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 StormW:


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


You're doing great!
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Dang, really? I got out on the 28th of May. You can tell its JFV when you see the over usage of coma's, lots of big words, the practice of the words good-ole-bud-or sir in the same sentance(usually after the last coma). Just hang in there, if you stay around you will learn a lot.
And terrible spanish!
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting PanhandleChuck:


Of course he is, because he is from NW FL. good folks over here


I couldn't agree more. I lived there for a couple of weeks after Hurricane Katrina. Very nice people up there. Even in Niceville. lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Dang, really? I got out on the 28th of May. You can tell its JFV when you see the over usage of coma's, lots of big words, the practice of the words good-ole-bud-or sir in the same sentance(usually after the last coma). Just hang in there, if you stay around you will learn a lot.


And of course the amount of crow he suggests we eat.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
TORNADO WARNING
CTC003-062000-
/O.NEW.KBOX.TO.W.0001.100606T1913Z-100606T2000Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
313 PM EDT SUN JUN 6 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL HARTFORD COUNTY IN NORTHERN CONNECTICUT...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...WINDSOR LOCKS...WEST HARTFORD...
HARTFORD...EAST HARTFORD...BRISTOL...

* UNTIL 400 PM EDT

* AT 309 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR
BURLINGTON...OR NEAR BRISTOL...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 55 MPH.

* SOME LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...CANTON...FARMINGTON...
AVON...SIMSBURY...BLOOMFIELD...EAST GRANBY...WINDSOR...SOUTH
WINDSOR...EAST WINDSOR AND ENFIELD.

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BASED ON DOPPLER RADAR...IT MEANS A
TORNADO MAY ALREADY BE ON THE GROUND OR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP
SHORTLY. TAKE COVER NOW! MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR
OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE
OR OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 800 PM EDT SUNDAY EVENING FOR
NORTHERN CONNECTICUT AND MASSACHUSETTS AND SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND
CENTRAL RHODE ISLAND.

&&

LAT...LON 4181 7296 4183 7294 4184 7295 4200 7254
4179 7252 4163 7296 4164 7297 4170 7301
4171 7300 4177 7302 4180 7302
TIME...MOT...LOC 1913Z 245DEG 50KT 4176 7289

$$

FRANK
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


cause there isnt anything to update about, the possible tornado outbreak today is a billion times more important


Agree completely, but still they have it scheduled for 50 past the hour, every hour throughout hurricane season. It's not like they even spend 5 minutes on it when there is something to be aware of.

Where were they last night when tornadoes were ripping through the Midwest...showing Storm Stories. Ridiculous!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good afternoon atmo, I just read your post and must confess that I must not ever tell a lie because I can't remember crap....LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadodude:
Tornado Warning

TORNADO WARNING
CTC003-062000-
/O.NEW.KBOX.TO.W.0001.100606T1913Z-100606T2000Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
313 PM EDT SUN JUN 6 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL HARTFORD COUNTY IN NORTHERN CONNECTICUT...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...WINDSOR LOCKS...WEST HARTFORD...
HARTFORD...EAST HARTFORD...BRISTOL...

* UNTIL 400 PM EDT

* AT 309 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR
BURLINGTON...OR NEAR BRISTOL...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 55 MPH.

* SOME LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...CANTON...FARMINGTON...
AVON...SIMSBURY...BLOOMFIELD...EAST GRANBY...WINDSOR...SOUTH
WINDSOR...EAST WINDSOR AND ENFIELD.

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BASED ON DOPPLER RADAR...IT MEANS A
TORNADO MAY ALREADY BE ON THE GROUND OR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP
SHORTLY. TAKE COVER NOW! MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR
OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE
OR OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 800 PM EDT SUNDAY EVENING FOR
NORTHERN CONNECTICUT AND MASSACHUSETTS AND SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND
CENTRAL RHODE ISLAND.

