Long range oil spill forecast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:02 PM GMT on June 04, 2010

Share this Blog
4
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 3006 - 2956

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105Blog Index

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:
Quoting SLU:


This could be invest 92L even before the day is over.


I doubt it, no model support nor has it hanged around enough to be really considered. But its impressive for early June.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2962 nrtiwlnvragn "BP claims they are capturing 10,000 barrels a day now. Link"

The USGS surface survey team came up with 15,500plus-or-minus3500 barrels per day.
The USGS plume velocity team came up with 18,500plus-or-minus6500 barrels per day.
But cutting the BlowoutPreventer's riser increased the flow rate by ~20%.
So adding that 20% extra to the old numbers of:
the agreed-upon 12,000barrels per day minimum, the new minimum would be 13,400barrels per day;
the 17,000barrels per day average of two studies, the new average would be 20,400barrels per day.
Subtracting the 10,000barrels per day being recovered:
some amount between 3400to10,400barrels per day is still leaking into the Gulf...
...and I refuse to think about pessimistic projections.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Does anyone know of a good desktop weather besides WeatherBug?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Tropical Wave at 30W
No shear for 3 days but marginal water temps and a 1030H dead center atlantic. Current shear starting at 50W should relax mid week as the upper level trough over DR, PR relaxes. There is 30C water there so a lot of energy waiting to be tapped. Then a deep layer low form just north of Bermuda bring a trough back in and reintroducing shear and would also recurve any decent storm that forms off to the north....
Will the high hold the wave down so it can't get organized??
Will it form up anyway once it hits the warmer water?
Will it get sheared apart or recurve to the north in the trough right over me next week?
Will the trough be too late?
Will it fizzle and die like so many before?

Stay tuned to as the wave comes.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Deleted due to double posting
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2999. SLU


This could be invest 92L even before the day is over.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
hmm I think it would be like this.

Tropical Cyclone Alex/Blas/Basyang/Giri

JMA keeps the name from East Pacific and IMD might change it.

Basyang being PAGASA name since Agaton was already used this year. =P


That would be one super storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2997. IKE
Quoting P451:


In a few weeks, when those are up around 12N, we're going to have to start taking notice.

All the ingredients are here except for climatology. When it catches up then things will probably begin to fire and in the "right" places.


It looks like it's going to take a few more weeks to really get going.


Quoting AussieStorm:

That wave was a little higher yesterday, just above 10N


That wave should affect Puerto Rico later this week....from their discussion...

"A SHARP DECREASE IN CONVECTION IS EXPECTED FOR WED-THU AS TROUGH
FILLS/WEAKENS AND SUBSIDENCE DEVELOPS BEHIND DEPARTING TROPICAL WAVE
AND AHEAD OF A HIGH AMPLITUDE AND MORE ROBUST TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED
ALONG 30W THIS MORNING.
GFS SHOWS LOTS OF WEATHER WILL ACCOMPANY
THIS WAVE AS IT MOVES ACROSS THE AREA FRI WITH PW VALUES AND K
INDICES INCREASING UP TO 2.5 INCHES AND 40 RESPECTIVELY AND A VERY
UNSTABLE AIR MASS."
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Morning Aussie, P4, Ike, sporteguy and everyone else!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:

That wave was a little higher yesterday, just above 10N
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2993. IKE
Quoting sporteguy03:


Great News Ike, hope it can continue and some resolution can be made, glad I am visiting the Panhandle beaches now though.


It's washing up on the beaches here in my home county.

From the NW FL. Daily News....

"Oil from deep in the Gulf of Mexico washed up on Okaloosa and Walton County beaches Saturday for the first time since the Deepwater Horizon gusher began."....

From here.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
2992. IKE
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting IKE:
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT SUN JUN 6 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER AVILA


Atlantic is in snooze mode....rock on....



Great News Ike, hope it can continue and some resolution can be made, glad I am visiting the Panhandle beaches now though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
First real snow of the season down at the Snowy Mountains.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting msgambler:
G'Day Aussie

G'day mate!
Quoting IKE:


I hope he's okay. I read one article earlier today where someone had to be helped out of the oil. He was sinking to where he would have drowned without help.


oh gee that would of been a bad way to go, drowned by oil.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2988. IKE
Quoting AussieStorm:

maybe he's still lugging it out of the marsh.


I hope he's okay. I read one article earlier today where someone had to be helped out of the oil. He was sinking to where he would have drowned without help.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
2987. IKE
Mayor of Orange Beach,AL. is frustrated at BP
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
G'Day Aussie
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
You say toMAYto, I say toMAHto...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting msgambler:
Yeah, I just got a rumor of an old, broke down guy carrying a big bouy out of the marsh moaning "coffee, coffee" and wanted to make sure he was ok.....LOL

maybe he's still lugging it out of the marsh.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
LOL aspectre, good morning
I said BOUY not BOY...LOL
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
Quoting msgambler:
Wow Ike is that all you got out of that mess I sent your way. I got almost 3 inc. here.

