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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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.
000
NWUS53 KLOT 060223
LSRLOT

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

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

0918 PM TORNADO 8 W DWIGHT 41.10N 88.58W
06/05/2010 LIVINGSTON IL LAW ENFORCEMENT

2 MILES E OF RT 170 ALONG RT. 17


&&

$$

ACS
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Member Since: May 13, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 145
hey MiamiHurricanes09 do you know what the funny thing about the AOI that you have pointed out is that all of the areas have increased 850 Vort and increasing

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This sounds bad the Peoria Police Department is setting up a place for the dead at a high school, extensive damage near route 8.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
:edit:
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Also on local news, they showed a high resolution sat image of the Gulf. Haven't seen that before...looking for a link now.
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Tornado on the ground 3 mins from Dwight, IL about to cross I-55. This storm has a history of producing large and damaging tornadoes.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
2547. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:
OK, but the City is not really in the valley. At least it did not seem so to me.
Sounds bad from the reports I am seeing here.


Casualties reported at a high school, or that is where they are going to be sent Im not sure. Peoria Fire Department is operating as a command post.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
2545. Grothar
Quoting pottery:
Good Evening!

Tornados in Peoria, sounds bad.
Been there, it's a big, crowded place. But I think that they are pretty used to tornados around there.

Looking at the Trop. Atl, and all I can think of, is--
"Another wave,
Bites the Dust..."
(SAL, Dust, getit?, getit?)


Hey po. Hot here in SFL. How about you?
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2544. SLU


6n 30w looks pretty impressive considering it is only June 5th. Can't wait to see what it looks like in the morning when the 1st visible images come out.
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2543. pottery
Quoting MrstormX:


No they aren't remember it is a river valley...
OK, but the City is not really in the valley. At least it did not seem so to me.
Sounds bad from the reports I am seeing here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Streeter, Il has major damage, reports of people trapped in their homes :O(!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Kickapoo Creek Road report of Cars in the ditch, possible injured via police radio.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Got a live feed Link
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
This tornado in Peoria is just like the Yazoo City EF4. Moving over city after city.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5082
Quoting pottery:
Good Evening!

Tornados in Peoria, sounds bad.
Been there, it's a big, crowded place. But I think that they are pretty used to tornados around there.

Looking at the Trop. Atl, and all I can think of, is--
"Another wave,
Bites the Dust..."
(SAL, Dust, getit?, getit?)


No they aren't remember it is a river valley...
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The blog is boring me, good night!


not a tornado fan huh?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Only in the South :) A reporter on the local news was interviewing a beach goer today about a no swim advisory. His quote was "It's just oil, it isn't that bad. We use it on our skin to tan and we change it in our cars, I don't think the it will hurt us".

Really? ROFLMAO!
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Incident Description
SEARCH & RESCUE
06/05/10 20:24 (ELMWOOD - ) TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN TAKING ROOF OFF MOVIE CINEMA. REP NUMEROUS INJS. REQUEST ALL RESOURCE MUTUAL-AID [CON046]


2 live scanner feeds
Working

http://www.radioreference.com/apps/audio/?ctid=662
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2534. pottery
Good Evening!

Tornados in Peoria, sounds bad.
Been there, it's a big, crowded place. But I think that they are pretty used to tornados around there.

Looking at the Trop. Atl, and all I can think of, is--
"Another wave,
Bites the Dust..."
(SAL, Dust, getit?, getit?)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Movie Theatre completely destroyed, report of many injured... in Peoria
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting 850Realtor:
Just read it passed 1 1/2 north of downtown through residential areas. Major damage and injuries reported.

Link to Peoria Police scanner (haven't checked it yet)

Link


Source please
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Just read it passed 1 1/2 north of downtown through residential areas. Major damage and injuries reported.

Link to Peoria Police scanner (haven't checked it yet)

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NWS Lincoln has declared a Tornado Emergency

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LINCOLN IL
852 PM CDT SAT JUN 5 2010

ILC179-203-060215-
/O.CON.KILX.TO.W.0013.000000T0000Z-100606T0215Z/
TAZEWELL IL-WOODFORD IL-
852 PM CDT SAT JUN 5 2010

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR WEST CENTRAL WOODFORD AND
NORTH CENTRAL TAZEWELL COUNTIES UNTIL 915 PM CDT...

...TORNADO EMERGENCY CONTINUES FOR THE EASTERN PARTS OF THE PEORIA
METRO AREA...

AT 847 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR WAS TRACKING A
CONFIRMED TORNADO. THIS TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR GERMANTOWN HILLS...
OR 8 MILES EAST OF PEORIA...MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
METAMORA.

THOSE ATTENDING THE CHERRY FESTIVAL IN WASHINGTON ARE IN THE PATH
OF THIS STORM AND SHOULD PREPARE FOR DANGEROUS WEATHER CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR
OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

&&

LAT...LON 4080 8932 4065 8935 4070 8951 4079 8948
TIME...MOT...LOC 0151Z 277DEG 40KT 4073 8941

$$

CHURCHILL
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting MrstormX:


This is really bad Peoria could be devestated, we don't know yet though.

