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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3056. peejodo
Looking at the blob coming off of Africa, doesn't that appear to be way south?
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3042 hurricanelover236 "...disappointed everyone is going to be when this turns out to be an average season with very few landfalls"

I expect a truly UGLY season, with extremely high ACE numbers on the strongest storms. And I'd be willing to kiss unwashed feet out of sheer unadulteratedly giddy JOY if this turns out to be such a mild season. Heck, I'd be willing if this season turns out to be average just in damages.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
site is a little slow this am taking time to get the posts out


Very slow
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
3051. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
site is a little slow this am taking time to get the posts out
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3050. lavinia
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
ya ya ya whatever you should quit talking out yer ass cause its starting to stink


LOL
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3049. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
morning MSG pottery
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LOL Good morning KOTG
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Good morning Pottery
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3045. pottery
Quoting hurricanelover236:
I cant even get over how disapointed everyone is going to be when this turns out to be an average season with very few landfalls. As usual il will be the only one who is accurate. Whoevers looking for a big season is going to be let down in a big way.

I will not be disapointed at all. In fact, I hope you are correct.
But I do think that you are probably wrong. We shall see.
If you are right, you will no doubt remind us of your Forecast over and over again and we would deserve that.
If you are wrong, you will just be another incorrect guesser.
Does not bother me, either way.
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From yesterdays outbreak across ichiiowillianahio, this tornado hit Yates City, IL.



Image Accredited to Jarrod Cook, FOIA by NWS Lincoln, Illinois.

Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Morning all.. tropics look very quite this AM.


Yes, not much too see out there. Only interest is a distant African wave that might just fizzle, so yah its pretty lifeless today.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
I cant even get over how disapointed everyone is going to be when this turns out to be an average season with very few landfalls. As usual il will be the only one who is accurate. Whoevers looking for a big season is going to be let down in a big way.
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3041. pottery
Quoting StormW:
Good morning!

If anyone hasn't, I would recommend visiting Weather456 site. He has an OUTSTANDING post on AEW's (African Easterly Waves) and the AEJ (African Easterly Jet).

I must say...I am very impressed!

Required reading, for everyone interested in Tropical Weather.
Fantastic piece of work.
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Morning all.. tropics look very quite this AM.
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TORNADO WARNING
NYC015-107-PAC015-061415-
/O.NEW.KBGM.TO.W.0001.100606T1347Z-100606T1415Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BINGHAMTON NY
947 AM EDT SUN JUN 6 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BINGHAMTON HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHEASTERN CHEMUNG COUNTY IN CENTRAL NEW YORK...
SOUTHERN TIOGA COUNTY IN CENTRAL NEW YORK...
NORTHWESTERN BRADFORD COUNTY IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA...

* UNTIL 1015 AM EDT

* AT 942 AM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR GILLETT...
MOVING EAST AT 75 MPH.

* THE STORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
WAVERLY...LITCHFIELD AND SOUTH WAVERLY BY 955 AM EDT...
TIOGA CENTER...BARTON AND NICHOLS BY 1000 AM EDT...
LOUNSBERRY AND OWEGO BY 1005 AM EDT...
APALACHIN BY 1010 AM EDT...

WHEN YOU CAN DO SO SAFELY...PLEASE REPORT HAIL...OR DAMAGING WINDS TO
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BY CALLING TOLL FREE AT
1-877-633-6772...OR BY EMAIL AT BGM.STORMREPORT@NOAA.GOV.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

IF YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS TORNADO...SEEK SHELTER IN A BASEMENT
OR AN INTERIOR ROOM...AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

&&

LAT...LON 4205 7686 4224 7608 4223 7608 4219 7608
4219 7609 4218 7611 4201 7611 4188 7679
TIME...MOT...LOC 1347Z 254DEG 65KT 4199 7670

$$

MLJ
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Hello everyone. There are 2 areas of interest for which I see. One: A group of disorganized thunderstorms west of Africa, and a very impressive tropical wave that just emerged into the Atlantic.

