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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Based only on a cursory plot of storm damage and tornado reports the long-track tornado that moved thorugh northern Illinois may have covered a path up to 80 miles long.. the approximate distance from the first report near Lostant just east of I-39 in La Salle County to the last report near St. Anne in eastern Kankakee County.


Areas that were hit by the twister include
Lostant
Streator
Dwight
Buckingham
Herscher
St. Anne


National Weather Service storm survey team will determine how many twisters occured, how strong they ranke on the Enhanced Fujita scale and how long the damage paths were. The


So far there have been no reports of deaths or injuries but people were reported to have been trapped in their homes.
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Quoting TropicalWave:
im watching that too, levi. thinsg are about to get interesting.


I wouldn't go that far just yet, we are talking 5-10 days down the road, many things can change between now and then
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AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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Quoting Levi32:


It has the mark of a trouble-maker. If it gets all the way up to 15N like the GFS is saying, it could be a significant concern.


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2852. Drakoen
GFS shows an impressive wave moving off the coast of Africa next week Friday:

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Quoting Levi32:


It has the mark of a trouble-maker. If it gets all the way up to 15N like the GFS is saying, it could be a significant concern.


we will see, it would be a scenario that often occurs in June.

I think some forget that even the developments in June mainly come from Tropical waves that roll of Africa, they just don't find ideal conditions until they get to the Caribbean
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2849. Levi32
Quoting Hurricanes101:


yea true, helps that the wave at 30W actually looks pretty decent


It has the mark of a trouble-maker. If it gets all the way up to 15N like the GFS is saying, it could be a significant concern.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
Quoting Levi32:


It's not, just showing lowering pressures in the area along with the rest of the models. Regardless of what any of these runs look like I'll be watching the Caribbean closely from June 10th to June 20th, especially if this wave tracks as far north as the GFS has been saying.


yea true, helps that the wave at 30W actually looks pretty decent
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2847. Levi32
Quoting Hurricanes101:


ah ok, where is the ECMWF developing it?


It's not, just showing lowering pressures in the area along with the rest of the models. Regardless of what any of these runs look like I'll be watching the Caribbean closely from June 10th to June 20th, especially if this wave tracks as far north as the GFS has been saying.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
2846. Makoto1
This one slipped under the radar: Damage reported not too far from Detroit from an estimated gust of 80 mph.
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Quoting Levi32:
GFS 18z developed the wave currently at 30W and had it as a catalyst for a tropical storm in the western Caribbean in 10 days.


ah ok, where is the ECMWF developing it?
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So...it turns out that both BP and the CG had video of the spill from day one, knew how bad it was and chose to keep the public in the dark...with the help of the media. Interesting read.
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2843. Levi32
GFS 18z developed the wave currently at 30W and had it as a catalyst for a tropical storm in the western Caribbean in 10 days. Still waiting for 0z run to get there.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
2842. juslivn
TORNADO WARNING FOR... NORTHERN MACON COUNTY IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS... * UNTIL 1145 PM CDT. * AT 1106 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR CHESTNUT...OR 11 MILES SOUTHWEST OF CLINTON...AND MOVING EAST AT 40 MPH. * LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE... MAROA...OREANA AND ARGENTA.
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2841. hydrus
Quoting NOVArules:
How can they see tornadoes in the middle of the night, without radar? Do they actually have to look for physical signs like wind of something?
Lightening will illuminate them if they are not rain wrapped.
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Quoting hydrus:
They are scary enough during the day, at night with those sirens going off and then the roaring scream of a tornado you cant even see would be much worse I think.


The Tornado threat will slowly diminish during the early morning hours, although tornado watches are in effect till around 5AM EDT.
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well show me where the GFS and ECMWF are developing the African wave?
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2837. hydrus
Quoting Hurricanes101:


Nogaps has been pretty bad so far this season
I noticed that. It was not too bad last year, but people did mention the NOGAPS model is not good for tropical weather.
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2836. xcool
;)
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
It was a pleasure MrStormX. Given the horrible events occurring.
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Quoting TropicalWave:
you see, xcool? that's the third model now calling for development of that wave,w e have the ECMWF, the GFS, and now the NPG, why is it that im the only one noticing that here, or what?


