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 xcool:
Link


new ecmwf


It is not updated all the way

It is only updated through 48 hours, there are 2 frames that say Wednesday
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
5104. Halyn
You are right, Grother .. there isn't anyone in Hollywood today who can even come close .. such a shame .. and with that .. I bid you gentlemen goodnight .. :)
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---
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5102. xcool
Link


new ecmwf
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5101. Grothar
Quoting TampaSpin:



Dont forget Laurel and Hardy.......those 2 cracked me up bad!


Classic timing and got laughs with a look. Who could do that today?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
5100. Grothar
Time to go too. See you all later. Say Goodnight Gracie!
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Quoting Grothar:


I think we were very fortunate to have lived when we did. The talent that we saw is never to be equalled. How do we explain a Jack Benny or a Bob Hope. Who would understand Sophie Tucker's appeal, or the talent of Ethel Merman. Who can remember how beautiful Elizabeth Taylor really was, or how Marilyn Monroe was liked by both men and women for her innocence.



Dont forget Laurel and Hardy.......those 2 cracked me up bad!
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5098. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
LOL...From the Three Stooges...to Little House on the Prairie...to Touched By An Angel.


.
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Seriously what is that basket they have on the LIVE FEED! If you know my web go to it.
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5096. xcool
bye rob
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Quoting btwntx08:
ok g2g good night scott,and all c ya later


Nite Bro!
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5093. Grothar
Quoting TampaSpin:


OLD MAN can't sleep!


Hear ya. I don't know how I could look so good and feel so bad.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
LOL...From the Three Stooges...to Little House on the Prairie...to Touched By An Angel.
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Quoting Grothar:


What are you doing still up at this hour? What are they trying now?


OLD MAN can't sleep without his Depends as i ran out and i don't wanna wet the bed.........OH and my wife works Nite shifts....LOL
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5090. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
And I liked Touched By An Angel also!


Never missed an episode. I always wanted that Cadillac convertible , too!
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5089. Grothar
Quoting TampaSpin:
What are they lowering down.......is that the new Riser they are installing or is that Mary Poppins Ballon Basket.........LOL


What are you doing still up at this hour? What are they trying now?
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5088. xcool
lmao
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And I liked Touched By An Angel also!
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What are they lowering down.......is that the new Riser they are installing or is that Mary Poppins Balloon Basket.........LOL
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5085. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
I am a jack of all trades...master of none. And I loved Little House On The Prairie.


.
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5084. xcool
:0
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I am a jack of all trades...master of none. And I loved Little House On The Prairie.
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5082. Grothar
Quoting Levi32:


I know...that's what I tell everyone about Little House on the Prairie, but my brother and many others lost all respect for me when I told them that I watched that entire series...lol.


Well,, after that revelation, you may have dropped a few levels in my opinion as well. Only kidding.
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5081. Grothar
Quoting Levi32:


Well, although I have never seen that show, that's pretty weird that you would get banned for that lol.


It was early morning and I believe there were only 3 or 4 people on, absolutely nothing was happening, and they lowered the beam. My family actually made a dunce cap for me and told me to sit in the corner. For real. I hadn't felt that bad since I found out Dewey had lost the election.
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5080. Levi32
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Levi...you have to watch The Three Stooges. It's part of American Culture.


I know...that's what I tell everyone about Little House on the Prairie, but my brother and many others lost all respect for me when I told them that I watched that entire series...lol.
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Quoting Grothar:


How could you possibly remember that?????


Shemp told me!
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Levi...you have to watch The Three Stooges. It's part of American Culture.
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5077. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Let me fix my tie for you!


How could you possibly remember that?????
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5076. Levi32
Quoting Grothar:


I was banned thanks to GeoffWPB for posting a picture of the "three Stooges" Can you imagine, a man of my distinction banned for that. LOL


Well, although I have never seen that show, that's pretty weird that you would get banned for that lol.
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Quoting Grothar:


I was banned thanks to GeoffWPB for posting a picture of the "three Stooges" Can you imagine, a man of my distinction banned for that. LOL


Let me fix my tie for you!
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5074. Grothar
Quoting caneswatch:


Sorry I left the chat. Internet went out.


.
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5073. Grothar
Quoting Levi32:


Well at least I've never been banned lol.


I was banned thanks to GeoffWPB for posting a picture of the "three Stooges" Can you imagine, a man of my distinction banned for that. LOL
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5072. xcool


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5071. Levi32
Quoting TampaSpin:


Damit i take it all back now........ROFLMAO


Lol.
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Quoting Grothar:


Could have been worse.


Sorry I left the chat. Internet went out.
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5069. Levi32
Quoting Grothar:


Opinionated is a better word. You will find that you will change many of your opinions that you now have. We all have to some degree.


I am sure I will.
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5068. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


I got my elbow stuck in my ear again.


Could have been worse.
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Quoting Grothar:


Come on, how do you really feel? LOL


I got my elbow stuck in my ear again.
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5066. Grothar
Quoting Levi32:


I am ;)


Opinionated is a better word. You will find that you will change many of your opinions that you now have. We all have to some degree.
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Quoting Levi32:


Well at least I've never been banned lol.


Damit i take it all back now........ROFLMAO
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5064. Motttt
To me it looks like nut is welled on. Don't they have a plasma cuter or somethink else to do the work??
Link
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Quoting Levi32:


I am ;)


Honestly, i believe you, StormW, ScottSvb and of course Weather456 are the 4 sharpest in here that give an unbias approach to how things are. Thanks!
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5062. Levi32
Quoting Grothar:


I don't believe that at all. Professionals don't dislike each other because they carry different views. Just the manner in which they present them. I have many different views than you and I still respect the manner in which you conduct yourself. Many of us have very divergent views. I cannot speak for Dr. Masters, but I am sure he appreciates the observations you make and the contribution you and others like you make on this blog.


Well at least I've never been banned lol.
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5061. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Yeah...those hot-headed political-stock-minded-oil-spill driven bloggers are nuts!


Come on, how do you really feel? LOL
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5060. Levi32
Quoting TampaSpin:


I didn't say HARD-HEADED as he is that too....LOL


I am ;)
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5059. Grothar
Quoting Levi32:


Oh dear goodness no. Just read 456's blog from this morning. He smokes me....I don't even have the time to output that kind of superb work. It is guys like him that deserve featured status.

Besides....Dr. Masters doesn't like me because of my position on certain issues...lol.


I don't believe that at all. Professionals don't dislike each other because they carry different views. Just the manner in which they present them. I have many different views than you and I still respect the manner in which you conduct yourself. Many of us have very divergent views. I cannot speak for Dr. Masters, but I am sure he appreciates the observations you make and the contribution you and others like you make on this blog.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
A hot-headed global warming skeptic? ;)


I didn't say HARD-HEADED as he is that too....LOL
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Na, he is too hot headed........JUST KIDDING......LOL


Yeah...those hot-headed political-stock-minded-oil-spill driven bloggers are nuts!
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5056. Levi32
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
A hot-headed global warming skeptic? ;)


Rofl.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.