Link for Satelite
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3037. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number FORTY-SIX
DEPRESSION, FORMER PHET (ARB02-2010)
17:30 PM IST June 6 2010
=======================================

At 12:00 PM UTC, Depression, Former TC Phet over northeast Arabian Sea moved further eastwards and lays centered over northeast Arabian Sea near 24.5N 67.0E, very close to Pakistan coast, about 50 km south of Karachi, Pakistan and 220 km northwest of Naliya, Gujarat.

The system would move east-northeastwards, cross Pakistan coast close to Karachi within a few hours and weaken gradually.

3 minute sustained winds near the center is 25 knots with a central pressure of 993 hPa. The state of the sea is rough to very rough over northeast Arabian Sea.

Satellite imagery shows broken intense convection over southwest Pakistan adjoining Saurashtra, Kutch, Gulf of Kutch, and Arabian Sea north of 20.5N and east of 65.5. The lowest cloud top temperature due to convection is -50C in association with the system.

Vertical wind shear of horizontal wind over the region is moderate to high as the system is under the influence of mid latitude westerlies. The system lies to north of upper tropospheric ridge, which roughly runs along 23.0N over the region.

The system would move east northeast, cross Pakistan coast close to Karachi within a few hours and gradually weaken.

Squall winds of 20-30 knots gusting to 35 knots would occur along and off Makaran coast and north of Gujarat coast for the next 12 hours. Sea conditions will be rough to very rough along and off these coasts.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Didn't I tell you that it was Iowillianahio that had a chance of the spinners yesterday?

Left out an "ichi"...


lol thats right, haha
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
3035. SLU
Quoting stoormfury:
morning
notice the strong tropical wave that i have been monitoring the last few days has moved off the coast of africa. very impressive wave for this time of year, the SST in the far eastern atlantic is very warm and the vertical wind shear is just about right. a few days ago both the GFS and the ECMWF were hinting that a tropical disturbance or even a depression could form east of the central windward islands come next sunday. it is an interesting scenario to see the first cape verde storm in june. as SLU have said the structure of this wave is so defined and organised, that it will be no surprise if this system is classified as 92L some time during the next 24-36 hrs


Well if we needed any more confirmation that conditions will be great for development this year, just watch how this tropical wave behaves on its trek westwards remembering that today is still June 6th.
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Good morniing StormW and gulfcoast. Gulfcoast, heading your way today.
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Quoting StormW:
Good morning!

If anyone hasn't, I would recommend visiting Weather456 site. He has an OUTSTANDING post on AEW's (African Easterly Waves) and the AEJ (African Easterly Jet).

I must say...I am very impressed!


I totally agree... very informative!!
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Quoting MrstormX:

Didn't I tell you that it was Iowillianahio that had a chance of the spinners yesterday?

Left out an "ichi"...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
morning
notice the strong tropical wave that i have been monitoring the last few days has moved off the coast of africa. very impressive wave for this time of year, the SST in the far eastern atlantic is very warm and the vertical wind shear is just about right. a few days ago both the GFS and the ECMWF were hinting that a tropical disturbance or even a depression could form east of the central windward islands come next sunday. it is an interesting scenario to see the first cape verde storm in june. as SLU have said the structure of this wave is so defined and organised, that it will be no surprise if this system is classified as 92L some time during the next 24-36 hrs
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Morning All. HOT HOT HOT in SE FLA today w/ heat index reaching 110 in most areas.

Hyperactive Season Day 6

0-0-0, No Threat Areas, Oil still flowing.

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Quoting twhcracker:
kinda stormy here in fountain fl but the satellite went out so i dont know if it is a little quick passing storm or not. anyone know? i wanted to go to the creek today. (econfina)


Looks like there are some scuddy little thunderstorms moving through.

Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
kinda stormy here in fountain fl but the satellite went out so i dont know if it is a little quick passing storm or not. anyone know? i wanted to go to the creek today. (econfina)
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Quoting IpswichWeatherCenter:


I reckon that Wave just coming off africa right now, might be our first storm of 2010.


Maybe but then again it could just fizzle out, at this point its wait and see really.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
1st thunderstorm of the year in what was sunny Ipswich!
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3022. Dakster
Quoting MrstormX:


Sorry im a bit tired, 2 miles SSE of Walbridge, Ohio from a tornado. Around 0320 UTC, but fatalities just coming in from the outbreak now.


No problem - just was wondering what you were talking about.