I am not seeing development on either the ECMWF or the GFS to be honest
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How can they see tornadoes in the middle of the night, without radar? Do they actually have to look for physical signs like wind of something?
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Quoting MrstormX:
Thats it for me tonight guys, its been a pleasure covering this event with you guys. Everyone keep people affected by this in your prayers. Goodnight


Goodnight and sleep safe!
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2830. xcool
i'm wait on gfs from joe b website..TropicalWave
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
2829. xcool
Hurricanes101 .yeah.i have to posting
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
Is this an anomalous radar image or an accurate precipitation measurement for a very small geographical area?
Is every box a square mile?
That's a lot of rain if it is accurate!


Link
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2826. xcool
TropicalWave.good & you
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
Thats it for me tonight guys, its been a pleasure covering this event with you guys. Everyone keep people affected by this in your prayers. Goodnight
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
Quoting xcool:








new ngp


Nogaps has been pretty bad so far this season
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2823. hydrus
Quoting Bordonaro:

Thanks. Although most of the current tornado warnings out are Doppler Radar indicated, this is a serious situation, it is after Midnight EDT, and the set-up is "just right" for rotating super-cells and rotating cells along the squall line. The Polar Jet is ripping across the area from west to east at about 80-100MPH, adding shear, add summer-time temps and cool, dry air behind the front, the recipe for trouble!!
They are scary enough during the day, at night with those sirens going off and then the roaring scream of a tornado you cant even see would be much worse I think.
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35 Tornado Reports and counting. A VERY busy Tornado day for the Midwest.
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2821. xcool








new ngp
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
000
NWUS53 KLOT 060407
LSRLOT

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
1107 PM CDT SAT JUN 05 2010

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

1057 PM TORNADO 3 N ST. ANNE 41.06N 87.72W
06/05/2010 KANKAKEE IL TRAINED SPOTTER

NUMEROUS TREES DOWN. ROOFS BLOWN OFF HOUSES.


&&

$$

ACS


Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
Storms, tornados rip through Illiniois

WGNtv.com WGN News

June 5, 2010
STREATOR, Ill. - Heavy storms and tornados passed through Illinois Saturday night.

The National Weather Service confirmed a twister in Streator, about 81 miles southwest of Chicago, a little after 8 p.m.

Extensive damage was reported along with people trapped in debris.
There are also damage reports coming out of Putnam County.

A possible tornado was sighted around 9:18 p.m. near Dwight in Livingston County, about 75 minutes southwest of Chicago.

The storm was headed east toward Kankakee and Indiana.

WGN has crews on the way.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
Quoting Makoto1:


How would I fix that then?


Not sure, but on another site, I can fix them simply by requesting password assistance (recover lost password). Try that.
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Quoting hydrus:
Good job staying on top of these tornadoes Bord.

Thanks. Although most of the current tornado warnings out are Doppler Radar indicated, this is a serious situation, it is after Midnight EDT, and the set-up is "just right" for rotating super-cells and rotating cells along the squall line. The Polar Jet is ripping across the area from west to east at about 80-100MPH, adding shear, add summer-time temps and cool, dry air behind the front, the recipe for trouble!!
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I think the problem with getting coverage from news media anymore is the instant info we have access to now such as WU, twitter, blogs, chats, etc. We now expect to get info the minute something changes and the media just can't keep up. Always one step behind.
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Link

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE

STREATOR --- People are trapped in their homes and all emergency crews in LaSalle County are on standby as the south side of Streator was hit with a tornado that caused heavy damage to the central Illinois city Saturday night.

A 9:11 p.m. tornado caused significant damage in Streator -- about 60 miles southwest of Joliet, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Stephen Rodriguez.

A LaSalle County Sheriff’s deputy said everything is "a mess" as all emergency crews in the county remain on standby. It is unclear if anyone is hurt following the tornado, which hit the south side of the city and left a number of people trapped in homes.

Phone lines are also down, Rodriguez said.

A tornado watch is also in effect until 2 a.m. Sunday for parts of Will, Grundy and Kankakee counties, Rodriguez said. The watch is not in effect for Chicago.

