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NOAA's forecast: a very active, possibly hyperactive Atlantic hurricane season

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:29 PM GMT on May 27, 2010

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its 2010 Atlantic hurricane season forecast today. NOAA forecasts a very active and possibly hyperactive season. They give an 85% chance of an above-normal season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season, and just a 5% chance of a below-normal season. NOAA predicts a 70% chance that there will be 14 - 23 named storms, 8 - 14 hurricanes, and 3 - 7 major hurricanes, with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) in the 155% - 270% of normal range. If we take the midpoint of these numbers, NOAA is calling for 18.5 named storms, 11 hurricanes, 5 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 210% of normal. A season with an ACE index over 175% is considered "hyperactive." An average season has 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. The forecasters note that in regards to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico,

"Historically, all above normal seasons have produced at least one named storm in the Gulf of Mexico, and 95% of those seasons have at least two named storms in the Gulf. Most of this activity (80%) occurs during August-October. However, 50% of above normal seasons have had at least one named storm in the region during June-July."

The forecasters cited the following main factors that will influence the coming season:

1) Expected above-average SSTs in the hurricane Main Development Region (MDR), from the Caribbean to the coast of Africa. SSTs in the MDR are currently at record levels, and the forecasters note that several climate models are predicting record or near-record SSTs during the peak portion of hurricane season (August - October.) "Two other instances of very warm SSTs have been observed in the MDR during February-April (1958 and 1969). In both years, the SST anomaly subsequently decreased by roughly 50% during the summer months. For 2010, although the record SST departures may well decrease somewhat, we still expect a continuation of above average SSTs throughout the Atlantic hurricane season. "

2) We are in an active period of hurricane activity that began in 1995, thanks to a natural decades-long cycle in hurricane activity called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). "During 1995-2009, some key aspects of the tropical multi-decadal signal within the MDR have included warmer than average SSTs, reduced vertical wind shear and weaker easterly trade winds, below-average sea-level pressure, and a configuration of the African easterly jet that is more conducive to hurricane development from tropical waves moving off the African coast. Many of these atmospheric features typically become evident during late April and May, as the atmosphere across the tropical Atlantic and Africa begins to transition into its summertime monsoon state."

3) There will either be La Niña or neutral conditions in the Equatorial Eastern Pacific. El Niño is gone, and it's demise will likely act to decrease wind shear over the tropical Atlantic, allowing more hurricanes to form. "La Niña contributes to reduced vertical wind shear over the western tropical Atlantic which, when combined with conditions associated with the ongoing high activity era and warm Atlantic SSTs, increases the probability of an exceptionally active Atlantic hurricane season (Bell and Chelliah 2006). NOAA's high-resolution CFS model indicates the development of La Niña-like circulation and precipitation anomalies during July."

How accurate are the NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts?
A talk presented by NHC's Eric Blake at the 2010 29th Annual AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology studied the accuracy of NOAA's late May seasonal Atlantic hurricane forecasts, using the mid-point of the range given for the number of named storms, hurricanes, intense hurricanes, and ACE index. Over the past twelve years, a forecast made using climatology was in error, on average, by 3.6 named storms, 2.5 hurricanes, and 1.7 intense hurricanes. NOAA's May forecast was not significantly better than climatology for these quantities, with average errors of 3.5 named storms, 2.3 hurricanes, and 1.4 intense hurricanes. Only NOAA's May ACE forecast was significantly better than climatology, averaging 58 ACE units off, compared to the 74 for climatology. Using another way to measure skill, the Mean Squared Error, May NOAA forecasts for named storms, hurricanes, and intense hurricanes had a skill of between 5% and 21% over a climatology forecast (Figure 2). Not surprisingly, NOAA's August forecasts were much better than the May forecasts, and did significantly better than a climatology forecast.


Figure 1. Mean absolute error for the May and August NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts (1999 - 2009 for May, 1998 - 2009 for August), and for forecasts made using climatology from the past five years. A forecast made using climatology was in error, on average, by 3.6 named storms, 2.5 hurricanes, and 1.7 intense hurricanes. NOAA's May forecast was not significantly better than climatology for these quantities, with average errors of 3.5 named storms, 2.3 hurricanes, and 1.4 intense hurricanes. Only NOAA's May ACE forecast was significantly better than climatology, averaging 58 ACE units off, compared to the 74 for climatology. Image credit: Verification of 12 years of NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts, National Hurricane Center.

