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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2606. WxTracker15
2:50 AM GMT on June 06, 2010
Member Since: May 13, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 145
2605. SiestaCpl
2:50 AM GMT on June 06, 2010
I just spoke with friends in the path..they were having a dinner party and had the TV off. They were unaware of the danger..they are calling friends and family in the area as well. Most people in the area would not be watching any local station as they, like all of us, have given up on the major stations and prime time. There are sirens in some areas but not in unincorporated areas which are now at risk. The IL State Univ is out for summer so that is good as it is directly in the Path of what has been described as an EF3+. There are two major RV parks in the path on the North side of I75 between Streator and Bloomington/Normal which are normally full this time of year. I stayed they many many nights and they have no warning systems.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 383
2603. Bordonaro
2:50 AM GMT on June 06, 2010
Quoting MrstormX:
If im not allowed to post this then please delete it mods, but here is a number

(770) 226-9338

Called TWC rang about 14 times, no answer. I am rather peeved about this!!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
2602. MrstormX
2:49 AM GMT on June 06, 2010
Local Streetor Man reports complete utter destruction, sounds bad
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
2601. MrstormX
2:48 AM GMT on June 06, 2010
Live coverage from a Peoria station http://www.1470wmbd.com/
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
TWC still got Storm Stories on - at least where I am and my satellite feed is Dish Net for NYC area
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Quoting Levi32:


I used to watch them for hurricane landfall live coverage but in 2008 I turned on CNN and they outdid them from what I remember. We have a new set of channels this year so I'm going to see how well FOX News covers hurricane landfalls.

TWC phone number is (770) 226-0000. Just called there offices are now closed!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
2598. Makoto1
Quoting Levi32:


I used to watch them for hurricane landfall live coverage but in 2008 I turned on CNN and they outdid them from what I remember. We have a new set of channels this year so I'm going to see how well FOX News covers hurricane landfalls.


I tried FOX and CNN, and out of those two CNN was better as far as I was concerned. CNN's a good alternative to The Weather Channel for hurricanes, and for all I know TWC will have gone downhill there too.

Storm Stories on here in Ohio as well, btw.
Sounds really bad right now, Peoria police have set up a command post.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Storm Stories still showing here.
Member Since: September 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 283
If im not allowed to post this then please delete it mods, but here is a number

(770) 226-9338
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
2594. Levi32
Quoting Makoto1:


It's sad too, they used to be really good... And sometimes they still are for watching hurricane landfalls with live reports and all. I'll never forget watching that 30 minutes of live Ike video.


I used to watch them for hurricane landfall live coverage but in 2008 I turned on CNN and they outdid them from what I remember. We have a new set of channels this year so I'm going to see how well FOX News covers hurricane landfalls.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26685
Quoting Bordonaro:

They are now reporting live on The Weather Channel. Do you have there number, I will give them a call!!


Im looking, and I still have storm stories on.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Member Since: May 13, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 145
Quoting MrstormX:
Everyone on here needs to call and complain now to the TWC. Blog about them, disgrace them whatever it takes this is disgusting. ~~Sorry im just mad

They were reporting live on The Weather Channel. Do you have there number, I will give them a call!! This is a DANGEROUS situation, that requires CONTINUOUS coverage!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
2590. Makoto1
Quoting Levi32:


I don't even bother turning them on anymore. They are a disgrace.


It's sad too, they used to be really good... And sometimes they still are for watching hurricane landfalls with live reports and all. I'll never forget watching that 30 minutes of live Ike video.
Listening to 1470 WMBD Peoria news radio on internet. They are taking calls on damage from residents. Sounds bad- "...looks like a war zone..."
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Everyone on here needs to call and complain now to the TWC. Blog about them, disgrace them whatever it takes this is disgusting. ~~Sorry im just mad
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting Levi32:


I don't even bother turning them on anymore. They are a disgrace.

NOT anymore, they are LIVE on TWC!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Bordonaro:
Large Tornado as of 9 mins ago hit Dwight, about 3 mis east of town. Extensive damage reported in Dwight :o(!!


I heard a prison there was damaged on the Illinois state police feed.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
2585. Levi32
Quoting Grothar:
The darn Weather Channel is showing Storm stories. They should be covering this event. Unbelievable.


I don't even bother turning them on anymore. They are a disgrace.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26685
Large Tornado as of 9 mins ago hit Dwight, about 3 mis east of town. Extensive damage reported in Dwight :o(!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Bordonaro:


I pray and hope everyone is safe!! Are there any local TV stations doing Live Coverage? I am unable to find any Live Stream on the Internet for your area~


http://www.1470wmbd.com/ maybe, they say they are live but not sure yet.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
2582. Grothar
The darn Weather Channel is showing Storm stories. They should be covering this event. Unbelievable.
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Local Storm Report
(Illinois is 1 hr. behind EST)
Currently 9:41 p.m.

