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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whens the next MJO upward phase suppose to be in our area??
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Hey, CRS.


Good evening

...about the 1928 hurricane, which passed directly over North End Long Island ...Many settlements in the Bahamas were devastated, and hundreds, particularly fishermen, lost their lives.

and here in the Turks and Caicos also.
I've heard stories about folks tying themselves to trees...

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Interesting blob NE of the Antilles:



It's under 30 kt of shear.
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Quoting Levi32:
This tropical wave could be a catalyst for trouble down the road in the Caribbean:

If the monsoonal trough is still in place, it could.
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2301. Levi32
This tropical wave could be a catalyst for trouble down the road in the Caribbean:

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Quoting homelesswanderer:


I do but don't know what level.

From Lake Charles NWS
DISCUSSION...

CURRENTLY WATCHING DISTURBANCE IN THE BAY OF CAMPECHE. THIS
DISTURBANCE WILL MOVE NORTH AND NORTHWEST TOWARDS WESTERN GULF
SUNDAY AFTERNOON ALLOWING FOR A FEW SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS TO DEVELOP
ALONG THE COASTAL AREAS OF LOUISIANA AND TEXAS. BELIEVE AREAS NORTH OF
I-10 MAY NOT SEE MUCH ACTIVITY AS UPPER LEVEL HIGH PRESSURE RIDGES
INTO REGION.

FOR THE MOST PART...EXPECT STABLE CONDITIONS TO PREVAIL MONDAY
THROUGH SATURDAY OF NEXT WEEK NORTHERN AREAS AS HIGH PRESSURE
REMAINS CLOSE ENOUGH TO KEEP A LID ON ACTIVITY. SOUTHERN AREAS
WILL LIKELY SEE SLIGHT TO CHC POPS EACH DAY AS DAYTIME
HEATING...INFLUENCE OF GULF MOISTURE AND MEANDERING UPPER LEVEL SHEAR
ZONE RETURNS TO CENTRAL AND EASTERN TEXAS


Looks like im not the only one picking up on that, the gfs and now nws... one never knows.
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Looks like that line is going to hit Grand Bahama just like the one last night... Wonder if it'll sustain itself once it gets out over the Gulf Stream?

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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:



The Google syntax for searching for a subject on a particular site is:

subject site:url

where "subject" is the word you are searching for

example below

850Realtor site:www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1499


if put in to google search will show every time 850Realtor appeared in the comments for the previous Dr. Masters blog entry named "CSU predicts highly active hurricane season; Cyclone Phet approaching Oman"



Very cool! Learned something new :)
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It's barely raining how come we are under red?


Good question
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Quoting tropicaltank:
Does anybody else see a circulation in BOC?


I do but don't know what level.

From Lake Charles NWS
DISCUSSION...

CURRENTLY WATCHING DISTURBANCE IN THE BAY OF CAMPECHE. THIS
DISTURBANCE WILL MOVE NORTH AND NORTHWEST TOWARDS WESTERN GULF
SUNDAY AFTERNOON ALLOWING FOR A FEW SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS TO DEVELOP
ALONG THE COASTAL AREAS OF LOUISIANA AND TEXAS. BELIEVE AREAS NORTH OF
I-10 MAY NOT SEE MUCH ACTIVITY AS UPPER LEVEL HIGH PRESSURE RIDGES
INTO REGION.

FOR THE MOST PART...EXPECT STABLE CONDITIONS TO PREVAIL MONDAY
THROUGH SATURDAY OF NEXT WEEK NORTHERN AREAS AS HIGH PRESSURE
REMAINS CLOSE ENOUGH TO KEEP A LID ON ACTIVITY. SOUTHERN AREAS
WILL LIKELY SEE SLIGHT TO CHC POPS EACH DAY AS DAYTIME
HEATING...INFLUENCE OF GULF MOISTURE AND MEANDERING UPPER LEVEL SHEAR
ZONE RETURNS TO CENTRAL AND EASTERN TEXAS
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Quoting MrstormX:
It's barely raining how come we are under red?
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Hey, CRS.
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2293. hydrus

Hydrus,,,that pic u have their on ur avatar of kate,,,i was 18 n she came right over our house with 75mph winds here in fla panhandle area very scary night--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------- I was working on the Great lakes that year. There was a lot of action in the Gulf of Mexico. If I am not mistaken, the Northern Gulf Coast had four landfalling storms that season, Bob, Danny, Elaina and Juan. Needless to say there were some P.O. people in that area, some moved away and said they would never be back.
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2311
1 E ST. CHARLES
WARREN IA
4129 9378
VORTEX 2 MEMBER REPORTED A MULTIPLE VORTEX TORNADO CROSSING INTERSTATE 35 SOUTH OF HIGHWAY 92. TORNADO DISAPPEARED IN THE RAIN EAST OF THE INTERSTATE.
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2291. Levi32
Quoting stormhank:
Thansk levi,,,so normally we have a 10 day per month favorable phase of MJO???