How do NOAA's seasonal hurricane forecasts compare to CSU and TSR?
Two other major seasonal hurricane forecasts will be released next week. On June 2, Phil Klotzbach and Bill Gray of Colorado State University (CSU) issue their forecast, and the British firm Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) will issue their outlook on June 4. A three-way comparison of the forecast accuracy of the three groups' forecast (Figure 2) reveals that all three organizations enjoy some success at making accurate seasonal forecasts, with NOAA and CSU making the best late May/early June forecasts overall. While the skill of these forecasts is low, they are useful for businesses such as the insurance industry.


Figure 2. Comparison of the percent improvement over climatology for May and August seasonal hurricane forecasts for the Atlantic from NOAA, CSU and TSR from 1999-2009 (May) and 1998-2009 (August). using the Mean Squared Error. Image credit: Verification of 12 years of NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts, National Hurricane Center.

Central American disturbance
The Atlantic is currently quiet, with the non-tropical storm (90L) that we were watching now no longer a concern. There is an area of disturbed weather (90E) just off the Pacific coast of Mexico that will be a major concern for southern Mexico and much of Central America over the next 3 - 4 days. The disturbance will bring heavy rains to Central America during the remainder of the week, potentially bringing serious flooding rains to portions of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. NHC is giving the disturbance a high (>60% chance) of the disturbance developing into a tropical depression by Saturday. There is the potential for disturbed weather accompanying the disturbance--or the disturbance itself--to push into the Western Caribbean early next week and pose a threat to develop into a tropical depression. While there is high wind shear over the northern Caribbean, shear may be low enough to allow development should the disturbance stay in the southern reaches of the Caribbean. None of the models are currently calling for this to happen, and I think the threat is low. Any storm that develops in the Caribbean in the coming week would get steered to the northeast and will not pose a threat to the Gulf of Mexico. Wunderbloggers Weather456 and StormW have more on the tropics.


Figure 3. Visible satellite image of the Central American disturbance 90E this morning.

Oil threat for the coast of Louisiana to decrease this weekend
Light winds from the north or west are expected to prevail across the northern Gulf of Mexico through Friday, resulting in a lessened threat of oiling to the Louisiana shoreline, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA. However, the latest runs of the GFS model indicate a return to onshore winds out of the southwest for most of next week, which will likely bring oil back towards shore. At greatest risk will be the coast of Louisiana, and there will be heightened risk to Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. I'll a have a more in-depth discussion of the oil spill forecast in Friday's blog.

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
NOAA trajectory forecasts
Deepwater Horizon Unified Command web site
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Surface current forecasts from NOAA's HYCOM model
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

Join the Hurricane Haven with Dr. Jeff Masters: a new Internet radio show
Beginning next week, I'll be experimenting with a live 1-hour Internet radio show called "Hurricane Haven." The show will be aired at 4pm EDT on Tuesdays, with the first show June 1. Listeners will be able to call in and ask questions. Some topics I'll cover on the first show:

1) What's going on in the tropics right now
2) Preview of the coming hurricane season
3) How a hurricane might affect the oil spill
4) How the oil spill might affect a hurricane
5) New advancements in hurricane science presented at this month's AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology
6) Haiti's vulnerability to a hurricane this season

I hope you can tune in to the broadcast, which will be at http://www.wunderground.com/wxradio/wubroadcast.h tml. If not, the show will be recorded and stored as a podcast.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane

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 hurricane23:
Never thought i'd see another season after 05 with such potential as is in 2010. Everything from SST anomalies to SLP anomalies to 200 mb height anomalies just insane. Hope everyone is prepared come june1.