&&

LAT...LON 4181 7296 4183 7294 4184 7295 4200 7254
4179 7252 4163 7296 4164 7297 4170 7301
4171 7300 4177 7302 4180 7302
TIME...MOT...LOC 1913Z 245DEG 50KT 4176 728
Could be a dangerous day in the northeast today
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Oh I'm doing just fine.My grades are good in all my classes.I should be getting out of school on the 15-16.By the way what are jfv's personality's so I may be aware.


Dang, really? I got out on the 28th of May. You can tell its JFV when you see the over usage of coma's, lots of big words, the practice of the words good-ole-bud-or sir in the same sentance(usually after the last coma). Just hang in there, if you stay around you will learn a lot.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3696. IKE
3695...raining at my house right now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SevereHurricane:


LOL! Your the man IKE.


Of course he is, because he is from NW FL. good folks over here
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

Very little to talk about, ATM. Want to know something specific?
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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Oh I'm doing just fine.My grades are good in all my classes.I should be getting out of school on the 15-16.By the way what are jfv's personality's so I may be aware.
Theres new ones every week so who knows.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Tornado Warning

TORNADO WARNING
CTC003-062000-
/O.NEW.KBOX.TO.W.0001.100606T1913Z-100606T2000Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
313 PM EDT SUN JUN 6 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL HARTFORD COUNTY IN NORTHERN CONNECTICUT...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...WINDSOR LOCKS...WEST HARTFORD...
HARTFORD...EAST HARTFORD...BRISTOL...

* UNTIL 400 PM EDT

* AT 309 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR
BURLINGTON...OR NEAR BRISTOL...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 55 MPH.

* SOME LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...CANTON...FARMINGTON...
AVON...SIMSBURY...BLOOMFIELD...EAST GRANBY...WINDSOR...SOUTH
WINDSOR...EAST WINDSOR AND ENFIELD.

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BASED ON DOPPLER RADAR...IT MEANS A
TORNADO MAY ALREADY BE ON THE GROUND OR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP
SHORTLY. TAKE COVER NOW! MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR
OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE
OR OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 800 PM EDT SUNDAY EVENING FOR
NORTHERN CONNECTICUT AND MASSACHUSETTS AND SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND
CENTRAL RHODE ISLAND.

&&

LAT...LON 4181 7296 4183 7294 4184 7295 4200 7254
4179 7252 4163 7296 4164 7297 4170 7301
4171 7300 4177 7302 4180 7302
TIME...MOT...LOC 1913Z 245DEG 50KT 4176 728
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8358
Quoting IKE:
***Waiting for the first storm to threaten Florida. JFV/TropicalWave will either...

(1)Be banned.
or...
(2)Lose electricity.

Either way it's a win-win for the blog!

***I hope no one gets a hit in 2010***




I don't see how he isn't banned?


LOL! Your the man IKE.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sarahjola:

really? it looks pretty close to the coast already. thanks for the info. very appreciated


No problem. Nonetheless, keep an eye on it in case the GFS is wrong.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


An "Internet troll" or "Forum Troll" is a person who posts outrageous message to bait people to answer. Trolls desperately seek the attention they crave by harassing the forum members and moderators.

The only way to deal with trolls is to limit your reaction and not to respond to trolling messages.





Excellent Sir good old bud!You hit that nail square on the head

LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3685. IKE
***Waiting for the first storm to threaten Florida. JFV/TropicalWave will either...

(1)Be banned.
or...
(2)Lose electricity.

Either way it's a win-win for the blog!

***I hope no one gets a hit in 2010***


Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



An "Internet troll" or "Forum Troll" is a person who posts outrageous message to bait people to answer. Trolls desperately seek the attention they crave by harassing the forum members and moderators.

The only way to deal with trolls is to limit your reaction and not to respond to trolling messages.





I don't see how he isn't banned?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3684. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


An "Internet troll" or "Forum Troll" is a person who posts outrageous message to bait people to answer. Trolls desperately seek the attention they crave by harassing the forum members and moderators.

The only way to deal with trolls is to limit your reaction and not to respond to trolling messages.



