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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Quoting Acemmett90:

i would kill for that temp right now im not looking foword to july/aug

ok, i'll box some up and send it to ya.
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1704. hydrus
Quoting Acemmett90:

doubt it happens one would eventualy hit land thats alot of storms
If in fact 30 storms formed and only one made landfall, that would be damn good. Except for the people who were hit of course.
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Quoting kuppenskup:


Here's the perfect senario for this years Hurricane Season. 30 named storms to keep us busy with no land strikes!
Quoting kuppenskup:


Here's the perfect senario for this years Hurricane Season. 30 named storms to keep us busy with no land strikes!


Even a year like that would cause deaths, because I'm sure a certain someone on this blog would commit suicide.
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1702. Drakoen
The second most active season on record, 1933, saw 1 storm before the season started and didn't see another storm until the end of June. We still appear to be on target for a hyperactive season.
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Hot, hot, hot here today: from 34109:

Clear 102.6 °F
Humidity: 45%
Dew Point: 77 °F
Wind: 11.3 mph from the SSW
Wind Gust: 14.9 mph
Pressure: 30.03 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 120 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 15 out of 16
Clouds:
Clear -
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 15 ft

Yeah, pretty miserable. (Golden Gate Estates is about 10 miles inald from the Gulf)
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Well I'm headed back out to the beach. This time I'm taking a cooler full of ice cold water. :)
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Quoting hydrus:
I truly hope we do not receive any hurricane strikes in the U.S. this year, but the more I study, the more it seems inevitable. Bummer.


Here's the perfect senario for this years Hurricane Season. 30 named storms to keep us busy with no land strikes!
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Rub it in why don't ya!!!

I'm being serious

50.2°F falling
Updated at 03:00 EST
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We reached like our 10th 90 of the year today in middle GA, but it looks like today might be the first day the heat index breaks 100! Currently heat index is 99.. Dew point of 75. Looks like our highs will probably be in the 90s for the next 8 days too @_@
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Now it's over the weekend? I wonder what's keepin 'em from closing the valves.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Blog Update

Hurricane Season Blog #8: Daily Update - Atlantic Remains Quite -


Quite what?
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Blog Update

Hurricane Season Blog #8: Daily Update - Atlantic Remains Quite -
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting AussieStorm:
Goodnight all. getting to cold for me.


Rub it in why don't ya!!!
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Goodnight all. getting to cold for me.
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Headin to the beach. water temp already 77 here in NC. Weather, 92 today, 94 tomorrow. Shew.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Before you know it someone will say the season is a bust...
That's IKE's job, lol.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting CaneWarning:


Before you know it someone will say the season is a bust...


It's already happened twice LOL. One person, hurricanelover or something like that said it will be no worse than last year, and some other blogger said we would see 8 storms at most this season.
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Quoting leo305:


what location is that? MIA is reporting 91 with a dew point around 76 (103 head index)
Miami, 33132. It isn't from the wunderground site though.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I'm still being an active season skeptic. No named storms in Atlantic in the next five days I'm guessing. That *proves* the active hurricane season forecasts are false!

Oh wait. It doesn't!


Before you know it someone will say the season is a bust...
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1679. leo305
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Look now:

95.4 °F

Scattered Clouds
Humidity: 42%
Dew Point: 72 °F
Wind: 0.0 mph from the SSW
Wind Gust: 9.3 mph
Pressure: 30.03 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 111 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 11 out of 16
Clouds: Scattered Clouds 3000 ft (Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 21 ft


what location is that? MIA is reporting 91 with a dew point around 76 (103 head index)
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
It is very hot here, with a WSW wind keeping the seabreeze shut down. So far anyway. As you can see.

Did you find your old 2005 handle CaneWarning?


No, I haven't looked through the Katrina posts yet. I'm wondering if I'd even recognize it! I didn't make many comments until I used the name HOG.
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Quoting rossclick:
Bexley Park, Delray Beach, Florida (PWS)
Mostly Cloudy
92.3 F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 67%
Dew Point: 80 F
Wind: 2.0 mph from the SW
Wind Gust: 6.0 mph
Pressure: 30.02 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 111 F


Updated at 02:50 EST
Currently at Homebush
Temperature 50.5F falling
Dew Point 40.1F steady
Feels Like 50.5F
Relative Humidity 67%
Wind
Wind Gusts -
Pressure -
Fire Danger -
Rain since 9am/last hr 0.2mm / -

Sun on Sunday
Sunrise
06:55 EST
Sunset
16:54 EST
Nearby Now
Canterbury 50.5F
Bankstown Ap 48.0F
Sydney 52.3F
Sydney Ap 53.2F
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1675. hydrus
Quoting HurricaneKyle:


That basically sums up most of our thinkings.
I truly hope we do not receive any hurricane strikes in the U.S. this year, but the more I study, the more it seems inevitable. Bummer.
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1673. Levi32
Quoting TropicalWave:


im not imagining things here, move it towards its end and look east of the leeward islands, plz. also, is this is the 2am run?


I see nothing significant on the entire run, and yes it's from 2am. You are probably seeing a tropical wave.
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The heat is awful today in Florida. I'm out at Clearwater Beach, but I had to seek shelter inside from the heat. Wow. The water temp feels mighty warm too.
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1671. hydrus
Looks like New England is in for a rough day.
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Quoting hydrus:
The calm before the storm Kup.