06/05/2010 0831 PM
7 miles W of Peoria, Peoria County.
Tornado, reported by broadcast media.
Tornado at Hwy 116.

06/05/2010 0830 PM
Peoria, Peoria County.
Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.
Tornado at Route 150 and Interstate 74.

06/05/2010 0806 PM
Elmwood, Peoria County.
Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.
Tornado entering Elmwood. No damage reports at this time.

06/05/2010 0810 PM
1 miles N of Elmwood, Peoria County.
Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.
Second tornado on the ground.

06/05/2010 0814 PM
2 miles S of Brimfield, Peoria County.
Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.
Tornado just south of Route 8.

06/05/2010 0825 PM
Peoria, Peoria County.
Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.
Tornado 4 miles northwest of the Peoria Airport.

06/05/2010 0825 PM
Peoria, Peoria County.
Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.
Tornado 4 miles northwest of the Peoria Airport.

06/05/2010 0814 PM
2 miles S of Brimfield, Peoria County.
Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.
Tornado just south of Route 8.

06/05/2010 0810 PM
1 miles N of Elmwood, Peoria County.
Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.
Second tornado on the ground.

06/05/2010 0806 PM
Elmwood, Peoria County.
Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.
Tornado entering Elmwood. No damage reports at this time.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SiestaCpl:
My wife and myself are from the region. I lectured at the Illinois State campus for 25 years in Bloomington Normal. Peoria is on the West bank of the river and builds West through steep hills. They are not used to tornados but do know flooding. The East side of the River is East Peoria leading up the hills to Streator where a Cat tractor Factory stands. The newer suburbs are on the East side of the river and there are large subdivisions for the Cat workers. The movie theater in East Peoria has been hit during a Saturday evening with possible large crowds. Theaters in this region DO NOT evac for tornado warnings. There are also two large casino boats on the river which would be packed with people at risk. Additionally there are large mobile home parks all along the North side of I 75 where these tornados are running.


I pray and hope everyone is safe!! Are there any local TV stations doing Live Coverage? I am unable to find any Live Stream on the Internet for your area~
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Grand Hotel is requesting EMS
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
2578. pottery
Quoting SiestaCpl:
My wife and myself are from the region. I lectured at the Illinois State campus for 25 years in Bloomington Normal. Peoria is on the West bank of the river and builds West through steep hills. They are not used to tornados but do know flooding. The East side of the River is East Peoria leading up the hills to Streator where a Cat tractor Factory stands. The newer suburbs are on the East side of the river and there are large subdivisions for the Cat workers. The movie theater in East Peoria has been hit during a Saturday evening with possible large crowds. Theaters in this region DO NOT evac for tornado warnings. There are also two large casino boats on the river which would be packed with people at risk. Additionally there are large mobile home parks all along the North side of I 75 where these tornados are running.

Thanks for this.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Tornado moving towards Kankakee and suburbs of it.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
2576. Patrap
Hubble Images Suggest Rogue Asteroid Smacked Jupiter




These NASA Hubble Space Telescope snapshots reveal an impact scar on Jupiter fading from view over several months between July 2009 and November 2009. Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Wong, H. Hammel, I. de Pater, and the Jupiter Impact Team



Without warning, a mystery object struck Jupiter on July 19, 2009, leaving a dark bruise the size of the Pacific Ocean. The spot first caught the eye of an amateur astronomer in Australia, and soon, observatories around the world, including NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, were zeroing in on the unexpected blemish.

Astronomers had witnessed this kind of cosmic event before. Similar scars had been left behind during the course of a week in July 1994, when more than 20 pieces of Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) plunged into Jupiter’s atmosphere. The 2009 impact occurred during the same week, 15 years later.

Astronomers who compared Hubble images of both collisions say the culprit may have been an asteroid about 1,600 feet (500 meters) wide. The images, therefore, may show for the first time the immediate aftermath of an asteroid, rather than a comet, striking another planet.

The Jupiter bombardments reveal that the solar system is a rambunctious place, where unpredictable events may occur more frequently than first thought.

“This solitary event caught us by surprise, and we can only see the aftermath of the impact, but fortunately we do have the 1994 Hubble observations that captured the full range of impact phenomena, including the nature of the objects from pre-impact observations” says astronomer Heidi Hammel of the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo., leader of the Jupiter impact study.

"The object that hit Jupiter this time would have been small, dark, and cold—in other words, hard for us to see before the impact, regardless of which wavelength we used for observations," adds Amy Simon-Miller, a co-investigator at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

In 2009 Hammel’s team snapped images of the debris field with Hubble’s recently installed Wide Field Camera 3 and newly repaired Advanced Camera for Surveys.

The analysis revealed key differences between the two collisions (in 1994 and 2009), providing clues to the 2009 event. Astronomers saw a distinct halo around the 1994 impact sites in Hubble ultraviolet (UV) images, evidence of fine dust arising from a comet-fragment strike. The UV images also showed a strong contrast between impact-generated debris and Jupiter’s clouds.