No damage reports out of Peoria yet :O)
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
The blog is boring me, good night!
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2527. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Now I have a cell coming for my house, not warned yet but the lighting is visible in the distance.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting Bordonaro:

Now 2 confirmed tornadoes 50 yds wide as of 15 min ago. I live in Tornado Alley (Dallas-Ft Worth, TX) so I closely track them !!


This is really bad Peoria could be devestated, we don't know yet though.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Twin Tornadoes moving towards Kankakee, this is really bad.

Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting Bordonaro:
Live feed link from Severe Studios.com for C IL storms. Cannot locate a Live Stream out of the Peoria, IL area :O(

Link

Now 2 confirmed tornadoes 50 yds wide as of 15 min ago. I live in Tornado Alley (Dallas-Ft Worth, TX) so I closely track them !!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
All AOI's in the Atlantic basin, none of which do I expect development.

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2518. Makoto1
Quoting MrstormX:


Aren't there some Illinois State University dorms up there.


I'm not sure, but I know the town of Normal is up there and that's big enough.
2517. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Live feed link from Severe Studios.com for C IL storms. Cannot locate a Live Stream out of the Peoria, IL area :O(

Link
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
000
NWUS53 KLOT 060156
LSRLOT

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

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

0830 PM TORNADO 3 W LOSTANT 41.14N 89.12W
06/05/2010 LA SALLE IL TRAINED SPOTTER

HOMES BADLY DAMAGED AND TREES DOWN.

0850 PM TORNADO STREATOR 41.13N 88.83W
06/05/2010 LA SALLE IL TRAINED SPOTTER

2 TORNADOES FROM SAME STORM ON THE GROUND. ONE WAS DUE WEST OF STREATOR.
THE OTHER WAS 1 MILES WEST OF STREATOR AND WAS REPORTED
50 FEET WIDE.


&&

$$

ACS
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting Makoto1:


Looks to be heading toward the north edge of there at least instead of downtown, but that could change.


Aren't there some Illinois State University dorms up there.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
2512. Makoto1
Quoting MrstormX:
NWS Graphic says Peoria Tornado still on the ground moving east towards Bloomington another Major City!



Looks to be heading toward the north edge of there at least instead of downtown, but that could change.
SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
849 PM CDT SAT JUN 5 2010

ILC099-105-060200-
/O.CON.KLOT.TO.W.0005.000000T0000Z-100606T0200Z/
LIVINGSTON IL-LA SALLE IL-
849 PM CDT SAT JUN 5 2010

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR SOUTHWESTERN LA SALLE AND
NORTHWESTERN LIVINGSTON COUNTIES UNTIL 900 PM CDT...

AT 845 PM CDT...A TORNADO WAS REPORTED...BY A TRAINED SPOTTER WITH
DEBRIS IN THE AIR 2 MILES WEST OF STREATOR. THIS TORNADO WAS
MOVING EAST AT 40 MPH.

THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
STREATOR AROUND 850 PM CDT...PERSONS IN THE STREATOR AREA SHOULD
TAKE COVER IMMEDIATELY!

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR
OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

&&

LAT...LON 4120 8878 4108 8878 4095 8883 4099 8906
4110 8907 4110 8915 4111 8917 4122 8917
TIME...MOT...LOC 0147Z 277DEG 34KT 4109 8894

$$
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
NWS Graphic says Peoria Tornado still on the ground moving east towards Bloomington another Major City!

Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
2508. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LINCOLN IL
852 PM CDT SAT JUN 5 2010

ILC179-203-060215-
/O.CON.KILX.TO.W.0013.000000T0000Z-100606T0215Z/
TAZEWELL IL-WOODFORD IL-
852 PM CDT SAT JUN 5 2010

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR WEST CENTRAL WOODFORD AND
NORTH CENTRAL TAZEWELL COUNTIES UNTIL 915 PM CDT...

...TORNADO EMERGENCY CONTINUES FOR THE EASTERN PARTS OF THE PEORIA
METRO AREA...

AT 847 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR WAS TRACKING A
CONFIRMED TORNADO. THIS TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR GERMANTOWN HILLS...
OR 8 MILES EAST OF PEORIA...MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
METAMORA.

THOSE ATTENDING THE CHERRY FESTIVAL IN WASHINGTON ARE IN THE PATH
OF THIS STORM AND SHOULD PREPARE FOR DANGEROUS WEATHER CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR
OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

&&

LAT...LON 4080 8932 4065 8935 4070 8951 4079 8948
TIME...MOT...LOC 0151Z 277DEG 40KT 4073 8941

$$

CHURCHILL
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Nice wave over central Africa, should be emerging over the Atlantic waters sometime in 72+ hours.

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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