That basically sums up most of our thinkings.
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Quoting BenBIogger:
Hot day across the State of Florida.


I told you the warm anomaly was moving toward Florida by summer...
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
1667. hydrus
Quoting kuppenskup:


You know it's quiet in the Tropics when we start talking about Dew Points
The calm before the storm Kup.
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MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0813
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1117 AM CDT SAT JUN 05 2010

AREAS AFFECTED...NY...VT...MA...NH

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH LIKELY

VALID 051617Z - 051715Z

CU FIELD IS EXPANDING RAPIDLY OVER THE HIGHER TERRAIN OF UPSTATE NY.
WITHIN THIS DESTABILIZING AIRMASS A FEW SHOWERS HAVE ALREADY
DEVELOPED AND CURRENT THINKING IS ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS WILL EVOLVE
OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE BECOMING
QUITE FAVORABLE FOR DISCRETE SUPERCELL STRUCTURES AHEAD OF
FAST-MOVING WEAK SHORTWAVE TROUGH. LATEST FORECAST SOUNDINGS
SUGGEST ANY STORMS THAT EVOLVE WITHIN DEEP WLY FLOW REGIME WILL
LIKELY PROPAGATE SEWD INTO AN AIRMASS CHARACTERIZED BY STEEP LOW
LEVEL LAPSE RATES. LARGE HAIL...DAMAGING WINDS AND PERHAPS
TORNADOES COULD OCCUR WITH ANY SUPERCELL STRUCTURE ACROSS THIS
REGION.

..DARROW.. 06/05/2010


ATTN...WFO...GYX...BOX...BTV...ALY...

LAT...LON 42157395 44747353 44647122 42297155 42157395

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Quoting kuppenskup:


You know it's quiet in the Tropics when we start talking about Dew Points
LOL.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting leo305:


I rarely see the dew point hit 80.. o-O


You know it's quiet in the Tropics when we start talking about Dew Points
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Quoting 954FtLCane:


Remember 101 last year.. then the Iguanas dropped in January... btw the way I haven't seen one in months... whats going on?...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9KC7uhMY9s

Look now:

95.4 °F

Scattered Clouds
Humidity: 42%
Dew Point: 72 °F
Wind: 0.0 mph from the SSW
Wind Gust: 9.3 mph
Pressure: 30.03 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 111 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 11 out of 16
Clouds: Scattered Clouds 3000 ft (Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 21 ft
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1662. JamesSA
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1661. Levi32
Quoting TropicalWave:
hye levi, what's that storm that the ECM is showing towards the end of its run, if you'd care to display the run, thanks.


I don't see anything here. The low in the southern Bay of Campeche shouldn't be taken as a tropical threat unless it moves farther north into the gulf.

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Damn!

Miami, Florida (PWS)
Updated: 1 sec ago
Scattered Clouds
94.0 °F
Scattered Clouds
Humidity: 46%
Dew Point: 70 °F
Wind: 5.0 mph from the SSW
Wind Gust: 10.0 mph
Pressure: 30.00 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 109 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 11 out of 16
Clouds:
Scattered Clouds 3000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 21 ft


Remember 101 last year.. then the Iguanas dropped in January... btw the way I haven't seen one in months... whats going on?...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9KC7uhMY9s

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1659. hydrus
Quoting pottery:

Got me there too!!
Yeah, a nice shower, then the sun came out, turned the moisture to steam, and after 45 mins I had to retreat inside. Like a dam sauna!
But the Lager was good!
Just enough rain to soak the grass so it can,t be mowed, right? You know if you are bored you can WU mail one of those lager brews....:)
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1658. leo305
my god the dew points are in the upper 70s and lower 80s all over South florida..

that's just nuts..
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Hot day across the State of Florida.
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1656. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number THIRTY-NINE
CYCLONIC STORM PHET (ARB02-2010)
14:30 PM IST June 5 2010
=======================================

At 12:00 PM UTC, Cyclonic STom Phet over northwest Arabian Sea off Makaran coast moved eastward and lays centered near 24.5N 61.5E, or 100 kms southwest of Jiwani, Pakistan, 570 kms west southwest of Karachi, Pakistan, and 750 kms west northwest of Naliya, Gujarat.

3 minute sustained winds near the center is 40 knots with a central pressure of 994 hPa. The state of the sea is high around the system's center. Jiwana, Pakistan reported surface low pressure of 998.4 hPa with 24 hour pressure fall of 8.8 hPa and winds of 40 knots at 12:00 PM UTC.

Satellite imagery shows broken intense convection over southwest Pakistan adjoining Iran and Arabian Sea north of 21.0N and between 60.5E to 67.0E. 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 gradually and move east northeastward and cross Pakistan coast near 64.0E between 3:00 - 6:00 AM UTC, tomorrow.

Gale winds of 35-40 knots with gusts of 45 knots would occur along and off Makaran coast during the next 12 hours and reduce to 30-35 knots thereafter. Sea conditions will be high along and off this coast during the next 12 hours and very rough thereafter.

Storm Surge Guidance For Pakistan
===================================
Storm surge of about 1 meter above the astronomical tide would occur around the time of landfall.
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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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