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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3256. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
AEW
MARK
XXN/XXW
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Can someone out there explain the numbering convention for Invests? Are they always 90 or 91? Why do they sometimes have a letter (90L)? I've done a little searching but couldn't find an explanation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Its Hotsui,,..any way ya slice it.

That GOM Flare up is in a Perfect grow zone..kinda like sea Monkeys activated.







LMAO! Sea Monkeys...haven't thought of them in years. Patrap just solved the oil spill...release the sea monkeys :)
Member Since: September 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 283
3248. beell
The thing to watch in the GOM may occur mid-week. As the narrow trough/shear axis closes off another mid-level low over NE Mexico. I would expect small pieces of PVA to rotate around its periphery. We could see a surface expression of this towards the center of an upper level anti-cyclone as one of these vort-maxes spins out into the open waters of the BOC.

Long shot. No model support.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3247. Drakoen
Quoting pottery:
3200 posts in 48 hours, and there aint a dam thing to post about, really.
Gonna be fun..........



lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:
3200 posts in 48 hours, and there aint a dam thing to post about, really.
Gonna be fun..........
LOL, I can't imagine when there's a major hurricane in the Atlantic.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
3245. Drakoen
Quoting bappit:


Odd. The vorticity on this map is north of the clouds. Not sure what the reason would be.


Strong tropical waves will have vorticity on the poleward and the equatorward end of the wave axis
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
Just mowed my front yard in a sauna.....then it started raining. Actually felt good with the rain.

Windmaster Farms, DeFuniak Springs, Florida (PWS)
Updated: 3 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy
82.5 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 90%
Dew Point: 79 °F
Wind: 0.0 mph
Wind Gust: 1.1 mph
Pressure: 29.97 in (Rising)
Heat Index: 93 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 6 out of 16
Clouds:
Scattered Clouds 2300 ft
Mostly Cloudy 3100 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 237 ft
Wow, that's considered "extremely high" and can cause death to people with asthma. I learned that in 4th grade. lol.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yeah, I'm inside with the A/C cranking.


Same condition's over here in the Cape. Sweltering heat.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3242. IKE
This is as humid as I've seen it since last summer.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
3241. pottery
3200 posts in 48 hours, and there aint a dam thing to post about, really.
Gonna be fun..........
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24024
000
NWUS53 KLOT 061558
LSRLOT

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
1056 AM CDT SUN JUN 06 2010

..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
..REMARKS..

0851 PM TORNADO STREATOR 41.13N 88.83W
06/05/2010 F2 LA SALLE IL NWS STORM SURVEY

*** 17 INJ *** NWS SURVEY TEAM AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
OFFICIALS REPORT APPROXIMATELY 30 HOMES DAMAGED INCLUDING
3 DESTROYED IN THE SOUTH SIDE OF STREATOR.


&&

$$

LENNING

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3239. Grothar
Quoting pottery:

LOL, Good One!


aspectre always gets me, pot. Guess its time to retire when the youngsters on here outwit me. LOL Hurricane09 does a pretty good job, too! atmo doesn't count, he is just witty all the time, can never get anything past him.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3238. Patrap
Its Hotsui,,..any way ya slice it.

That GOM Flare up is in a Perfect grow zone..kinda like sea Monkeys activated.





Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:
That's more like it. It feels like it is 130 outside with about 95% humidity...

This feels like late August / September Miami weather.
Yeah, I'm inside with the A/C cranking.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
3236. IKE
Just mowed my front yard in a sauna.....then it started raining. Actually felt good with the rain.

Windmaster Farms, DeFuniak Springs, Florida (PWS)
Updated: 3 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy
82.5 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 90%
Dew Point: 79 °F
Wind: 0.0 mph
Wind Gust: 1.1 mph
Pressure: 29.97 in (Rising)
Heat Index: 93 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 6 out of 16
Clouds:
Scattered Clouds 2300 ft
Mostly Cloudy 3100 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 237 ft
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
3235. Dakster
That's more like it. It feels like it is 130 outside with about 95% humidity...

This feels like late August / September Miami weather.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Do we have a "BLOG" forming?

No. lol.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
3233. bappit
Quoting Drakoen:


The amplitude of the wave. A lot of convection and vorticity.


Odd. The vorticity on this map is north of the clouds. Not sure what the reason would be.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Miami,,39% Humidity


Nola 72% Humidity

Big difference,thus the 111F Heat Index here

No actually the station was bad, the humidity here is 75% and the heat index is at 104˚F.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
3231. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting UWalkTheMall:


Humidity: 39% What? Don't think so.
Let me pull up another station.

Twig's Digs - Coconut Grove, Coconut Grove, Florida (PWS)

Updated: 15 min 23 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy
88.2 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 75%
Dew Point: 79 °F
Wind: 3.0 mph from the ESE
Wind Gust: 10.0 mph
Pressure: 29.92 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 104 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 8 out of 16
Clouds:
Scattered Clouds 2700 ft
Mostly Cloudy 25000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 14 ft
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
3229. Patrap
Miami,,39% Humidity


Nola 72% Humidity

Dew Point: 81F

Big difference,thus the 111F Heat Index here

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalWave:
hey aussie, a quick question, how do you avoid gag reflexes when you go to the dentist?
Quoting pottery:

It's not an issue in Oz. They are all upside down, remember?