Yep, a high number of landfalls like 2005 as well. Doesn't matter the number of storms it's what makes landfall especially with we have majors make landfall. People from Texas to New York need to be prepared this year.
Am I reading this right? They've lready done the junk-shot?

link
Great to see you back on SM,the song "welocme back" was just playing for u on our local on the 8's on the twc!!!!,Fishin's been great,alot of seatrout 15-18" right on siesta beach,I fear the worst for the oil slick and pray it never makes it to my beach:(
........busy TC season,IMO we will be impacted by some TC's,IMO remember 05'????
"A ROV got in the Plume and the Lens got oiled up..they working on the ROV Topside and moving in another."

are you just assuming this, or did you read it on Deep Horizon website? please don't cop an attitude...it too early
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:



Not in a minute but, I'd be happy to trade it for a car you plug into the wall.

here here!!
Quoting stillwaiting:
Great to see you back on SM,the song "welocme back" was just playing for u on our local on the 8's on the twc!!!!,Fishin's been great,alot of seatrout 15-18" right on siesta beach,I fear the worst for the oil slick and pray it never makes it to my beach:(
........busy TC season,IMO we will be impacted by some TC's,IMO remember 05'????


It's the TC's that could push that oil on our beaches as well. Canewarning mentioned the possibility of a srorm surge of oil. Not GOOD.
any severe wx reports in your area yesterday jeff????,some possible isolated severe wx tomorrow,but more likely on sunday in north fl,imo.....but no major severe wx outbreaks forecasts for fl...
2009. hydrus
Quoting hurricane23:
Never thought i'd see another season after 05 with such potential as is in 2010. Everything from SST anomalies to SLP anomalies to 200 mb height anomalies just insane. Hope everyone is prepared come june1.
If you have a moment, check out the GEM model and watch South Florida.
storm surge of oil,sounds like a reaaaaallly messy cleanup,yuk:(
my avatar is a picture from the beach i live on 2nd nicest beach in america for the 2nd year straight....baby powder white sand beaches w/aqua and blue waters,damm i'm lucky!!!
Did they get the oil stopped from flowing? Not watched any news at all this morning yet!
Quoting stillwaiting:
storm surge of oil,sounds like a reaaaaallly messy cleanup,yuk:(



The probability of that happening this year is rather high.
Quoting stillwaiting:
any severe wx reports in your area yesterday jeff????,some possible isolated severe wx tomorrow,but more likely on sunday in north fl,imo.....but no major severe wx outbreaks forecasts for fl...


Nothing yesterday and not a drop of rain. I never said severe wx outbreak I posted what NWS of Melbourne had on there site which listing this as a possibility yesterday and also had a 40% of rain which that never materialized either. 50% today so we will see what happens as my yard could use some rain.
Quoting stillwaiting:
my avatar is a picture from the beach i live on 2nd nicest beach in america for the 2nd year straight....baby powder white sand beaches w/aqua and blue waters,damm i'm lucky!!!


Clearwater Beach is very nice. My kids are there what seems like daily.
Quoting TampaSpin:
Did they get the oil stopped from flowing? Not watched any news at all this morning yet!
Quoting TampaSpin:
Did they get the oil stopped from flowing? Not watched any news at all this morning yet!


No and infact it looks worse several leaks now.
Quoting TampaSpin:
Did they get the oil stopped from flowing? Not watched any news at all this morning yet!


No, in fact, I think it may be even worse.
2018. IKE
Here's to BP.....Playin Dirty Pool....

Quoting stillwaiting:
Great to see you back on SM,the song "welocme back" was just playing for u on our local on the 8's on the twc!!!!,Fishin's been great,alot of seatrout 15-18" right on siesta beach,I fear the worst for the oil slick and pray it never makes it to my beach:(
........busy TC season,IMO we will be impacted by some TC's,IMO remember 05'????


I was there last November and it is one of my most favorite beaches to go to. I stayed at the Bungalo Beach resort there.
Its not oil spewing out it
Quoting Jeff9641:


No and infact it looks worse several leaks now.


By the time this is over... they will have to redefine FUBAR.. just have a picture showing the GOM :(
Good morning All,

Well I see that they are still working on the Plug of the Oil, and I also see that the NOAA has put out the hurricane outlook....

