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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485, nicely calculated.

Question, what is the inside diameter of the pipe going to the surface? Does your calculation assume it is the same as the BOP pipe? TIA
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
Quoting IKE:


No..not downcasting anything. Just stating what the models show. Looking at the MJO and where it's headed....



mm I see.. but don't forget storms can also form during downward motions.
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Quoting Drakoen:


Correct. We can still get a very high total without a June named storm.
Your right but i dont see 20 or more storms this year.
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Problem is, there are absolutely no inhibiting factors for heart of season to see at least 16 named storms. MJO's the only thing keeping us from a June storm, once we get the positive MJO back in.. we'll see several named storms. Suspects that we'll see Alex, Bonnie, and Colin when the next upward MJO wave comes in late this month or into early July.
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501. 900MB
Quoting JamesSA:
Actually it is the reverse of that. Anyone who wants to host a website needs a static IP so the site can be found by DNS. Most home ISP connections assign an IP whenever the user's modem, cable or DSL router, etc connects. Thus the problem with banning IP addresses of trolls logging in from home.

Somebody else might be assigned the banned IP the next day.

Shows what I know about Tech-mology. Forgive my Ali G phraseology!
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2005 had two June storms.

They still wound up with 31 tropical cyclones.

I dont see any relevance that an inactive June will cause a season which will have numbers less than the average being predicted now.
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Quoting Canealum03:
Afternoon all,
Though we won't have an "early" storm this year--it's already hurricane season--how much better are the odds of having an early start with intense hurricanes than in past years? I know the SST's are red hot, so is it the wind shear that is the main obstacle at this point?

Mostly the lack of a piece of energy in the right place to get things started.
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Quoting IKE:


****I'm grandfathered in****

:)


I still only pay 5 bucks too
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Quoting IKE:


I just don't see anything significant with any model.

If it's July before the A storm appears and 23 is achieved, that would be an average of 4-5 per month to achieve 23.

I can't see that happening. My picks were 13-7-4. I'm holding firm. Odds are I'm under.
I agree that we wont see that many storms but im going with 17,8,4 for the year.
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Quoting Levi32:


And June is supposed to contribute how many? Most very active seasons contribute one storm in June at most. The average is 0.3 storms per year in June. 1995 contributed one. 1969 contributed zero and didn't start until July 25th. June contributes very little to the overall number. It means very little if we have to wait for July.


VERY WELL SAID !!
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493. 900MB
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
if anyone want a closer loop of that wave over africa that looks cool here it is

Link



Thanks. Nice African animation.
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Quoting Levi32:


And June is supposed to contribute how many? Most very active seasons contribute one storm in June at most. The average is 0.3 storms per year in June. 1995 contributed one. 1969 contributed zero and didn't start until July 25th. June contributes very little to the overall number. It means very little if we have to wait for July.


Correct. We can still get a very high total without a June named storm.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
what should be done is write up a binary program that would limit one username per person by having that person do a age confirmation by credit card and limiting it to that username or email if under 18 therefore if banned that card or email cannot be used to assign another user name

Unfortunately it is entirely too easy to create a new email address. The idea bout a waiting period is a good one though. In fact Dr. Master's blog already has a 12 hr waiting period before being able to make your first post. Perhaps that time should be increased?
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Quoting Floodman:


As much as I hate to say it (LOL) I agree with OZ 100%; there are those here that I listen to; when Drak, or Stormw or Levi or any one a of a number of others speak (a few too many to name), I stop what I'm doing and I listen. I am as guilty as anyone else of "feeding the trolls" but I tend to ignore more than I feed...
Hey Flood, be with you shortly.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22639
489. IKE
Quoting CaribBoy:


Lol are u downcasting the saison?


No..not downcasting anything. Just stating what the models show. Looking at the MJO and where it's headed....

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This JFV is an international celebrity.
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... A significant weather advisory has been issued for eastern
Broward and northeast Miami-Dade counties for frequent to excessive
lightning and gusty winds from 45 t0 55 mph...

At 335 PM EDT... National Weather Service meteorologists have detected
strong thunderstorms along a line extending from Tamarac to Port
Everglades to 4 miles southeast of aventura... moving east at 20 mph.

These storms will affect...

Lauderdale Lakes...
Coral Springs...
Margate...
Coconut Creek...
Pompano Beach Airport...

And surrounding communities.

