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 Grothar:


Here you go
Link


Here is an article on the Death Valley display of 2005, a rare event. Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4804. gator23
Quoting DestinJeff:


your thoughts on feasibility of the GFS long-range TC in the GOM? I know you don't prefer GFS.

For me 2 weeks out is a bit unreasonable especially since the GFS in the early season doesn't do so good with cyclogenesis.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4803. pottery
Quoting aspectre:
The inadvertent juxtaposition of
4658 atmoaggie "What is this you speak of? P-r-o-g-r-e-s-s? What is that?"
4659 pottery "Scented trash bags? !!!
The Ingenuity of the Marketing Department never fails to amaze me.
"
seems an almost deliberately comedic editorial on how we've gotten into this mess.

Added to some following conversation on cellphones, which are casually tossed aside though in perfectly good working condition as the newest fad hits the market, I find myself wondering if we'll ever change short of a worldwide cataclysm.

Well, we were trying to put a light-hearted spin on the thing.
You have gone into the realm of reality, which is very depressing.
Because the answer to your question is so obvious....
...sigh...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4802. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number FORTY-NINE
WELL MARKED LOW PRESSURE AREA, FORMER PHET (ARB02-2010)
5:30 AM IST June 7 2010
=======================================

At 0:00 AM UTC, depression over south Pakistan weakened further into a well marked low pressure area and lays over west Rajasthan and adjoining central Pakistan.

This is the final advisory from the India Meteorological Department
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44806
4801. Ossqss
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
here is an un-enhanced ir image tampa



Hey KOTG, how come there is always a space shuttle silhouette on those. Seems we are not permitted to see the center of the pic's, even on the ice imagery :)

Anybody know how to scare off limpkins? Really need to for they are loud, very loud.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:



Here is a picture of some of it . I will send the link



That looks like the poppy field in the Wizard of Oz. Getting sleepy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


It’s almost 10:30 p.m. Why is this storm training still going on?


Time is never a limiting factor in severe weather, consider last nights outbreak that left 7 people dead, injured many more, and ruined lives. Just because it is night doesn't mean the threat dissipates.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4798. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
oz's state seeing some storms
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Tornado Warning

TORNADO WARNING
NEC029-085-070300-
/O.NEW.KLBF.TO.W.0043.100607T0233Z-100607T0300Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORTH PLATTE NE
933 PM CDT SUN JUN 6 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORTH PLATTE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
EASTERN CHASE COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST NEBRASKA...
SOUTHERN HAYES COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST NEBRASKA...

* UNTIL 1000 PM CDT/900 PM MDT/

* AT 830 PM MDT...TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A TORNADO
FOUR MILES EAST OF IMPERIAL. DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED THIS
TORNADO MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
ENDERS RESERVOIR STATE RECREATION AREA...ENDERS...WAUNETA...
HAMLET...PALISADE AND HIGHWAY 25 MILE MARKER 30.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TORNADOES ARE DIFFICULT TO SEE AND CONFIRM AT NIGHT. TAKE COVER NOW.

&&

LAT...LON 4046 10170 4062 10166 4046 10077 4042 10077
4034 10080 4033 10125
TIME...MOT...LOC 0232Z 286DEG 39KT 4051 10156

$$

TAYLOR







Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4796. Grothar
Quoting spathy:
SSI
I have always wanted to visit a rare desert bloom.
I think there was one a few years ago in the US SW.
But wow talk about travel timing complications.


Here you go
Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4795. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
here is an un-enhanced ir image tampa

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
4794. Grothar
Quoting spathy:
SSI
I have always wanted to visit a rare desert bloom.
I think there was one a few years ago in the US SW.
But wow talk about travel timing complications.



Here is a picture of some of it . I will send the link

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting beell:


No Ma'am. Just the facts, lol. Apparently, Uranus is laying on its side. If we stood Uranus upright its intrinsic spin would be clockwise.

and since it was atmo, i didn't think he would take it too personal.

Not at all, I much prefer to be upright along with my intrinsic spin...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

Yes, do. LOL


He knows I am kidding. At least he is not holding a fish :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Different system. The first came from the east, this one is coming from the North. Your fault for living in WPB. You get more storms than we do.


Damn, I knew I should not have been born here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ossqss:


LoL, how do you think the couple of comets our Sun has eaten over the last few months impact the models? They must have coded for it :)

Link



Hmm, global warming on other planets... Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Put your shirt on SSIGA! LOL

Yes, do. LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4786. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting TampaSpin:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


latest up to 901 pm edt next image after midnight



Hey Keeper is there a WaterVapor of that? That would be awsome to see....



un-enhanced wv image
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
4785. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


It’s almost 10:30 p.m. Why is this storm training still going on?


