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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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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4605. aquak9
Well I'd love to post a link to all our emergency radios and even some cool nifty gadgets, like a plug-in night-light that lights up the ceiling, too, if the power goes out. Then it can be unplugged and used as a flashlight.

we also have hand-crank radios that will even charge your cell phone.

We got all sorts of ultra-cool stuff, and everything under the sun, to measure just about any weather condition imaginable.

And we're an authorized WeatherUnderground vendor.

But ya'll know what happens if we post links directing folks to other sites...

so wu-mail me if ya have any questions.
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Let's have a conversation about ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy)!
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4602. beell
Quoting Weather456:
I will give the 18Z GFS some attention if it keeps its solution this week in developing the 35W wave in the NW Caribbean. A very reasonable solution but a long shot at that.


It's first in line. Got that going for it!
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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!
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Quoting aspectre:
4396 TampaSpin "I don't know if you all seen my post today early but, i was just looking at the LIVE FEED of the Oil gusher......How much did BP claim to be collecting.....i seen 30%. I find that hard to believe."

Welcome back. And I am genuinely regretful for having surmised something that happened in the blog with a partial report on what you actually did into something else entirely.

Adding the flow rate increase from cutting the riser on the BlowoutPreventer, then subtracting the 10,000barrels per day that BP has announced is being recovered: some amount between the 3400barrels per day minimum up to the 10,400barrels per day average is still spilling into the Gulf...
...and I refuse to think about pessimistic projections.

BritishPetroleum's ChiefExecutiveOfficer claims that they "are recovering most of the crude oil" that is flowing out of the well.
However, BP has not announced that they actually know the flow rate -- as opposed to their previous official "it's not important enough to bother finding out" -- or what that flow rate is.
And until they do make such knowledge public, I can only wonder how their CEO knows that most of the crude oil is being recovered, can only assume that he is engaging in wishful thinking.


ThaNK YOU.....its ok! If people ask for help and i can help with info....i would do it again and again....i will probably get another Bann.

I posted this late last night and reposted this again this morning.

2370. TampaSpin 8:44 PM EDT on June 05, 2010
You all gotta love BP and our Governments math. The claim was when they cut the Riser off there would be about a 20% gain in oil coming out........So that would be 120%......if you now assume they are capturing 30% of what is coming out as they say that would then mean that 92.30% is stil coming out from the the extra 20% they increased it by from when the Riser was cut....they are collecting 8% of 18,000 barrels or 16,560 barrels is still coming out in 24hours.....simple math.....its not really 30% as they say from what it was days ago.

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Quoting Patrap:
digital portable TV




2010 Hurricane Preparation
I really like that image!
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
4598. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting dsenecal2009:
Can yall recommend a good emergency radio?


For the NOAA weather radios I like ones with SAME technology.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
I will give the 18Z GFS some attention if it keeps its solution this week in developing the 35W wave in the NW Caribbean. A very reasonable solution but a long shot at that.
Thats what im waiting for persistence on showing the same solutions and more models coming on board.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
4595. hydrus
I just posted a link to a computer model. I tried the link to see if it was working and it brought me back to Weather Underground. What did I do wrong?
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22604
Quoting BiloxiIsle:
Going over hurricane supplies, I realize I do not have a battery operated tv that will work. What kind should I get, and where can I get one?


I have already purchased one. You can get them relatively inexpensive, around $100, at Target, Walmart etc. I did some research and the Haier was the best for the money at the time. It works pretty well in my local area.
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Evident rotation with the wave around 30˚W-40˚W.

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4592. Patrap
digital portable TV




2010 Hurricane Preparation
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
I will give the 18Z GFS some attention if it keeps its solution this week in developing the 35W wave in the NW Caribbean. A very reasonable solution but a long shot at that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aspectre:
4396 TampaSpin "I don't know if you all seen my post today early but, i was just looking at the LIVE FEED of the Oil gusher......How much did BP claim to be collecting.....i seen 30%. I find that hard to believe."

Welcome back. And I am genuinely regretful for having surmised something that happened in the blog with a partial report on what you actually did into something else entirely.

Adding the flow rate increase from cutting the riser on the BlowoutPreventer, then subtracting the 10,000barrels per day that BP has announced is being recovered:
some amount between the 3400barrels per day minimum to the 10,400barrels per day average is still spilling into the Gulf...
...and I refuse to think about pessimistic projections.

BritishPetroleum's ChiefExecutiveOfficer claims that they "are recovering most of the crude oil" that is flowing out of the well.
However, BP has not announced that they actually know the flow rate -- as opposed to their previous official "it's not important enough to bother finding out" -- or what that flow rate is.
And until they do make such knowledge public, I can only wonder how their CEO knows that most of the crude oil is being recovered, can only assume that he is engaging in wishful thinking.

We wont know anything until they shut the valves. Then we might be able to visually see the leak stop. I say if it take about 90% of the leak away, theyneed to stop trying other things and focus all resources on cleanup and relief well.
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Quoting shakaka:


This should be the mandatory 1st post in every new blog.
Scroll up. Jeff titles every blog...this one happens to be "Long range oil spill forecast"...
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Can yall recommend a good emergency radio?
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Quoting winter123:

Does northern GOM blob have any chance?
No it doesnt but in a couple of weeks we could get something to track in the gulf as conditions become more favorable.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting winter123:

Does northern GOM blob have any chance?
No. lol.
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4585. Patrap
Quoting msgambler:
Good evening Pat. Sitting here enjoying a nice cold beverage overlooking the pool at the Isle, stopped by to say hello to everyone and see how things were going in the Deep Blue and realized why I haven't been on here all day...LOL


Im so jealous..

