

$$=stress Sadly not all of us have a lot of it
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Can someone here please point me to the nearest hurricane?
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3835
4633. Ossqss
Quoting Patrap:
Ill take a good radio anyday over a TV.

If calamity has come..yer gonna get nuthing anyway from yer local TV.

And real time info is key to knowing distribtion sites and other post storm critical info


Bingo! :)

Lots of hand crank units with built in batteries out there that work wonderfully. I have an older Sony ICF-B05W that does the trick.

Link
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Anyone have iPhone's here?


HTC HD from tmobile......awsome phone!
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Quoting TampaSpin:
4614. MiamiHurricanes09 9:13 PM EDT on June 06, 2010
Supply list

Sun-Sentinel

They forgot the Johnny Walker Blue Label...i can't believe it....LOL


I have three bottles! About $600 worth of blended Scotch.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3835
4630. hydrus
Link GEM model.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
4614. MiamiHurricanes09 9:13 PM EDT on June 06, 2010
Supply list

Sun-Sentinel

They forgot the Johnny Walker Blue Label...i can't believe it....LOL
LOL!
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Anyone have iPhone's here?


Just the one's that like sporadic and localized service!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3835
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Anyone have iPhone's here?


No sadly, I have a HTC Hero (droid)
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4614. MiamiHurricanes09 9:13 PM EDT on June 06, 2010
Supply list

Sun-Sentinel

They forgot the Johnny Walker Blue Label...i can't believe it....LOL
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4625. hydrus
Link
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Anyone have iPhone's here?
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Good night everyone
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
4622. hydrus
Link
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4621. Patrap
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Thanks Pat. Just ordered 2. For myself and my father.


Always good to buy two of anything for Prep.

Money well spent for sure.

Our families and friends are worth every cent.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
Thanks Pat. Just ordered 2. For myself and my father.
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4619. Patrap
Quoting atmoaggie:

Hey, now, we both made it...well, I handled all of the pie crust work and final preps, she did the stuffing.




You have flour on yer nose..too.

Shes much prettier than you so she gets the atta boy .


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
4618. Dakster
Quoting BiloxiIsle:
Thanks for the info Patrap and CapeObserver. I have most of my supplies ready, but not the tv. Will get one this week as I don't want to wait til the last minute!


I have a small portable TV that is now useless because of HDTV... Have to get a small portablte HDTV Now...

Although radio and cellphonework well too. Can use the cellphone as a modem and the laptop to stream live video and best of all come here for updates.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10535
4616. hydrus
Link
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4615. beell
The hand crank radios are a great stress reliever while hunkered down.
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Supply list

Sun-Sentinel
When you are collecting supplies make sure you have enough of everything for at least two weeks. Keep them in airtight containers or plastic bags. Some basic items, not including food and water might include:

# Clean containers for storing drinking water: Figure you will need a gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation. Have a two-week supply on hand for each person. Use clean containers for storing drinking water. Food-grade plastic containers that have screw caps, such as 2-liter soda bottles, are best. Plastic milk jugs, though they can be leaky, will do in a pinch.

# Gallon-sized freezer bags for making ice: You'll want to fill them with water and freeze as many as you can a few days before the storm is expected to arrive.

# Household bleach, without lemon scent, to purify water.

# Tools: hammer and nails; ax or hatchet; crowbar; screwdrivers; pliers; a drill (consider battery-powered) with screwdriver bits and adapters to install bolts; extra fasteners and bolts for shutters; a knife; handsaw.

# Duct tape and masking tape.

# Flashlight for each member of the family with extra batteries

# Radio or battery-powered TV with extra batteries

# Fire extinguisher

# Lantern with extra fuel or batteries

# Matches: Wooden kitchen matches are best. Keep them dry in a plastic bag or plastic film container.

# A charcoal or gas grill with a supply of fuel so you can cook if you are left without electricity or gas. Never use a grill inside.

# Fuel for your generator or chain saw

# Sterno stove, with extra fuel

# Oven mitts, for handling hot cookware.

# Disposable plastic eating utensils, to help you save water.

# Hand-operated can opener

# Soap with a covered plastic container

# Toiletries

# Toilet paper. Keep it dry in plastic bags.

# Needle and thread

# Mosquito repellent

# A first aid kit See a list of suggested items here.

# Extra prescription medications, enough for a month.

# Disposable diapers and wipes

# Cat litter, which also is good for soaking up spills.

# A two week supply of food for your pets

# Several boxes of garbage bags, with ties, to collect refuse and store goods to keep them dry.

# Large plastic trash cans with sealing lids work well for the storage of most items. As alternatives, try duffel bags, camping backpacks or cardboard boxes.

# Rope or heavy cord. Get 100 feet. It can be useful an many ways. As a clothesline, for example.

# Tarpaulin, canvas or 6-mil plastic sheeting. Good for making temporary roof repairs or tents.

# Safety razor blades

# Whistle or air horn

# Money (most ATMs will not be operational)

Copyright © 2010, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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4613. Patrap
Ill take a good radio anyday over a TV.

If calamity has come..yer gonna get nuthing anyway from yer local TV.

And real time info is key to knowing distribtion sites and other post storm critical info
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
Quoting Patrap:


O man..I have a fork ready.
Tell her tyvm.

Hey, now, we both made it...well, I handled all of the pie crust work and final preps, she did the stuffing.
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4611. Ossqss
Quoting Patrap:
digital portable TV




2010 Hurricane Preparation


Yup, just make sure you look at the battery capacity. Some go 7 hours, some 2 on a charge. Lithium Ion battery is a must. The price difference is minimal ;)
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4610. hydrus
Link
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4609. Patrap
Quoting atmoaggie:
Hey Patrap. Thought of you a bit ago. The wife and I made Prejean's crawfish pie stuffing and put it into Emeril's pie crust.

Every bit of it from scratch. Was tasty and something I thought you might enjoy. Puttin' ya some in the wumail now.


O man..I have a fork ready.
Tell her tyvm.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
4608. Patrap
... a must have is a good am/FM Radio with Marine and Police channels and ham radio.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
Hey Patrap. Thought of you a bit ago. The wife and I made Prejean's crawfish pie stuffing and put it into Emeril's pie crust.

Every bit of it from scratch. Was tasty and something I thought you might enjoy. Puttin' ya some in the wumail now.
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Not trying to give myself credit, but I detected rotation in the storm that spawned today's Muncie, Indiana tornado. I even posted some radar images of it on here earlier.
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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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