So 18-23 named storms, all I can say is "WOW"
I gess we all on the Gulf Coast need to be "Ready"...
Not only on the Gulf Coast, Everyone on the East Coast Too....
This will be one "wild ride" this year....
We are in Killeen Tx today with my Son at Ft Hood.
Its always good to spend a little time with him.
I hated that there was no storms to chase on Wed so we came down here.
We did travel over 2100 miles in a week while we chased.... Thats a lot of miles but well worth it.
I did learn a lot and have a "Great Respect" for the weather.
Anyway going to Houston today and see Mom-inlaw... :o)

Taco :o)
Quoting Orcasystems:


By the time this is over... they will have to redefine FUBAR.. just have a picture showing the GOM :(


I'm sure this will be just great for property values in Florida if it makes it to our coastline. I hope BP is ready for some big lawsuits. I seriously hope the company is completely destroyed by this disaster. I know another company will just take over for them, but I will personally cheer the destruction of that corporate entity.
Quoting Patrap:


Hard to work at depth on a tape delay sport.

The Feeds are live ,,so the engineers running the ROV's can do the job.

This aint conspiracy 101..that blogs 2 down on the right.

Get a grip.


Negative Pat...this is most certainly conspiracy 101. and disasterwishcast 101, and putthecompanyoutofbusinessthat can afford to help 101 and idioticcomment 101 and Ican fixthisiftheywilljustaskme 101.

And a number of idiotic 101's to go with it.

For God's sake watch guys, even Pat who has done a pretty decent job of pulling the info together for those that somehow cannot (communist liberals are very well organised) doesn't know any more than you do, or I do, or BP does. And as for the military...do you think they have a warehouse somewhere loaded up with the necessary eqipment and expertise to take care of this.

Comment for sure, that's why you're here, but keep it real...please?
2025. gator23
Quoting CaneWarning:


No, in fact, I think it may be even worse.


I hear people saying that here, but the truth is no one know what we are seeing. All I see i smud which I think is a good thing.
"By injecting solid objects as well as heavy drilling fluid into the stricken well leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico overnight, engineers appeared to have stemmed the flow of oil, Adm. Thad W. Allen of the Coast Guard, the leader of the government effort, said on Friday morning. But he stressed that the next 12 to 18 hours will be “very critical” in permanently stanching what is already the worst oil spill in United States history."

From: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/29/us/29spill.html?hp

Sounds at least somewhat promising...
Quoting Orcasystems:


By the time this is over... they will have to redefine FUBAR.. just have a picture showing the GOM :(


This is sad I thought I would never see this happen to us. THe gulf is literally filling up with oil. It's the underwater oil that I would be worried about as it is extremely thick and in length of 22 miles per fox news approaching the Alabama coast.
Quoting CaneWarning:


I'm sure this will be just great for property values in Florida if it makes it to our coastline. I hope BP is ready for some big lawsuits. I seriously hope the company is completely destroyed by this disaster. I know another company will just take over for them, but I will personally cheer the destruction of that corporate entity.


I hate to pop your bubble... but remember.. under your own laws... they are legally only on the hook for 25 Mil.
For a view of multiple BP underwater camera feeds via CNN:

http://edition.cnn.com/video/flashLive/live.html?stream=3
2030. xcool
hurricane23 hey good to see you ...
Majority of the public is stupid and has no knowledge of what is going on down there. BP taking the criticism with a grain of salt.
Thanks for the rain Pottery. It finally arrived last night.

Hopefully it will wash all our troubles away.
Quoting Orcasystems:


I hate to pop your bubble... but remember.. under your own laws... they are legally only on the hook for 25 Mil.


Well, we don't always follow our own laws. BP has already paid out more than $25 million. Hopefully they will do what is right.
Quoting Orcasystems:


I hate to pop your bubble... but remember.. under your own laws... they are legally only on the hook for 25 Mil.


And in addition we will need their money, which they have already promised, in this area for another 5 to 10 years. When would you like to see them out of business again?
Which is why there is a government, because the majority of the public would drive society into the ground.
Met Service of Jamaica website

May 28, 2010 at 5:00 a.m.

LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST

SIGNIFICANT FEATURE… Trough across Jamaica and the western Caribbean

Comment…
Comment… The Trough will remain across Jamaica until
Sunday, then move eastward on Monday.