I want pool.
And beverage as well.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
Quoting BiloxiIsle:
Going over hurricane supplies, I realize I do not have a battery operated tv that will work. What kind should I get, and where can I get one?


I think Pat has a good link to digital portable TV's.
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Quoting Patrap:
GOM IR Loop


Does northern GOM blob have any chance?
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1802
Good evening Pat. Sitting here enjoying a nice cold beverage overlooking the pool at the Isle, stopped by to say hello to everyone and see how things were going in the Deep Blue and realized why I haven't been on here all day...LOL
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Oh, LOL! I though you said:
"
I don't think we will get a storm before that though
"

Its okay we do it sometimes maybe that wave will be the catalyst for development bit until i see it im not buying it.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Going over hurricane supplies, I realize I do not have a battery operated tv that will work. What kind should I get, and where can I get one?
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


No you actually agree with me then lol
Oh, LOL! I though you said:
"
I don't think we will get a storm before that though
"

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Quoting Weather456:
14 June 2008

The time stamp is incorrect, only realized it two years later, lol.

LOL!
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
4396 TampaSpin "I don't know if you all seen my post today early but, i was just looking at the LIVE FEED of the Oil gusher......How much did BP claim to be collecting.....i seen 30%. I find that hard to believe."

Welcome back. And I am genuinely regretful for having added something that happened in the blog to a partial report on what you actually did to surmise something else entirely different.

Adding the flow rate increase from cutting the riser on the BlowoutPreventer, then subtracting the 10,000barrels per day that BP has announced is being recovered: some amount between the 3400barrels per day minimum up to the 10,400barrels per day average is still spilling into the Gulf...
...and I refuse to think about pessimistic projections.

BritishPetroleum's ChiefExecutiveOfficer claims that they "are recovering most of the crude oil" that is flowing out of the well. However, BP has not announced that they actually know the flow rate -- as opposed to their previous official "it's not important enough to bother finding out" -- or what that flow rate is.
And until they do make such knowledge public, I can only wonder how their CEO knows that more than half of the crude oil is being recovered, can only assume that he is engaging in wishful thinking.
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Quoting Patrap:
GOM IR Loop



No rain here yet in Gautier...looks like most of the convection hanging off shore.
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4575. Patrap
Atlantic Ocean View (Updated ~3 hours)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
The big map:

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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Impressive waves.Especally for june.May eventually become a trouble maker down the road.Has anybody ever remember seeing such waves so early.


This is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl.
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14 June 2008

The time stamp is incorrect, only realized it two years later, lol.

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I disagree. One of these waves emerging off of Africa will probably become our first named storm, whether it will be directly attributed or indirectly attributed to the wave is yet to be seen. What I mean is that if the wave is too south to make it to the Caribbean it will probably have to go through south America and then attribute it's energy in the SW Caribbean, which in turn should allow for out first system. The time-frame of our first system, I think, will be within the next 14 days, particularly the 6-10 day time-frame.


No you actually agree with me then lol

I said I feel we will see our first named storm before that time in July when the MJO comes back to an upward motion
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I do think we will get a storm before that though


Ya, i would say most likely! MOre the local breed type my thinking! ie. GOM, W. Caribbean,or Bahammas
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
This early in the season the convection will drop off the waves coming off the coast of Africa but you have to follow the energy. If the energy survives it will start to fire convection again over warmer water when all the dynamics line up.
Exactly!
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4567. Patrap
Gulf Of Mexico - Rainbow Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
4566. shakaka
Quoting extreme236:


Lets remember this is a weather blog, not facebook...


This should be the mandatory 1st post in every new blog.
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This early in the season the convection will drop off the waves coming off the coast of Africa but you have to follow the energy. If the energy survives it will start to fire convection again over warmer water when all the dynamics line up.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I do think we will get a storm before that though
I disagree. One of these waves emerging off of Africa will probably become our first named storm, whether it will be directly attributed or indirectly attributed to the wave is yet to be seen. What I mean is that if the wave is too south to make it to the Caribbean it will probably have to go through south America and then attribute it's energy in the SW Caribbean, which in turn should allow for out first system. The time-frame of our first system, I think, will be within the next 14 days, particularly the 6-10 day time-frame.
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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Hey Alex.How are you doing.
Doing good ive been spending time with my mother today
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
4562. Patrap
GOM IR Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Yea haha I dont ignore anyone because it is a blog...surprised people get so upset over what others write. I just sit here and laugh at it. I will quote whoever I want and if they dont like it they can ignore me. They would be the ones missing out, not me.
Yeah your right. Life is too short and this is a place for information not childish bickering
Member Since: February 14, 2004 Posts: 2 Comments: 664
4560. hydrus
Link Canadian GEM Model.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22604
Quoting TropicalWave:
456, is itw eaking, or the convection doesn't matter?


As I pointed out earlier, it is common for waves to lose convection when they emerge - they are transitioning from energetics which sustain convection over land to energetics that sustain convection over the sea. The waning or waxing of convection has little to do with the axis.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
YOu all realize that the return to of MJO into the Atlantic Basin will be coming around the 1st to 2nd week in July ....Get ready for a might fast start in July.....JMO


I do think we will get a storm before that though
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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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