Different system. The first came from the east, this one is coming from the North. Your fault for living in WPB. You get more storms than we do.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The inadvertent juxtaposition of
4658 atmoaggie "What is this you speak of? P-r-o-g-r-e-s-s? What is that?"
4659 pottery "Scented trash bags? !!!
The Ingenuity of the Marketing Department never fails to amaze me.
"
seems an almost deliberately comedic editorial on how we've gotten into this mess.

Added to some following conversation on cellphones, which are casually tossed aside though in perfectly good working condition as the newest fad hits the market, I find myself wondering if we'll ever change short of a worldwide cataclysm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4783. beell
Quoting gulfcoastdweller:


haha u r so bad!!


No Ma'am. Just the facts, lol. Apparently, Uranus is laying on its side. If we stood Uranus upright its intrinsic spin would be clockwise.

and since it was atmo, i didn't think he would take it too personal.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


And the desert shall bloom.

There were 7 people killed in Karachi from this storm.


The total death toll is up to 33.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4780. Ossqss
Quoting TampaSpin:



That is one big change in a Planet in 1 month....amazing how the Global Warming People cleaned that planet up....LOL


LoL, how do you think the couple of comets our Sun has eaten over the last few months impact the models? They must have coded for it :)

Link

Edit, just got invaded by some Limpkins, gotta tend to the loud issue. Out
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Put your shirt on SSIGA! LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Looks like more are heading your way!


It’s almost 10:30 p.m. Why is this storm training still going on?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4776. xcool


Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15625
The largest tropical Atlantic storms in the past three years:

Bill 2009:




Ike 2008:




Dean 2007:




This year we could easily get some giant storms like those.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting beell:


And maybe Uranus...

Uranus rotates on is side doesn't it?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4773. xcool
soso
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15625
4772. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Get the hell out of here for God's sake!



Looks like more are heading your way!
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Quoting charlottefl:
It stinks, cause the atmosphere it not really stabilizing it's so stinking hot.



Not sure how I ended up with a second post was trying to edit the first one. Must be tired...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4770. pottery
Quoting kmanislander:


The models tend to be all over the place early in the season so I never pay attention to them in June or July outside the 72 hour time frame.

That said, the heat in the NW Caribbean is beyond oppressive. Not a cloud in the sky the past few days and heat indices well above 100 for a week. Mother nature will want to transport that somewhere !.

We have had similiar temps and heat index of plus 100 most of the week here too (except today). But we have also had showers, just to keep the humidity right up.
It has been Dread, Oppressive and Wearying.
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Quoting kmanislander:
That's it for tonight. You all have a great evening, and please send some rain ( but not too much ! )


Bro you just Jinxed yourself big time......LOL
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AOI

AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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Quoting Dakster:


And it is not the first time it has disappeared either. Saturn also lost a colored ring around the planet as well.

Hmmm, AGW cause that? (not serious...I think)
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Quoting Ossqss:


Jupiter Loses Big Belt; Great Spot Left Hanging

About a month ago...



That is one big change in a Planet in 1 month....amazing how the Global Warming People cleaned that planet up....LOL
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Get the hell out of here for God's sake!



Really.

The dog needs to go out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
That's it for tonight. You all have a great evening, and please send some rain ( but not too much ! )
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Phet is really bringing a lot of rain over the Indus River and Thar Desert regions:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4762. Ossqss


Jupiter Loses Big Belt; Great Spot Left Hanging

About a month ago...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It stinks, cause your the atmosphere it not really stabilizing it's so stinking hot.

Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Get the hell out of here for God's sake!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


latest up to 901 pm edt next image after midnight



Hey Keeper is there a WaterVapor of that? That would be awsome to see....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Get the hell out of here for God's sake!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:


The models tend to be all over the place early in the season so I never pay attention to them in June or July outside the 72 hour time frame.

That said, the heat in the NW Caribbean is beyond oppressive. Not a cloud in the sky the past few days and heat indices well above 100 for a week. Mother nature will want to transport that somewhere !.


Amen to that
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Quoting Levi32:


Oh the GFS is just the GFS lol.

These runs will keep going back and forth from development to no development. What I've been taking away from the models is that they are starting to show the concern for mischief in the Caribbean as heat starts to build up in the region between the 10th and 20th. How feasible it is to actually get development is something we will nail down as this wave actually gets into the area. Until then it is an area of concern because it will be favorable for trouble next week.


The models tend to be all over the place early in the season so I never pay attention to them in June or July outside the 72 hour time frame.

That said, the heat in the NW Caribbean is beyond oppressive. Not a cloud in the sky the past few days and heat indices well above 100 for a week. Mother nature will want to transport that somewhere !.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


latest up to 901 pm edt next image after midnight


That is a great loop for MJO also....NICE JOB!
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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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