TODAY'S FORECAST
This Morning/Afternoon… Expect scattered showers
and thunderstorms over all parishes.
Tonight… Cloudy.

Maximum Temperature expected for
Kingston today… 30 degrees Celsius.

Maximum Temperature expected for
Montego Bay today… 31 degrees Celsius.


3-DAYS FORECAST (starting tomorrow)
Sat/Sun… Look for periods of showers and thunderstorms,
especially during the afternoon.
Mon… Isolated morning showers over northeastern parishes,
elsewhere mainly fair.
during the afternoon expect showers over inland areas
and northern parishes.

Regionally… An area of Low Pressure over southwestern
Caribbean will migrate near to Jamaica on Saturday,
then north of Hispaniola.



pef
Two words for this years potential deadly Hurricane Season along with the oil crisis, MAJOR DEVASTATION.. Just the way it is, the Gulf Coast will be devastated come the end of Hurricane season due to major Hurricanes pushing the oil towards the coastline, lot's of lives could be lost if they don't evacuate. Come June 1st, EVERYBODY needs to be prepared because we have a hyperactive Hurricane Season on our hands.
25 million is what some of the individual folks received by the Texas City explosion in 05' BP has more money than the public knows.
Quoting Orcasystems:


By the time this is over... they will have to redefine FUBAR.. just have a picture showing the GOM :(


Bro this is really defining the word FUBAR. To lace the oil with a toxin that turns the oil clear just so it can't be visible is really taking it this horrible thing to a new level from BP and our Government. FUBAR is the word of the day and you heard it first from Orca.
Jamaica looks like its getting pounded this morning looks like poor Haiti is next.
Too bad BP is a British company.
Gulf coast will be taken care of by BP, pockets go very deep.
2043. sabaean
A subject no one seems to have addressed in regards to the active hurricane season in the gulf.

Everyone is aware that hurricanes are fed by warm waters. Knowing that oil not only absorbs and retains heat, and oil has now saturated the second column where more heat can be trapped at a deeper level.

Has anyone taken into account this effect on the hurricane season? Are we about to see a sudden increase in insta-hurricanes in the gulf, where they form and become major storms in a very short period of time?
2044. gator23
Quoting TampaSpin:


Bro this is really defining the word FUBAR. To lace the oil with a toxin that turns the oil clear just so it can't be visible is really taking it this horrible thing to a new level from BP and our Government. FUBAR is the word of the day and you heard it first from Orca.


im curious, what would you do differently Tampa?
Wet, rainy day just perfect to stay in PJs and under a blanket on the couch. Too bad I've already been out twice already.

Dense cloud cover, can't even see the mountains. Not raining heavily but constant.
LOVE IT!!!! After so many months of drought this is just wonderful.

Hope you all have a blessed day. Later
Quoting Orcasystems:


I hate to pop your bubble... but remember.. under your own laws... they are legally only on the hook for 25 Mil.


Its 75 million, however if they are found negligent, there is no limit.


Link
For the first time living in Florida, and i have lived here over 26years now, i can honestly say i am more worried about the oil in the GOM than this years Hurricane Season. And the thought of a Hurricane pushing all the oil on shore in many places. WE NEED THIS THING PLUGGED AND PLUGGED NOW!
2048. gator23
Quoting sabaean:
A subject no one seems to have addressed in regards to the active hurricane season in the gulf.

Everyone is aware that hurricanes are fed by warm waters. Knowing that oil not only absorbs and retains heat, and oil has now saturated the second column where more heat can be trapped at a deeper level.

Has anyone taken into account this effect on the hurricane season? Are we about to see a sudden increase in insta-hurricanes in the gulf, where they form and become major storms in a very short period of time?


It has been adressed extensively on this blog and by NOAA. The answer is developing systems may be hindered from development but considering most storms form in the Atlantic away from the Louisiana coast a tropical storm or cane wouldnt likely feel any effects from the oil. And in fact the cane would help to disperse the oil
2049. xcool
TampaSpin .wow 26year in fl along time
2050. gator23
Quoting TampaSpin:
For the first time living in Florida, and i have lived here over 26years now, i can honestly say i am more worried about the oil in the GOM than this years Hurricane Season. And the thought of a Hurricane pushing all the oil on shore in many places. WE NEED THIS THING PLUGGED AND PLUGGED NOW!

k, how? What would you do differently.
2051. gator23
Quoting xcool:
TampaSpin .wow 26year in fl along time


ive been here 28 (born here)
Quoting sabaean:
A subject no one seems to have addressed in regards to the active hurricane season in the gulf.