The primary impacts will be frequent to excessive lightning and gusty
winds of 45 to 55 mph. Lightning is the number one weather related
killer in Florida. Trees and open shelters offer no protection. These
winds can down small tree limbs and branches... and blow around
unsecured small objects. Seek shelter in a safe building until the
storm passes.

Residents near the path of these storms should remain on the alert
for additional statements and possible warnings.

Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio and other local media for further
details or updates.

Lat... Lon 2616 8010 2609 8010 2609 8011 2586 8011
2586 8014 2588 8013 2590 8014 2587 8016
2588 8018 2602 8027 2606 8032 2631 8037
2632 8009
time... Mot... loc 1936z 256deg 19kt 2623 8027 2611 8012
2592 8008

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Tropical Update
As of: 3:49pm EDT
**Images made by Cyclonekid**

ATL:


EPAC/CPAC:
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blog1499 post2173 HyDrO420 "No way to tell 'til they hook up the mile of pipe to the top.
I will say tho that with all that's coming out of the bottom of that thing, I don't see it getting any better with the back pressure that a mile of pipe will add.
"

Some drag losses but no overall back pressure, quite the opposite.
Discounting drag, the uplift caused by the pressure differential in the pipe from the seabed to the surface would provide the equivalent to ~370psi of suction.
Actually a bit more. The "5000feet" I used came from the figure commonly reported in the media. Later caught the real distance, 5249feet seabed-to-surface, on the BritishPetroleum site.
Assuming the well pipe passing through the BlowoutPreventef is 49feet above the seabed, the pressure would be corrected by 5200divided-by5000, or 1.04times370psi. ie The surfacing pipe would provide ~385psi of "suction" at the BoP.
(Continuing the calculation with the non-rounded 384.8psi)
Since the pressure differential between the oil deposit and the seabed is 2670psi, it would take a surfacing pipe with a cross-sectional area of ~2670divided-by385 or ~7times the cross-sectional area of the deposit-to-seabed pipe to suck up the entirety of the leak.
(Using the calculated number rather than the rounded approximation)
That would mean a seabed-to-surface pipe with a diameter that is the squareroot-of~7 or ~2.64times the diameter of the deposit-to-seabed pipe would suck up all of the leaking crude, even without a seal between the pipes.

And even using a seabed-to-surface pipe with a diameter smaller than 2.64times as much, an extra amount of crude will travel upward because the deposit-to-seabed pipe pressure creates momentum within the crude that will force that extra amount directly into the the seabed-to-surface pipe before backpressure acts to leak the excess into the waters.

With a sufficiently lengthy overlap of the larger pipe over the smaller pipe, there will be insufficient backpressure to force the crude to leak out at the seabed. And as the overlap increases evermore past that point, the seabed-to-surface pipe diameter can be decreased correspondingly without causing a seabed leak.
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Quoting ncstorm:


then why say it? I can see why you and cyclone oz are friends..pricks to the end!!


It is what it is. Settle down there terminator, I wasn't talking to you. Besides, that was my last comment on the subject.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


I understand your point, and you have to forgive many of us here.

We do not have the "laser-like" focus you and a few others on here are able to maintain day in and out.

I have a playful nature. I also have a serious side. I have blogged as such.

I really only focus on the weather when there's something to truly focus on.

Still, when you and a few other speak, I take time to listen. I'm sorry I get in the way to any conversation that might come along during those times when you're analyzing trends and conditions.

Sincere apologies.


As much as I hate to say it (LOL) I agree with OZ 100%; there are those here that I listen to; when Drak, or Stormw or Levi or any one a of a number of others speak (a few too many to name), I stop what I'm doing and I listen. I am as guilty as anyone else of "feeding the trolls" but I tend to ignore more than I feed...
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Quoting IKE:


I just don't see anything significant with any model.

If it's July before the A storm appears and 23 is achieved, that would be an average of 4-5 per month to achieve 23.

I can't see that happening. My picks were 13-7-4. I'm holding firm. Odds are I'm under.


And June is supposed to contribute how many? Most very active seasons contribute one storm in June at most. The average is 0.3 storms per year in June. 1995 contributed one. 1969 contributed zero and didn't start until July 25th. June contributes very little to the overall number. It means very little if we have to wait for July.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Quoting SpicyAngel1072:
what about IP addresses? Someone was stating the other day that the one troll wont be back on because they have blocked the IP....
what should be done is write up a binary program that would limit one username per person by having that person do a age confirmation by credit card and limiting it to that username or email if under 18 therefore if banned that card or email cannot be used to assign another user name
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting JamesSA:
A programming tweak that might help the problem would be to require a 'captcha' validation before each post for those with too many negatives. And... do not allow those with a negative rating to rate others with the and - buttons. ...So trolls can't use the rating system as a weapon.