Hubble UV images of the 2009 impact showed no halo and also revealed that the site’s contrast faded rapidly. Both clues suggest a lack of lightweight particles, providing circumstantial evidence for an impact by a solid asteroid rather than a dusty comet.

The elongated shape of the recent impact site also differs from the 1994 strike, indicating that the 2009 object descended from a shallower angle than the SL9 fragments. The 2009 body also came from a different direction than the SL9 pieces.

The visible spectrum, however, was "nearly identical in this case to what we saw for SL9," says Simon-Miller, who recalculated the SL9 spectrum for this analysis. "This isn't surprising, because most of the debris we're looking at is actually burnt-up atmosphere: hydrogen, hydrocarbons, and soot. It's very black, just like the soot we're familiar with, and has a very flat spectrum."

By analyzing the temperatures and the spread of debris around the impact site, Simon-Miller also determined that much of the debris was located high in Jupiter's stratosphere. "Based on the temperature, we figured out how the wind changed with height," she explains. "And by looking at how the debris was moving, we figured out how high in altitude it must be."

Team member Agustín Sanchez-Lavéga of the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain, and colleagues performed an analysis of possible orbits that the 2009 impacting body could have taken to collide with Jupiter. Their work indicates the object probably came from the Hilda family of bodies, a secondary asteroid belt consisting of more than 1,100 asteroids orbiting near Jupiter.

The 2009 strike was equal to a few thousand standard nuclear bombs exploding, comparable to the blasts from the medium-sized fragments of SL9. The largest of those fragments created explosions that were many times more powerful than the world’s entire nuclear arsenal blowing up at once.

The recent impact underscores the important work performed by amateur astronomers. “This event beautifully illustrates how amateur and professional astronomers can work together,” notes Hammel.

The study by Hammel’s team appeared in the June 1 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. in Washington, D.C.

For images and more information about Jupiter, visit:

http://hubblesite.org/news/2010/16
http://www.nasa.gov/hubble
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Peoria looks like judging by the early damage reports it got hit by a late night surprise EF3 - EF4 tornado.
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Reddick, IL is next a large tornado is on its way into town. There are 5 tornado warnings out in IL right now, most are confirmed tornadoes!!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Tornado moving toward Pekin... another large city.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
NROT (Normalized Rotation) Near Dwight
Member Since: May 13, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 145
My wife and myself are from the region. I lectured at the Illinois State campus for 25 years in Bloomington Normal. Peoria is on the West bank of the river and builds West through steep hills. They are not used to tornados but do know flooding. The East side of the River is East Peoria leading up the hills to Streator where a Cat tractor Factory stands. The newer suburbs are on the East side of the river and there are large subdivisions for the Cat workers. The movie theater in East Peoria has been hit during a Saturday evening with possible large crowds. Theaters in this region DO NOT evac for tornado warnings. There are also two large casino boats on the river which would be packed with people at risk. Additionally there are large mobile home parks all along the North side of I 75 where these tornados are running.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 383
Quoting pottery:

Peoria is a very Peculiar place.


Rural AL has some of the best Live Stream Coverage on Livestream 33/40. They covered the Yazoo City. MS tornado and tracked the storms all across MS into AL!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting MrstormX:
Did you hear something about a 92 year old female, what is that about?

Let's hope she isn't dead.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5075
2567. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Sounds awful in Elmwood, streetsigns might be destroyed in Peoria.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Member Since: May 13, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 145
2564. pottery
Quoting Bordonaro:

I am surprised that NOT ONE Peoria, IL area TV station is on Live Stream!!

Peoria is a very Peculiar place.
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Did you hear something about a 92 year old female, what is that about?
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Central Illinois Radar Loop
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Member Since: May 13, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 145
000
NWUS53 KLOT 060227
LSRLOT

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

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

0926 PM TORNADO DWIGHT 41.10N 88.42W
06/05/2010 LIVINGSTON IL EMERGENCY MNGR

STATE POLICE CONFIRMED TORNADO JUST WEST OF INTERSTATE 55
AND SOUTH OF RT. 17


&&

$$

ACS
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting Makoto1:
I'm not liking this one bit... This is why night tornadoes are so bad, can't see them until it's too late.

I am surprised that NOT ONE Peoria, IL area TV station is on Live Stream!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
2558. pottery
Quoting Grothar:


Hey po. Hot here in SFL. How about you?
Hi! Has cooled down nice here. But it was a hot one here too. Heat Index of 100-105 for several hours.
Clear sky with plenty stars now.
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Quoting clwstmchasr:


I'm listening, I believe they said that they will use the High School as a command center for casualties.


Yah my error
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
2556. Makoto1
I'm not liking this one bit... This is why night tornadoes are so bad, can't see them until it's too late.

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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.