Everyone is aware that hurricanes are fed by warm waters. Knowing that oil not only absorbs and retains heat, and oil has now saturated the second column where more heat can be trapped at a deeper level.

Has anyone taken into account this effect on the hurricane season? Are we about to see a sudden increase in insta-hurricanes in the gulf, where they form and become major storms in a very short period of time?


Dr. Masters had a whole blog entry about that as you can read here.

I sold my BP stock right after the rig explosion. Boy am I glad I did. :)
2054. xcool
dam 28 wow.i been in n.o 28year .
2055. leu2500
And the $75M is for damages. They are on the hook for the entire clean up.
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Its 75 million, however if they are found negligent, there is no limit.


I stand corrected... had a heck of a time finding the link again.

Link

Current law imposes a $75 million liability cap on economic damage. Since the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico in late April, legislation has been introduced in Congress to raise the cap to $10 billion.
New Blog
Quoting gator23:


im curious, what would you do differently Tampa?


First of all i would not allow the oil to sink and put chemicals to keep it under the water! Think of the reason they did that other than sight unseen is better for them. Secondly, why turn the oil clear. Its still in the water. Same reason. If it floats at least we know what we are dealing with and what we need to clean up.

What would i do...would it be that difficult to take a pipe that starts out the size 150ft wide drop it down on the flow and keep stacking pipes to the top as they could become smaller as it goes up.......then collect the oil at the surface.
Quoting Orcasystems:


I stand corrected... had a heck of a time finding the link again.

Link

Current law imposes a $75 million liability cap on economic damage. Since the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico in late April, legislation has been introduced in Congress to raise the cap to $10 billion.


$10 billion may not be enough. Heck, they've already spent over $900 million according to a press release I just read.
I don't see any reasons why 90E wouldn't be classified a TD or even possibly a TS by tonight!!!!
2062. gator23
Quoting TampaSpin:


First of all i would not allow the oil to sink and put chemicals to keep it under the water! Think of the reason they did that other than sight unseen is better for them. Secondly, why turn the oil clear. Its still in the water. Same reason. If it floats at least we know what we are dealing with and what we need to clean up.

What would i do...would it be that difficult to take a pipe that starts out the size 150ft wide drop it down on the flow and keep stacking pipes to the top as they could become smaller as it goes up.......then collect the oil at the surface.


interesting. so you believe that they have a chemical that turns oil clear. No, i believe it would be very easy for them to drop a pipe in, maybe they have not thought of it yet. I mean it is so easy why not just do it. Clearly with all of the crazy ideas they have tried why not just stick a pipe in there, you figured it out. But now what? who should we call to tell them your idea?
Quoting TampaSpin:


Clearwater Beach is very nice. My kids are there what seems like daily.



good pops!!!!,kids+mother nature=best thing in this world for em,imo....so much negativaty out there,but as the dali said recently"there's more compasion in the world today,then ever",IMO as a whole we are begining to care more about our impact on the earth,than in the past!!
This is what I talked about yesterday.

Extreme warming forecasted in 72 hours.




2065. MahFL
"When BP said 5,000 bpd was the leak quantity, it was either an honest mistake or they were trying to hide the truth from the public."

BP don't know the word "honest"....it was definately a lie.
2066. MahFL
"What would i do...would it be that difficult to take a pipe that starts out the size 150ft wide drop it down on the flow and keep stacking pipes to the top as they could become smaller as it goes up.......then collect the oil at the surface."

That sounds a fair idea, but I think the oil would not float to the surface quickly enough and the pipe would fill up, and oil would leak out from the bottem, also the current's on the side of the pipe would be a problem. Also aren't some parts of the oil heavier than water, crude oil is a mixture of many different hydrocarbons, i.e gasoline, heating oil etc. There are different kinds of crude oil too.