WunderBlog Archive » Category 6™

Category 6 has moved! See the latest from Dr. Jeff Masters and Bob Henson here.

Gulf of Mexico oil spill slows its advance towards the coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 12:21 AM GMT on May 02, 2010

The oil slick from the April 20 explosion and blowout of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon continues to affect the Louisiana coast near the mouth of the Mississippi River, and along the Chandelier Islands off the coast of Mississippi. Strong south to southeast winds blowing at 15 - 25 knots will continue through Monday, which will push oil onto portions of the eastern Louisiana coast from the mouth of the Mississippi River northwards towards the Mississippi border. However, the current trajectory forecasts now show the advance of the oil will slow over the next few days, despite the strong onshore winds. This is probably due to the fact that the shape of the Louisiana coast is setting up a counter-clockwise rotating eddy over the ocean regions between the Mississippi coast and the mouth of the Mississippi River, as seen on the latest forecast of Gulf currents from the NOAA HYCOM model (see also this alternative view of the HYCOM ocean current forecast.) Unfortunately, there are no buoys in this region of the Gulf to tell us what the currents are.


Figure 1. The oil spill on May 1, 2010, as seen by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft. Image credit: NASA.

It now appears that the Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida Panhandle coasts will not see significant amounts of oil hitting their shores through at least Monday. On Monday night, the winds shift to southwesterly and weaken as a cold front approaches. The wind shift will allow oil to move eastwards towards Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, but at just 1 mph or so. The winds with then shift to offshore (northwesterly) on Tuesday as the cold front passes. This should blow the oil back out to sea a few miles. It is thus possible that only the Louisiana coast will see oil impacts over the coming seven days, though there is substantial uncertainty in this forecast. High pressure is expected to build in late next week, bringing relatively light onshore winds that should allow for slow transport of the oil towards shore. It appears very unlikely that oil will make it into the Loop Current during the next seven days and affect the southern Gulf of Mexico. The long range wind forecast beyond that time is too uncertain to say what might happen at longer time ranges.


Figure 2. Previous location and forecast location for today of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Image credit: NOAA Office of Response and Restoration.


Figure 3. Trajectory forecast for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill for 6 pm CDT Monday May 3, 2010. Image credit: State of Louisiana.

High risk of severe weather tonight
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has outlined a "High Risk" region of severe weather potential over Arkansas tonight, and there are numerous tornadoes currently being reported over Arkansas. Our severe weather expert, Dr. Rob Carver, has radar images of yesterday's strongest storms in his blog today, including images of the tornado north of Little Rock that killed one person and injured several dozen.

Jeff Masters
Uprooted
Uprooted
Not sure what this thing is, it is at the old Shoffner Gin area in Shoffner. They were hit by a tornado last night. A Church was destroyed, nothing left of it. Notice the legs of this thing, just pulled them out of the ground.
Tornado
Tornado
Tornado captured in Sardis Arkansas. It was twilight when and this was shot at ISO 6400 thus it is noisy. Tornado was about 3/4 miles from us during this shot. I clicked 3 frames and we hauled booty. The tornado crossed the road at this exact place a few moments later. moved on to East End Arkansas where id did extensive damage.
Flood damage in Hollow Rock Tennesse
Flood damage in Hollow Rock Tennesse
A railroad crossing washed out from torrential rains in Carroll County Tennessee. Over 6 inches of rain logged in with my weather station KTNHOLLO! Many more photos coming.....thanks for viewing

Air and Water Pollution

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Quoting CycloneOz:
There's a report this morning that Gulf Coast mullet will be gone shortly...

This is beyond terrible!

Joe Patti's out of Pensacola ships us two loads of boneless, skinless mullet fillets every year so that we can enjoy them fried with cheese grits and turnip greens.

Dear God...no....

Well Fishing has been closed due to the Crude Oil for the next 10 days and depends on the Oil and when they can get it capped off it could be a lot longer..... Not just Mullet but everything from Shrimp to Redfish in cluding Oysters.... This is a very Bad situation here....