As a very rough estimate, sure you could think of it that way. The MJO can vary greatly under certain global conditions, so it is not always that clear-cut, but on average the Atlantic will see a 10-day burst every 40 days.
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where is that at wxmobilejim
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Quoting 850Realtor:
Is there a way to search for something within previous blogs/comments? For example, if I wanted to learn about a specific topic, could I search for that and read back through posts relating to that topic?



The Google syntax for searching for a subject on a particular site is:

subject site:url

where "subject" is the word you are searching for

example below

850Realtor site:www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1499


if put in to google search will show every time 850Realtor appeared in the comments for the previous Dr. Masters blog entry named "CSU predicts highly active hurricane season; Cyclone Phet approaching Oman"


(one handy use for this is find out when the first comment ever was made by a certain "screen name")
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Can someone post the Miami radar? I can't view it through my phone.
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Photobucket
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Thansk levi,,,so normally we have a 10 day per month favorable phase of MJO???
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Quoting HurricaneObserver:

I went to the epotter page, but it says you have to be a trained spotter. How do you get trained?


Your local NWS should offer classes every once and a while, otherwise if you are attending meteorology school you should also be accepted. I think there are also online government program available as well.
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Quoting 850Realtor:


I'm so confused, I thought he was TropicalWave? Also sflawavedude?


He has several names.
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Well North Texas has had its FIRST official 100F day, local data from Dallas-Ft Worth, TX Int'l AP:


These data are preliminary and have not undergone final quality control by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Therefore, these data are subject to revision. Final and certified climate data can be accessed at the NCDC - http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov.
Climatological Report (Daily)


000
CDUS44 KFWD 052125
CLIDFW

CLIMATE REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
424 PM CDT SAT JUN 5 2010


...................................

...THE DALLAS FORT WORTH CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR JUNE 5 2010...
VALID AS OF 400 PM LOCAL TIME.

CLIMATE NORMAL PERIOD 1971 TO 2000
CLIMATE RECORD PERIOD 1898 TO 2010


WEATHER ITEM OBSERVED TIME RECORD YEAR NORMAL DEPARTURE LAST
VALUE (LST) VALUE VALUE FROM YEAR
NORMAL
..................................................................
TEMPERATURE (F)
TODAY
MAXIMUM 100 322 PM 102 1948 89 11 89
MINIMUM 73 520 AM 54 1970 69 4 61
AVERAGE 87

PRECIPITATION (IN)
TODAY 0.00 2.46 1981 0.13 -0.13 0.00
MONTH TO DATE T 0.70 -0.70 0.38
SINCE JUN 1 T 0.70 -0.70 0.38
SINCE JAN 1 12.28 16.38 -4.10 15.38

..................................................................


WIND (MPH)
HIGHEST WIND SPEED 20 HIGHEST WIND DIRECTION S (160)
HIGHEST GUST SPEED 25 HIGHEST GUST DIRECTION SE (150)
AVERAGE WIND SPEED 7.4




..........................................................


THE DALLAS FORT WORTH CLIMATE NORMALS FOR TOMORROW
NORMAL RECORD YEAR
MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE (F) 89 101 1977
1948
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE (F) 69 55 1970


SUNRISE AND SUNSET
JUNE 5 2010..........SUNRISE 620 AM CDT SUNSET 834 PM CDT
JUNE 6 2010..........SUNRISE 620 AM CDT SUNSET 834 PM CDT


- INDICATES NEGATIVE NUMBERS.
R INDICATES RECORD WAS SET OR TIED.
MM INDICATES DATA IS MISSING.
T INDICATES TRACE AMOUNT

On a positive note, humidity is low and there is a nice SW breeze, so it feels nice!!
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Evening everyone.
Quoting hydrus:
My Grandparents use to talk about the storms. They said that the flooding in the 20,s 30,s and 40,s was much worse than anything that occurred later. The 60,s had some flooding, but nothing like the earlier years.
One of the most interesting stories my grandmother used to tell us as we were growing up was about the 1928 hurricane, which passed directly over North End Long Island and killed one of her sisters, and, indirectly, her mother. My grandmother was a young girl at the time, but she remembers storm water standing in the yard of her father's house half-way up the hillside (the hills there are the highest on the island, between 70 and 90 feet tall). One of her uncles went outside during the passage of the eye to secure a loose celler door and was trapped when the storm re-commenced. He survived because he crawled to shelter in the lee of one of the rock boundary walls, which later fell on him, anchoring him to the ground.