Thanks for quoting him Pot.

I don't go to dentist, I have very good hygiene, and not need to go dentist for even cleaning, I have all my teeth, unlike some.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3227. Grothar
Do we have a "BLOG" forming?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3226. Grothar
Quoting aspectre:
3155 "Grothar" "Not everyone is familiar with geography. More than once, when I have told people I lived in Norway, they have asked if that was in Europe."

Hard to believe. Everybody knows that Norway is just across the RainbowBridge from Asgard. And it's one heck of a long walk from Asgard to Europe.


Actually it is Åsgård, but that is pretty good. LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3225. Drakoen
Quoting beell:


Nice post, 456.
A continental forecaster might call it a deformation zone instead of a col. Same difference-or same divergence, lol.


That is a nice example of a deformation axis with the winds converging and diverging on the boundary.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3224. pottery
Quoting Patrap:
Dat Guy from The Carolina's keeps me busy pottery..and we expect to have to use our assets this season,..hopefully not too soon though

Well hopefully, he puts on his skirts and dances on the table from time to time to entertain you guys.
Whatever turns you on, I guess.
heheheheh
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24024
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Miami, Florida (PWS)
Updated: 1 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy
95.4 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 39%
Dew Point: 66 °F
Wind: 5.7 mph from the SSW
Wind Gust: 7.9 mph
Pressure: 30.00 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 99 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 8 out of 16
Clouds: Scattered Clouds 2700 ft
Mostly Cloudy 25000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 21 ft


Humidity: 39% What? Don't think so.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well, the old broke down guy part sorta scared me.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3220. Patrap
Quoting msgambler:
Hey Pat, we are heading to TheIsle for a week today.
I heard a rumor that someone saw an old, broke down guy carrying a bouy out of the marsh yesterday moaning "coffee coffee". I came on this morning to make sure you were ok....LOL



He musta beat us by a few hours,..I was well into the Iced Tea by time I got to Ruddock
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3219. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting AussieStorm:

lol, a comment like that coming from a troll.
*poof*


yay i know huh but here is the best approach

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.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Miami, Florida (PWS)
Updated: 1 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy
95.4 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 39%
Dew Point: 66 °F
Wind: 5.7 mph from the SSW
Wind Gust: 7.9 mph
Pressure: 30.00 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 99 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 8 out of 16
Clouds: Scattered Clouds 2700 ft
Mostly Cloudy 25000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 21 ft
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
3217. Patrap
Dat Guy from The Carolina's keeps me busy pottery..and we expect to have to use our assets this season,..hopefully not too soon though
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey Pat, we are heading to TheIsle for a week today.
I heard a rumor that someone saw an old, broke down guy carrying a bouy out of the marsh yesterday moaning "coffee coffee". I came on this morning to make sure you were ok....LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3215. pottery
Quoting Patrap:



Hard to get motivated to yank a 600lb Buoy Anchor over a Set of RR tracks.

Portlight and other endeavors here will always trump that kinda field trip easily...

Understood!
Keep with the Priorities. And what a fine Priority is Portlight.
'nuff Respect to that Team.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24024
3214. Patrap
11:00 am CDT


Current Conditions

Uptown, New Orleans, Louisiana (PWS)
Updated: 1 min 15 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy
91.5 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 72%
Dew Point: 81 °F
Wind: 4.1 mph from the SE
Wind Gust: 8.1 mph
Pressure: 30.00 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 112 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 6 out of 16
Clouds:
Scattered Clouds 2500 ft
Mostly Cloudy 3500 ft
Mostly Cloudy 25000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 20 ft
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


850 MB vorticity is pretty much non-existent under the convection. Plus wind shear over the convection is about 30 knots. Another thing I noticed is that the subtropical jetstream has broken a piece off around 60 degrees west.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
3210. pottery
Quoting aspectre:
3155 "Grothar" "Not everyone is familiar with geography. More than once, when I have told people I lived in Norway, they have asked if that was in Europe."

Hard to believe. Everybody knows that Norway is just across the RainbowBridge from Asgard. And it's one heck of a long walk from Asgard to Europe.

LOL, Good One!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24024
3209. Patrap
Quoting pottery:

Ah, Procrastination sux!
But have a great day...



Hard to get motivated to yank a 600lb Buoy Anchor over a Set of RR tracks.

Portlight and other endeavors here will always trump that kinda field trip easily...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3208. leo305
dew point just under 80 in miami right now..

and temps getting into the 90s.. today is going to be another stormy day..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3207. pottery
Quoting TropicalWave:
hey aussie, a quick question, how do you avoid gag reflexes when you go to the dentist?

It's not an issue in Oz. They are all upside down, remember?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24024
3206. beell
Quoting Weather456:
Image to go with post 3189

Max Div - Maximum divergence


Nice post, 456.
A continental forecaster might call it a deformation zone instead of a col. Same difference-or same divergence, lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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About

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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