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 KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


you can actually subscribe to sites that will do this for you its done all the time as a matter of fact anyone can purchase this service and i already have it on my blog page it records and tracks everyone that comes to my blog page

so come on over so i can see where you are from

Yea good luck...I log on from multiple locations so it may show different places each time. Oh yea and I know how to block that kind of stuff or give you false data so I am not to concerned to be honest. Just interesting what will happen if someone gets upset about and because admin here would be responsible.
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cooperate attorney

Barrel law
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3752. MrsOsa
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
iam working on a program
that will scan all the posts on this blog
and tell me the exact location of each indiviual screen name
iam going to find out
and when i do
i will post the information on this blog
as to how many user names
are being used at one address
watch don't bring the hacker out in me
give me 24 to 36 hrs and i will have proof first it goes to admin then posted on the blogs


Can you still tell even if they have dynamic IP addresses?
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Quoting sarahjola:
how fast is that wave moving in the central atlantic? is it moving wnw or nw. it looks to be moving wnw but i am only looking at noaa sat. thanks in advance
You can view it on my blog. It's moving W at about 10 MPH.
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tonight could get interesting as the area in the north gom begins to interact w/the front,one can see the mlc begining to turn ENE..........
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how fast is that wave moving in the central atlantic? is it moving wnw or nw. it looks to be moving wnw but i am only looking at noaa sat. thanks in advance
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Quoting DestinJeff:
hey everybody ... anything worth getting giddy over for the upcoming week? this coming week is last week's "next week" after all

When one is always looking for "next year", like Saints fans used to, different perspective about next week. Different with the "been there"...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting extreme236:
Well I'm ready for a certain "tropicalwave" to get destroyed by some SAL...
Lol, me too.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The funny thing is, is that we are only 6 days into hurricane season.


I reckon we might reach 10000 when we get Alex, Bonnie, Colin all at the same time.
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Well I'm ready for a certain "tropicalwave" to get destroyed by some SAL...
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
iam working on a program
that will scan all the posts on this blog
and tell me the exact location of each indiviual screen name
iam going to find out
and when i do
i will post the information on this blog
as to how many user names
are being used at one address
watch don't bring the hacker out in me
give me 24 to 36 hrs and i will have proof first it goes to admin then posted on the blogs

That'll be interesting. I would put a 2 second pause in between whois calls, if you're using it. They might block your IP if you ping 'em a lot.

And watch for making any conclusions about locations. My IP is registered some 300 miles away in texas, sometimes. Sometimes, not. Could be tricky trying to nail down a user with multiple handles if the IP is registered as all over the place...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
3740. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Wonder how many privacy laws will be broken with this haha. Good luck.


you can actually subscribe to sites that will do this for you its done all the time as a matter of fact anyone can purchase this service and i already have it on my blog page it records and tracks everyone that comes to my blog page

so come on over so i can see where you are from
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Quoting IpswichWeatherCenter:


That never normally happens during Hurricane season - I was shocked when we reached 6000 once last season.
The funny thing is, is that we are only 6 days into hurricane season.
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Quoting NewEnglandCT:
wow - just has a tornado down the road from here - that was CRAZY - (Avon Connecticut)






Avon is indicated by the crosshairs
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Wonder how many privacy laws will be broken with this haha. Good luck.
LOL.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
We might reach 4000 posts by the day's end, that's pretty crazy.


That never normally happens during Hurricane season - I was shocked when we reached 6000 once last season.
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Ok so the UK actually is having a proper summer. We're getting thunderstorms in the evening.
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We might reach 4000 posts by the day's end, that's pretty crazy.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
iam working on a program
that will scan all the posts on this blog
and tell me the exact location of each indiviual screen name
iam going to find out
and when i do
i will post the information on this blog
as to how many user names
are being used at one address
watch don't bring the hacker out in me
give me 24 to 36 hrs and i will have proof first it goes to admin then posted on the blogs

Wonder how many privacy laws will be broken with this haha. Good luck.
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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Hey I was wondering where you went.Anyway I'm going to read your blog.Should be interesting.I didn't know jfv talked bad in spanish.LoL.I'm currently learning spanish so I could help people in the futur.
Oh yes sometimes its comical
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Quoting 850Realtor:


Atmoaggie, what's your location?

LA, north of NOLA.

your area code says Pensacola...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting atmoaggie:

I am expecting that to take a hard right turn any time now. Locally we might get a little of the fringes followed by a day of cooler lows and drier dew points.

Nothing to worry about...


Atmoaggie, what's your location?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
iam working on a program
that will scan all the posts on this blog
and tell me the exact location of each indiviual screen name
iam going to find out
and when i do
i will post the information on this blog
as to how many user names
are being used at one address
watch don't bring the hacker out in me
give me 24 to 36 hrs and i will have proof first it goes to admin then posted on the blogs


Well this will be interesting.

Mine will either be Ipswich or Clacton-on-sea
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
iam working on a program
that will scan all the posts on this blog
and tell me the exact location of each indiviual screen name
iam going to find out
and when i do
i will post the information on this blog
as to how many user names
are being used at one address
watch don't bring the hacker out in me
give me 24 to 36 hrs and i will have proof first it goes to admin then posted on the blogs
Thats fine with me i have nothing to hide.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

I am expecting that to take a hard right turn any time now. Locally we might get a little of the fringes followed by a day of cooler lows and drier dew points.

Nothing to worry about...
thanks!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
iam working on a program
that will scan all the posts on this blog
and tell me the exact location of each indiviual screen name
iam going to find out
and when i do
i will post the information on this blog
as to how many user names
are being used at one address
watch don't bring the hacker out in me
give me 24 to 36 hrs and i will have proof first it goes to admin then posted on the blogs
That would be really cool actually.
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3721. IKE
Gauge reporting heavy rain.
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Hard right turn:

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting StormW:


Both Levi and Drak are great. I know they both have my respect as a forecaster!
Everyone has respect for you as a forecaster. And if they don't they don't know what "quality" meteorology is.
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Quoting TropicalWave:


Lucky you, it feels like a hot spring down here, lol. What is your water guage reporting?
Well its sunny here in san antonio texas im visiting my mother before i shio out to boot camp.
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


And if its going to hit Miami.


Is he actually active at the moment?
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Quoting NewEnglandCT:
wow - just has a tornado down the road from here - that was CRAZY - (Avon Connecticut)


You saw a tornado on the ground?
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wow - just has a tornado down the road from here - that was CRAZY - (Avon Connecticut)
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Levi, Drak, Weather456, Hurricane23, StormW are the ones I respect and listen to should anything come this way. We have had other good ones, but they have left.
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Quoting IpswichWeatherCenter:


And of course the amount of crow he suggests we eat.


And if its going to hit Miami.
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Quoting sarahjola:
i would like your opinion on the convection in the gulf, as i value your opinion greatly. where do you think its going, and what kind if any weather do you expect we will get from this? and when can we expect to see any rain from it if we are going to get anything? thanks in advance

I am expecting that to take a hard right turn any time now. Locally we might get a little of the fringes followed by a day of cooler lows and drier dew points.

Nothing to worry about...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting StormW:


Both Levi and Drak are great. I know they both have my respect as a forecaster!


You're doing great!
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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.