Good call W456 - I have high expectations from you this season. Not that my opinion really means anything... You seem to be calling things very well so far.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Do you have Win 7 they have good widgets, Have you tried yahoo widgets, I use them.
Thank you
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Quoting CaribBoy:


I reckon that Wave just coming off africa right now, might be our first storm of 2010.
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Quoting Dakster:


Can we get the What, When, and Where part of the story?


Sorry im a bit tired, 2 miles SSE of Walbridge, Ohio from a tornado. Around 0320 UTC, but fatalities just coming in from the outbreak now.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting masonsnana:
Does anyone know of a good desktop weather besides WeatherBug?

Do you have Win 7 they have good widgets, Have you tried yahoo widgets, I use them.
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Quoting Weather456:
Good Morning

As predicted a strong tropical wave is emerging off the coast of Africa as we speak. It is right on schuedule for my lastest blog entry which is part 1 of tracking tropical waves and how to identify them over Africa. It also discusses briefly waves over the ocean using the one near 35W.

Tracking African Easterly Waves: Genesis


Good one!

It is right on time as you predicted!
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3016. Dakster
Quoting MrstormX:
*** 2 FATAL *** LAKE TOWNSHIP ADMINISTRATION AND DISPATCH CENTER DESTROYED.HIGH SCHOOL BADILY DAMAGED. MANY HOMES DAMAGE.ONE FEMALE KILLED IN A CAR.


Can we get the What, When, and Where part of the story?
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*** 2 FATAL *** LAKE TOWNSHIP ADMINISTRATION AND DISPATCH CENTER DESTROYED.HIGH SCHOOL BADILY DAMAGED. MANY HOMES DAMAGE.ONE FEMALE KILLED IN A CAR.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting masonsnana:
Thanks


Haha who would want to use that, especially after what they pulled last night.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Good Morning

As predicted a strong tropical wave is emerging off the coast of Africa as we speak. It is right on schuedule for my lastest blog entry which is part 1 of tracking tropical waves and how to identify them over Africa. It also discusses briefly waves over the ocean using the one near 35W.

Tracking African Easterly Waves: Genesis
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Quoting Vortex1094:


There's the weather channel desktop
Thanks
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Looks like that pop of Convection in the GOM, is what the GFS has been forecasting.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
3010. Dakster
Quoting indianrivguy:
so they are capturing TWICE the amount they claimed was leaking until the live feeds showed us the lie... talk about cover your liability/fanny.... and they are still pumping dispersants into this mess at the wellhead trying to keep it out of sight.. I wonder if they ever went to the less toxic formula like they were ordered to nu EPA... heck, I wonder how much they are pimping...



I really hope BP isn't pimping anything... LOL :)


But I do have my doubts about the accuracy of what is happening.

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Quoting masonsnana:
Does anyone know of a good desktop weather besides WeatherBug?


There's the weather channel desktop
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That sinking feeling


RESIDENTS in Guatemala have been warned to prepare for further sinkholes after a natural disaster swallowed an entire crossroads and a three-storey textile factory.



Remarkably, no one was killed or injured when the ground gave way last weekend, leaving behind a massive 20m-wide and 30m-deep crater.

National Disaster Management Agency geophysics engineer David Monterroso said buildings within 100m of the hole were evacuated while the stability of surrounding ground was assessed.



Preliminary studies suggest underground sewers and waterlines may have contributed to the sinkhole's formation.

Ash from a nearby volcano, which erupted a few days before, may also have put extra pressure on the city's drainage system.

Mr Monterroso said that once the hole had dried out, experts would go down to analyse the soil.
n February 2007, a sinkhole consumed several homes in the city, killing three people.

The destruction caused by the sinkhole merely added to the woes of Tropical Storm Agatha, which has left more than 175 people dead in Central America.
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Why do I see this turning into a political grab-bag instead of simply approving it?
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11341
so they are capturing TWICE the amount they claimed was leaking until the live feeds showed us the lie... talk about cover your liability/fanny.... and they are still pumping dispersants into this mess at the wellhead trying to keep it out of sight.. I wonder if they ever went to the less toxic formula like they were ordered to nu EPA... heck, I wonder how much they are pumping...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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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