This was the storm that later caused the Okeechobee disaster. It was cat 4, large, and slow-moving. Many settlements in the Bahamas were devastated, and hundreds, particularly fishermen, lost their lives.

I think there was some lineup of conditions globally that made bad storms between 1925 and 1945 worse than usual. Not sure how one would prove that, however.
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Lol Mexican Weather Service sucks, like half their radars are dead.
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2279. Levi32
Quoting stormhank:
Levi,u have a link to that chart site u showed me on post 2258???


It's found here, under "forecasts".
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Quoting MrstormX:


Make sure to report any severe elements to your local NWS. Btw... how many of you guys are espotters?

I went to the epotter page, but it says you have to be a trained spotter. How do you get trained?
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Does anybody else see a circulation in BOC?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Ughhh, go away JFV.


I'm so confused, I thought he was TropicalWave? Also sflawavedude?
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Levi,u have a link to that chart site u showed me on post 2258???
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Good Evening

Blog Updated if you missed it.

Another blog tomorrow on African Easterly Waves.
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Quoting indianrivguy:


Not sure if this will help or not.. this is Doc Masters blogs archived by subject.


Thanks!
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Quoting sflawavedude:
Teh area of clouds in the west gulf has a little spin to it and a little puff of storms on it! Watch it do something big overnight!
Ughhh, go away JFV.
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Quoting sflawavedude:
Teh area of clouds in the west gulf has a little spin to it and a little puff of storms on it! Watch it do something big overnight!


Ehhhh..... maybe, but the pop is not located near the CoC, it doesn't mean things can't rearrange though.
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I'm gonna have to say something crazy to get everyone all fired up and posting. LOL.
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Quoting 850Realtor:
Is there a way to search for something within previous blogs/comments? For example, if I wanted to learn about a specific topic, could I search for that and read back through posts relating to that topic?


Not sure if this will help or not.. this is Doc Masters blogs archived by subject.
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2267. Levi32
Quoting stormhank:
thanks levi..how often does the upward phase pass over our area> and how long does it usually persist???


The MJO moves west to east and circles the globe an average of every 40 days. This is why the MJO is also called "the 40-day wave". Once in our area of the world, the MJO will usually keep upward motion over the Atlantic for 10 days or so.

This image shows the MJO for the last 90 days. You can see it has circled around the globe about 3 times during that period.



This is not a set cycle, and the MJO will sometimes become undefined, and take "shortcuts" through the middle of the graph into another part of the world. In years like this year, the MJO will tend to be in octans 8, 1, and 2, (Atlantic, Africa, and the Indian Ocean) more than the rest, because all the warm water in these areas "attracts" the MJO.
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Teh area of clouds in the west gulf has a little spin to it and a little puff of storms on it! Watch it do something big overnight!
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Where did everyone go?
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thanks levi..how often does the upward phase pass over our area> and how long does it usually persist???
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Looks that the bad stuff is missing me this time had some light rain but that's it. My call to exit. Have a good night and don't blog your night away :P
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Hydrus,,,that pic u have their on ur avatar of kate,,,i was 18 n she came right over our house with 75mph winds here in fla panhandle area very scary night
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Really really bad weather out here right now, the weather station at my grandparents house just reported a wind gust of 37 MPH. There's a light rain right here. By the way I'm in Coral Gables.
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Tornado signature in Bayou La Batre, AL

Well that's really Coden but close enough.
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2258. Levi32
Quoting stormhank:
could someone help me understand the MJO charts u all show>> does the green over our area mean more condusive to storm formation or the orange shade???


On this chart, green colors represent upward motion of air, and orange colors represent subsidence (sinking air). Upward motion is favorable for thunderstorm development, and when the MJO upward motion pulse is over our area of the world, it aids tropical development.

When orange colors (sinking air) are in our area of the world, this tends to shut down convection, and is less conducive for tropical development.

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Okay a lot of stuff has been going on in the panhandle of florida today with some heavy storms causing a lot of havoc.. Like motor vehicle accidents such as 3 roll over vehicles in destin and fort walton beach FL.. Elevator rescues in Niceville.. Lots of down power lines and transformers blown.. A boat has sunked about two hours ago in Niceville with 65 gallons of natural gas has leaked and the coast quard says that they can't make it.

In Destin there has been reports that people can seen sum sheens of oil heading towards the shore.

Looks like another round of storms are coming in.. Hope everyone will be safe if anyone is dealing with some weather problems or anything..

Just reporting what has been happening the last few hours when he had a decent storm came through my area..

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I wouldn't rule out a micro burst in one of those Miami storms.
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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.