Evening all. maybe it dumped all its rain on you and had little left for Ike
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2981. IKE
Quoting TampaSpin:


Have you seen the live feed.......i don't see much change myself. I hope they are collecting what they say but, i don't see it when looking at the live feed.


I looked at it. I don't see much change either...maybe very slightly less.

I don't believe anything out of Hayward's pie-hole.

It would be great news if what BP is saying is true, but I need more proof than Hayward.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Sheesh, the manners these days. The big boy shoulda been carrying the broke'down ol' man.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting msgambler:
OK, Thanks masonsnana, and Good morning
Good morning msgambler & Ike
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Yeah, I just got a rumor of an old, broke down guy carrying a big bouy out of the marsh moaning "coffee, coffee" and wanted to make sure he was ok.....LOL
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
Quoting IKE:
Fox News article on what BP is collecting now in the GOM.

After reading the entire article and what it's doing to marine life, it gets me pissed off.


Have you seen the live feed.......i don't see much change myself. I hope they are collecting what they say but, i don't see it when looking at the live feed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
OK, Thanks masonsnana, and Good morning
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
2975. IKE
He usually doesn't come on early in the morning.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting msgambler:
Anybody seen Pat this morning?
No, I've been here since 5am
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2973. IKE
Fox News article on what BP is collecting now in the GOM.

After reading the entire article and what it's doing to marine life, it gets me pissed off.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Anybody seen Pat this morning?
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
BP claims they are capturing 10,000 barrels a day now.

Link


Funny when the claim was as high as 8000 a day from them!

I posted this last nite.......bad math!

You all gotta love BP and our Governments math. The claim was when they cut the Riser off there would be about a 20% gain in oil coming out........So that would be 120%......if you now assume they are capturing 30% of what is coming out as they say that would then mean that 92.30% is stil coming out from the the extra 20% they increased it by from when the Riser was cut....they are collecting 8% of 18,000 barrels or 16,560 barrels is still coming out in 24hours.....simple math.....its not really 30% as they say from what it was days ago.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
They must not.
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
Quoting msgambler:
nrt, is that 10k bbl a day or 10k gallons a day? It was only leaking like 17k a day. I didn't see the article.


10K barrels, but I don't think they really know how much is coming out of the well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wow Ike is that all you got out of that mess I sent your way. I got almost 3 inc. here.
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
nrt, is that 10k bbl a day or 10k gallons a day? It was only leaking like 17k a day. I didn't see the article.
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
2966. IKE
Quoting msgambler:
Morning Ike, nrt


Morning.

I had .35 inches of rain yesterday.

Partly sunny now and 75 out my window.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting msgambler:
Morning Ike, nrt


Good morning, although sad with the deaths from tornados last night.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Morning Ike, nrt
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
2963. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
BP claims they are capturing 10,000 barrels a day now.

Link


That would be great news! Please let it happen. I'm wishcasting for it!

From the article...

"History Lesson

“History has taught us here to be cautiously optimistic, not overly optimistic,” Dan Pickering, an analyst at investment bank Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. in Houston, said yesterday. He said capturing 90 percent of the flow would be a “huge home run.”".....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
BP claims they are capturing 10,000 barrels a day now.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2961. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT SUN JUN 6 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER AVILA


Atlantic is in snooze mode....rock on....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting NCHurricane2009:
Just think, if a tropical cyclone would track from Atlantic, to Pacific (and by the Philippines), to Indian Ocean right now, it would be:

Troipcal Cyclone Alex/Blas/Omais/Agaton/Giri/I-don't-know

LOL

Omais has already been used. I don't think a cyclone could travel halfway arounf the world without getting caught up in a ridge
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2869 xcool "JUNE 11 LOL .MAY MAY BE .FIRST NAMES STORMS MMMM
TropicalWave DO YOU KNOW WHY I'M LOL
"

I know why I would be and you might be: the predicted favorable MJO effect upon an African wave could lead to an absurdity, the June CapeVerde hurricane.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2958. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
hmm I think it would be like this.

Tropical Cyclone Alex/Blas/Basyang/Giri

JMA keeps the name from East Pacific and IMD might change it.

Basyang being PAGASA name since Agaton was already used this year. =P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just think, if a tropical cyclone would track from Atlantic, to Pacific (and by the Philippines), to Indian Ocean right now, it would be:

Troipcal Cyclone Alex/Blas/Omais/Agaton/Giri/I-don't-know

LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2956. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
night, Makoto
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 3006 - 2956

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105Blog Index

Top of Page

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.

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy
56 °F
Partly Cloudy