Quoting TropicalWave:
do you guys notice how everytime levi and drak get into a meteorological disagreement, levi is the one that always ends up beating drak out? IMO, of course. I kinda wonder how that makes drak feel? nevertheless, both of them are incrediably gifted in their own right, when it comes to this subject, that's for damn sure.
Quoting TropicalWave:
that levi is something else, he is the back-bone of this website. everything that says, usually plays. he is extraordinarily gifted when it comes to tropical meteorology. he is even giving the old-timmers on here, a run for their money. the child is sheer amazing, WOW. :0.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54350
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I'm seriously done with this blog. It used to be a place to acquire very reliable, useful data. Now it's a comical message board overrun by seemingly 12 year olds who cannot provide one good piece of information.

I'm going to continue asking WU to make that blog a paid membership only board.

This will change when the season gets going.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I'm seriously done with this blog. It used to be a place to acquire very reliable, useful data. Now it's a comical message board overrun by seemingly 12 year olds who cannot provide one good piece of information.

I'm going to continue asking WU to make that blog a paid membership only board.



Apologies. It was actually meant to be a joke.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SevereHurricane:


The GFS actually initializes this feature but fizzles it before reaching the coastline.

really? it looks pretty close to the coast already. thanks for the info. very appreciated
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I'm seriously done with this blog. It used to be a place to acquire very reliable, useful data. Now it's a comical message board overrun by seemingly 12 year olds who cannot provide one good piece of information.

I'm going to continue asking WU to make that blog a paid membership only board.



Chill out dude... nothing going on in the tropics right now
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Hey severehurricanes.How's things going for you.Good?


I'm doing very well. 1st week of summer just flew by. I finished 9th grade with an excellent report card. I managed to get a job so I will be making some money. Life's good! How about you?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I'm seriously done with this blog. It used to be a place to acquire very reliable, useful data. Now it's a comical message board overrun by seemingly 12 year olds who cannot provide one good piece of information.

I'm going to continue asking WU to make that blog a paid membership only board.


Very little to talk about, ATM. Want to know something specific?
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting biloxidaisy:
Well crap... hardly ever post and when I do, I quote one of JFV's multiple personalities??? lol Sorry all!
Its okay we all do it every once in awhile.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting IpswichWeatherCenter:


Maybe the shear's getting sheared?
I'm seriously done with this blog. It used to be a place to acquire very reliable, useful data. Now it's a comical message board overrun by seemingly 12 year olds who cannot provide one good piece of information.

I'm going to continue asking WU to make that blog a paid membership only board.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting biloxidaisy:
Well crap... hardly ever post and when I do, I quote one of JFV's multiple personalities??? lol Sorry all!


It's alright daisy... we all make mistakes and we forgive you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PanhandleChuck:


Atmo -- Icouldn't agree more, but you know that riper could have two different meanings LOL

Well, I feel older after cutting the yard...and surely meet that other definition of ripe, as well. Bases covered.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Well crap... hardly ever post and when I do, I quote one of JFV's multiple personalities??? lol Sorry all!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
One of my personal favorites...and growing more fond of it as I get, umm, riper.

"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."
-Mark Twain


Atmo -- Icouldn't agree more, but you know that riper could have two different meanings LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
One of my personal favorites...and growing more fond of it as I get, umm, riper.

"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."
-Mark Twain


I like that quote.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alexhurricane1991:
That would be entertaining!

Quoting Stormchaser2007:


It'd look like something from a mental hospital.

Everyone running around and screaming and fighting.


I know - we'd get the greatest viewing figures ever!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
One of my personal favorites...and growing more fond of it as I get, umm, riper.

"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."
-Mark Twain
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


It'd look like something from a mental hospital.

Everyone running around and screaming and fighting.


LOL!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 850Realtor:
WTH!...TWC didn't even do a tropical update for this hour.


cause there isnt anything to update about, the possible tornado outbreak today is a billion times more important
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalWave:
do you guys notice how everytime levi and drak get into a meteorological disagreement, levi is the one that always ends up beating drak out? IMO, of course. I kinda wonder how that makes drak feel? nevertheless, both of them are incrediably gifted in their own right, when it comes to this subject, that's for damn sure.


Good try. They are on to you. You been busted for a long time.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687

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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.