Taco :o)
Quoting taco2me61:

Well Fishing has been closed due to the Crude Oil for the next 10 days and depends on the Oil and when they can get it capped off it could be a lot longer..... Not just Mullet but everything from Shrimp to Redfish in cluding Oysters.... This is a very Bad situation here....

Taco :o)
Where are you at Taco. Fishing has not been closed here yet. Only offshore.
Quoting CycloneOz:
There's a report this morning that Gulf Coast mullet will be gone shortly...

This is beyond terrible!

Joe Patti's out of Pensacola ships us two loads of boneless, skinless mullet fillets every year so that we can enjoy them fried with cheese grits and turnip greens.

Dear God...no....


Keep on drillin! Right Oz?
1004. Grothar
Quoting RTLSNK:


Go back and read page 17, two of our "friends" assumed you and I would know about something that happened in 1937. They are just jealous of our "experience". :)


The only thing that stands out about 1937 is we were all worried about Amelia Earhart going missing and planning for my 70th birthday. LOL
Morning Groth! How's it goin?
1006. Grothar
Quoting hurricanejunky:
Morning Groth! How's it goin?


Hey hj. There is a new blog. We better refresh and get on the new one
Good Morning all!!!

My name is Dave, I am a former U.S. Coast Guardsman and I am a CATastrophe Insurance Claims Adjuster. I believe my purpose on this Earth is to help people and serve my neighbors. So here goes:

I think that it is a fair assumption that this will be an active hurricane season.

PLEASE take a look at your homeowner's insurance policy. Call your insurance agent, even if you don't know him, and ask questions about your coverages on your policy. Know what is and what is not covered. Know what your deductible is. Make a list beforehand and ask as many questions as you can think of. That is what he is there for. He is there for more than sending you a card in the mail at Christmas time. He and his staff should be glad to help you. You can make adjustments to your policy which will be in effect immediately. If the agent or his staff is unhelpful, find another agent. It is easy to change your agent of record. Just call the inurance carrier.

Too many times I go to a claim and the insured has no knowledge of what is covered. After the disaster has happened is not the time to be looking for answers. Chances are your agent's office and home was hit by the disaster too, and he is taking care of his family and his office will be closed.

Gather up your family's important documents (birth certificates, deeds, car titles, immunization records, precious jewelry) and put them in a secured safety deposit box. The shoe box or small safe in your home will not keep them safe in case of water exposure, or if they get blown away in a Cat. 5 hurricane. Also ask the bank for a deposit box that is well off of the ground. The documents will be safer in an elevated safety deposit box.

Gather invoices or receipts from your high valued items (plasma t.v., electronics, guns) and put them in the safety deposit box. This way if these items are lost there is a baselined value for what they were once worth new.

About guns, write down all serial numbers and take pictures of each weapon for documentation.

Also in your shed or your garage, store your gas and electric powered tools or anything of value at least 4 feet off of the ground. In a big surge all bets are off, but many times I have seen storing things 1-2 feet higher would have made a difference.

Please be proactive. Truly an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in a disaster situation. Once a storm hits, it is too late to start asking questions, you will be in shock and overwhelmed. It will be a VERY emotional time and clear thought may be elusive for a while.

Right before a storm, responsibly pull out as much cash as you can. The local ATM machines will most likely be down as there will be no power and they will be damaged.

In regards to cash money, cash money is uninsurable. If you lose cash it is gone. There is no way to prove how much you had. Keep all cash with you in a bag that stays with you when you leave the area. Be disceet with your wad of cash. Crooks survive storms too.

Don't put this off, as the ones you will be hurting will be your family.

I hope that this helps someone. If the worst happens, just know that we me and others like me will immediately be on the way to help you. Dispite what is commonly thought, adjusters are there to help you get through the mess.

God bless, and good luck.

Dave
1008. IKE
NEW BLOG!
Quoting hurricanejunky:


Keep on drillin! Right Oz?


Right...unfortunately.

Where's that personal power green energy with lots of torque you promised me for my cars?
My Work will probably be featured on CNN tonight.
Day 8 on the GFS shows something interesting south of Cuba and the Yucatan.