A tornado is expected to reach the Bourbonnais area about 10:10 p.m., according to the weather service.
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2813. xcool
http://www.myfoxchicago.com/subindex/video/live_video


Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
Weather radio in Bloomington IL and the coverage area south of Bloomington/Normal went out due to power outages just before the tornados were stopped to their SW.

The storms are now approaching the suburbs south and West of Champaign/Urbana.
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TORNADO WARNING
INC091-099-149-060445-
/O.NEW.KIWX.TO.W.0014.100606T0356Z-100606T0445Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORTHERN INDIANA
1056 PM CDT SAT JUN 5 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORTHERN INDIANA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
EXTREME SOUTHWESTERN LA PORTE COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA...
EXTREME SOUTHWESTERN MARSHALL COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL INDIANA...
STARKE COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA...

* UNTIL 1145 PM CDT/1245 AM EDT/

* AT 1053 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WITH STRONG ROTATION 5 MILES SOUTH OF
KOUTS...OR 9 MILES EAST OF DE MOTTE...MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE PATH OF THIS SEVERE STORM INCLUDE...
NORTH JUDSON...
KNOX...

OTHER LOCATIONS IMPACTED BY THIS SEVERE THUNDERSTORM INCLUDE SAN
PIERRE...LOMAX...ENGLISH LAKE...TOTO...BASS LAKE...WINONA...OBER AND
OAK GROVE.

HEAVY RAINFALL MAY OBSCURE THIS TORNADO. TAKE COVER NOW! IF YOU WAIT
TO SEE OR HEAR IT COMING...IT MAY BE TOO LATE TO GET TO A SAFE PLACE.

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT. GET UNDER A
WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF STURDY FURNITURE. IF NO BASEMENT IS
AVAILABLE...SEEK SHELTER ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE BUILDING IN AN
INTERIOR HALLWAY OR ROOM SUCH AS A CLOSET. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO
COVER YOUR BODY AND ALWAYS STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

LAT...LON 4135 8646 4118 8647 4117 8663 4118 8694
4131 8694
TIME...MOT...LOC 0356Z 273DEG 41KT 4124 8699

$$
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
2810. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number FORTY-THREE
DEPRESSION, FORMER PHET (ARB02-2010)
5:30 AM IST June 6 2010
=======================================

At 0:00 AM UTC, Deep Depression over northwest Arabian Sea off Makaran coast moved further eastward and weakened into a depression. Depression, Former Phet lays centered near 24.5N 64.0E, or 100 kms southeast of Pasni, 300 kms west southwest of Karachi, and 500 kms northwest of Naliya.

3 minute sustained winds near the center is 25 knots with a central pressure of 998 hPa. The state of the sea is rough to very rough around the system's center. The coastal observations indicates gradual weakening of the system.

Satellite imagery shows broken intense convection over southwest Pakistan adjoining Iran and Arabian Sea north of 22.0N and east of 66.0 to 68.5E. The lowest cloud top temperature due to convection is -65C 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 weaken further due to increase in wind shear and interaction with land surface while moving east northeast and cross Pakistan coast as a weak system near 66.0E between 0900 - 1500 PM UTC, today.

Squall wind speed reaching 20-30 knots gusting to 35 knots would occur along and off Makaran coast and north Gujarat coast and adjoining northeast Arabian Sea during next 12 hours. Sea condition will be rough to very rough along and off these coasts during the next 12 hours.
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2809. hydrus
Quoting Bordonaro:


The Tornadoes and Severe T-Storms in IL, IN, OH are moving E at 40MH, ahead of a cold front. There is a large tongue of warm, humid air over these areas and a strong cold front to the west and the Polar Jet is shooting extra energy into this area, causing wind shear and the rotating supercells and rotation even in the squall line over C IL.

The tornadoes in MI are ahead of the warm front, the warm humid air is being forced up and over the cooler surface air, causing a large area of severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes..
Good job staying on top of these tornadoes Bord.
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2808. xcool
ok
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
This is crazy, remember there was only a 10% chance of tornadoes in Illiana today. And all of the sudden, it just popped wide open.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
Quoting hydrus:
Looked bad on the radar for that area.


Yes it does..
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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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