Everyone here knows what a captcha is, right? Link

CAPTCHA's don't stop trolls, only computer 'bots.
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


There are only 11 slots on the iggy list...I think he's getting dangerously close to single handedly filling each and every blogger's iggy list in here. Now with TropicalWave and sflawavedude, that's 2 more slots. If the admins could please go thru and recognize all of the JFV aliases and delete them as well, we could get our iggy list back! Stop the injustice!
???...I've got 14 on my list. Once you get to a certain number, more slots open up
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Quoting 900MB:

Depend on whether they have a dynamic or static ip. Most home computers are static (stays the same), while many office computers have a dynamic ip which can be changed by rebooting the router.
Actually it is the reverse of that. Anyone who wants to host a website needs a static IP so the site can be found by DNS. Most home ISP connections assign an IP whenever the user's modem, cable or DSL router, etc connects. Thus the problem with banning IP addresses of trolls logging in from home.

Somebody else might be assigned the banned IP the next day.
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Quoting IKE:


I just don't see anything significant with any model.

If it's July before the A storm appears and 23 is achieved, that would be an average of 4-5 per month to achieve 23.

I can't see that happening. My picks were 13-7-4. I'm holding firm. Odds are I'm under.


A storm a week would keep us busy. We'd probably have more than one at a time to track too.
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Who knows though, something might pop up and surprise us, though it looks like we'll be okay for a while.
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Quoting IKE:


I just don't see anything significant with any model.

If it's July before the A storm appears and 23 is achieved, that would be an average of 4-5 per month to achieve 23.

I can't see that happening. My picks were 13-7-4. I'm holding firm. Odds are I'm under.


Lol are u downcasting the season?
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Quoting CaneWarning:
I think requiring a membership to comment on the blog would solve it. A troll would have to pay $10 each time he/she/it creates a new name just to comment. I would think a troll would be really stupid to waste much money creating new names.


My thoughts exactly but never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers...
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Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Im leaning more to early july

The blog will be amusing then.
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Afternoon all,
Though we won't have an "early" storm this year--it's already hurricane season--how much better are the odds of having an early start with intense hurricanes than in past years? I know the SST's are red hot, so is it the wind shear that is the main obstacle at this point?
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Quoting jeffs713:

It has a slightly different tang to it in the afternoon, don't you think?

(and ignore lists expand as you add them. my list of 40-something attests to that)


oh well, it was a good plea while it lasted...I'm only up to around 6 or so. I was just exaggerating to make a point...
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There is incredible SAL overhead, the sky is white!!! Kind of weather i dont like much.
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Quoting SpicyAngel1072:
canewarning:

how do find out your rating?


I don't know, I had someone email me the other day and said they had to click on "below average" just to see my posts.
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464. IKE
Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Im leaning more to early july


I just don't see anything significant with any model.

If it's July before the A storm appears and 23 is achieved, that would be an average of 4-5 per month to achieve 23.

I can't see that happening. My picks were 13-7-4. I'm holding firm. Odds are I'm under.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
463. 900MB
Quoting SpicyAngel1072:
what about IP addresses? Someone was stating the other day that the one troll wont be back on because they have blocked the IP....

Depend on whether they have a dynamic or static ip. Most home computers are static (stays the same), while many office computers have a dynamic ip which can be changed by rebooting the router.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
leave oz alone we got big plans for him it has something to do with a cat 5


yes
indeed
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canewarning:

how do find out your rating?
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Quoting SpicyAngel1072:
what about IP addresses? Someone was stating the other day that the one troll wont be back on because they have blocked the IP....


Most IP address are dynamic these days. I know mine is.
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Quoting xcool:




precip rate


Pcpn anomalies in the caribbean look lower than previous runs, right?
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Hahahaha! LOL! Funny post, junk! :)


Gotta keep it light, my man! YOU know what I mean...
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456. 900MB
Quoting Levi32:


Yesterday I was thinking of an idea where any member, paid or not, should be able to read the Dr's blog but not be allowed to post comments in it for a certain number of days or weeks after they become a member. That would greatly disappoint trolls trying to come back under new handles, and would hopefully establish more of a feeling that it is a privilege to be able to post in here, and it is not a free-for-all chat room.

Not a bad idea!
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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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