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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2406. Levi32
Quoting BahaHurican:
Levi,

In the Caribbean seems like a really likely scenario for it, too, given the current high setup. Kinda scary to think we could have a serious storm in the basin before the end of the month, but even if this one doesn't pop, the possibility for another is still greater than usual....


Yes, the Caribbean is the most climatologically likely place for our first storm to occur, and even if we have a blank June, July will likely see the real kick-off.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26566
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
once it gets down to the 5,760 minute mark then we start watchin
Your so funny!!
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Wow, GFS predicts a storm to track through the 29C+ warm Caribbean, into the equally warm Gulf and to a landfall in Alabama!
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2402. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
thats 15,840 minutes
once it gets down to the 5,760 minute mark then we start watchin
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2401. Levi32
Quoting Grothar:


Why do you think I am on this blog. Every time one of you say a storm is forming, it keeps my heart beating, keep up the good work, guys.


Well then, this season should put you back a few years young!
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26566
BBL.... gotta maka run.....
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2399. Grothar
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
thats 15,840 minutes


Thanks Keeper, you always put things in perspective! LOL
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Levi,

In the Caribbean seems like a really likely scenario for it, too, given the current high setup. Kinda scary to think we could have a serious storm in the basin before the end of the month, but even if this one doesn't pop, the possibility for another is still greater than usual....
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2397. xcool



Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
2396. Grothar
Quoting Levi32:


Aww Grothar, it can't be that bad! You're only as old as you feel, right?


Why do you think I am on this blog. Every time one of you say a storm is forming, it keeps my heart beating, keep up the good work, guys.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Damage, tornado possibly on ground.

000
NWUS53 KDVN 060051
LSRDVN

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE QUAD CITIES IA IL
751 PM CDT SAT JUN 05 2010

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

0745 PM TORNADO N MAQUOKETA 42.07N 90.67W
06/05/2010 JACKSON IA LAW ENFORCEMENT

POSSIBLE TORNADO DAMAGE REPORTED NORTH OF MAQUOKETA. MORE
INFORMATION TO FOLLOW. TIME ESTIMATED.


&&

$$

LEGRO
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
2393. Levi32
Quoting TropicalWave:
levi, if it were to form, would you be in agreement of the gfs movement in regards to it, by taking it into the GOM, or do you think it would go otherwise?


I would wait until we see if we actually will have a disturbance before speculating on track. This is one model run, illustrating the concern I have been voicing about the June 10th-20th period in the Caribbean. We'll see what happens.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26566
2392. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Grothar:


Levi, at my age I count things in minutes. 264 hours is beyond my comprehension. I don't even watch TV series in two parts anymore. Afraid I'll never get to see the ending.
thats 15,840 minutes
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I am look at the live feed from Q400 ROV1 and my haeat is just aching with hurt.....i have never seen so much oil in the water!
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
264 hours.
LOL!
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2389. Levi32
Quoting Grothar:


Levi, at my age I count things in minutes. 264 hours is beyond my comprehension. I don't even watch TV series in two parts anymore. Afraid I'll never get to see the ending.


Aww Grothar, it can't be that bad! You're only as old as you feel, right?
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26566
2388. xcool
picalWave HI
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
nvr mind lol
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
2385. xcool


LOW SHEAR
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
2380.) 6 warned
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
2382. Levi32
Quoting firematt255:
What do we have here in 24 hrs?


A low associated with an amplified upper trough above it, which if it had more time would be a subtropical concern, but it is going to be picked up by a passing longwave trough shortly after that frame.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26566
TORNADO WARNING
IAC045-097-060130-
/O.NEW.KDVN.TO.W.0009.100606T0043Z-100606T0130Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE QUAD CITIES IA IL
743 PM CDT SAT JUN 5 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THE QUAD CITIES HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN CLINTON COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL IOWA...
SOUTHERN JACKSON COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL IOWA...

* UNTIL 830 PM CDT.

* AT 741 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
TORNADO NEAR MAQUOKETA...MOVING EAST AT 35 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
DELMAR AROUND 745 PM CDT...
SPRAGUEVILLE AND CHARLOTTE AROUND 755 PM CDT...
PRESTON...VAN BUREN AND GOOSE LAKE AROUND 800 PM CDT...
MILES...BRYANT AND REECEVILLE AROUND 805 PM CDT...
TEEDS GROVE AROUND 815 PM CDT...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE IN A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT OR INTERIOR ROOM
OR HALLWAY ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A BUILDING.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1100 PM CDT SATURDAY EVENING
FOR SOUTHEASTERN IOWA AND NORTHWESTERN ILLINOIS AND NORTHEAST
MISSOURI.

&&

LAT...LON 4217 9025 4216 9023 4210 9018 4196 9015
4192 9016 4200 9077 4218 9074
TIME...MOT...LOC 0043Z 280DEG 31KT 4207 9059

$$

ERVIN
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
Quoting MrstormX:
Tornado Outbreak Going on Right now Guys!




There are two storms that show a lot of rotation.
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2379. xcool







Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
2378. Grothar
Quoting Levi32:


That image was 264 hours.


Levi, at my age I count things in minutes. 264 hours is beyond my comprehension. I don't even watch TV series in two parts anymore. Afraid I'll never get to see the ending.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
They've had a couple of them popping off and pulling some rotation before this one. I posted something from a TWD day before yesterday where 3 of 5 waves were showing some. I think the only thing saving us so far from these agressive Twaves is the fact that the ITCZ is still so far south they're running into Suriname and Guyana instead of the Caribbean. Lotsa torque out there....


When the ITCZ moves further north this could put some potent storms in the Caribbean.
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Tornado Outbreak Going on Right now Guys!

Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
2375. Levi32
Quoting BahaHurican:
They've had a couple of them popping off and pulling some rotation before this one. I posted something from a TWD day before yesterday where 3 of 5 waves were showing some. I think the only thing saving us so far from these agressive Twaves is the fact that the ITCZ is still so far south they're running into Suriname and Guyana instead of the Caribbean. Lotsa torque out there....


Indeed. This particular wave at 30W is forecasted by the GFS to take a pretty northerly path, perhaps even separating from the ITCZ, making it the first tropical wave to do so this year. If that does happen, it will need to be watched even more carefully in the Caribbean.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26566
What do we have here in 24 hrs?
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Quoting Levi32:
Rotation is evident with the tropical wave along 30W in TPW (Total Precipitable Water) imagery:

They've had a couple of them popping off and pulling some rotation before this one. I posted something from a TWD day before yesterday where 3 of 5 waves were showing some. I think the only thing saving us so far from these agressive Twaves is the fact that the ITCZ is still so far south they're running into Suriname and Guyana instead of the Caribbean. Lotsa torque out there....
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2372. Levi32
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26566
ILC095-060100-
/O.NEW.KILX.TO.W.0010.100606T0037Z-100606T0100Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LINCOLN IL
737 PM CDT SAT JUN 5 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LINCOLN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHERN KNOX COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL ILLINOIS...

* UNTIL 800 PM CDT.

* AT 734 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR ABINGDON...OR 8 MILES SOUTH OF GALESBURG...
AND MOVING EAST AT 40 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
GILSON...MAQUON...WILLIAMSFIELD AND YATES CITY.

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 74 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 54 AND 67.

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 4093 8999 4074 9000 4079 9038 4090 9037
TIME...MOT...LOC 0037Z 274DEG 35KT 4084 9030

$$

CHURCHILL
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
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.
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2369. Levi32
Quoting TropicalWave:
levi, thoughts on the 18Z-GFS developing a GOM threater at 280 hours, might it happen, given the pattern that your anticipating? thanks, young lad.


It's possible.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26566
2368. Levi32
Quoting clwstmchasr:
Quoting Levi32:
Just noticed the 18z GFS. It appears the tropical storm in the western Caribbean on this run is spawned by the wave I mentioned above


How many hours out?


That image was 264 hours.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26566
I think we need to see some consistency in the models before everybody gets all worked up.
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2366. Ossqss
Quoting TampaSpin:
Have you all seen the live feed from BP of the Q4000 ROV 1! What the dam hell is that! HOLLY CRAP! Is that sludge?


That is an interesting observation. Do you think they are pumping the mud down to it again and using the cap as a cork for it? I have no clue, but that might not be out of the question, including junk if they have the cap. They still need a long term solution regardless. Sorry for butting in an leaving.

L8R :)
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2365. xcool
hey
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LINCOLN IL
740 PM CDT SAT JUN 5 2010

ILC175-060100-
/O.CON.KILX.TO.W.0009.000000T0000Z-100606T0100Z/
STARK IL-
740 PM CDT SAT JUN 5 2010

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR NORTHEASTERN STARK COUNTY
UNTIL 800 PM CDT...

AT 738 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO
. THIS DANGEROUS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR ELMIRA...OR 7 MILES SOUTHEAST OF KEWANEE...
MOVING EAST AT 40 MPH.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
BRADFORD AND LOMBARDVILLE.

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 4114 8985 4121 8984 4124 8964 4111 8965
TIME...MOT...LOC 0040Z 269DEG 37KT 4118 8979

$$

CHURCHILL
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436


date wind cat. cpoa name
26 Jul 1926 132 h4 2 NOTNAMED
17 Sep 1926 144 h4 45 NOTNAMED
15 Sep 1926 40 ts 2 NOTNAMED
1 Nov 1927 40 ts 48 NOTNAMED
7 Aug 1928 92 h1 25 NOTNAMED
16 Sep 1928 155 h5 13 NOTNAMED
26 Sep 1929 138 h4 18 NOTNAMED

http://stormcarib.com/climatology/MYNN_dec_isl.htm

...Scary!


closest point of approach (cpoa, in miles)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Baha...

1926 & 1928 both bad years down this way:



date wind cat. cpoa name
20 Nov 1921 46 ts 65 NOTNAMED
25 Sep 1923 52 ts 67 NOTNAMED
25 Jul 1926 127 h3 13 NOTNAMED
16 Sep 1926 150 h4 27 NOTNAMED
5 Aug 1928 46 ts 65 NOTNAMED
15 Sep 1928 155 h5 4 NOTNAMED


http://stormcarib.com/climatology/MBPV_dec_isl.htm
Yeah. I know the archipelago got hit 4 times those 2 years... plus an "Andrew" type storm hit New Providence and Andros in 1929. The 1920s storms are the storms of legend here. I dread the thought of a year like '26 or '28....
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Quoting clwstmchasr:
Quoting Levi32:
Just noticed the 18z GFS. It appears the tropical storm in the western Caribbean on this run is spawned by the wave I mentioned above


How many hours out?
264 hours.
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Tornado detected in North Central Illinois.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
Quoting TampaSpin:


That was not a bad question....its not hard to figure out why some don't have good reputation on this blog.......its no wonder!
You need to calm down, it was just a misunderstanding by me and WPBHurricane05.
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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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