Gulf of Mexico oil spill slows its advance towards the coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:21 AM GMT am 02. Mai 2010

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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 (CalicoBass)
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.
Uprooted
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.
Tornado
Flood damage in Hollow Rock Tennesse (Criqet)
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
Flood damage in Hollow Rock Tennesse

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Hey Pat... How's it go?

Any thoughts on my question (comment 232)?

What's up atmo and Ike, good to see y'all.
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260. kingy
amazing new shots of the icelandic volcano - thanks for the link. That is indeed a new vent which could be bad news.

see this view, it is a massive new eruption way up higher than it has been recently, look behind the clouds

http://eldgos.mila.is/eyjafjallajokull-fra-thorolfsfelli/
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Quoting Grothar:


I think that's spelled Humboldt, Atmo!!

How you doing, it's OK folks, we can do that with each other. Atmo knows I'm harmless.
when yer sleeping right atmo
Member Since: Juli 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting AussieStorm:

that's why last year was practically a dead season. El nino put pay to that.


Not even by June 29th 2008 we even saw that coloring either.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

That would just be the Humbolt coming back from being overrun by El Nino conditions. A de-El Nino sign, if you will. Back to normal.


I think that's spelled Humboldt, Atmo!!

How you doing, it's OK folks, we can do that with each other. Atmo knows I'm harmless.
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Could prove to be a day down here. Actual CAPE at 7 am CDT was 2000 with 3000 in the forecast.


(click for full size)
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
We didn't see that kind of coloring in the TCHP maps by June 30th last year as we do now.



that's why last year was practically a dead season. El nino put pay to that.
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CBS LIVE FEED NOLA LOCAL WWL-TV
Member Since: Juli 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844


Tremor measurements near Eyjafjallajökull volcano
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We didn't see that kind of coloring in the TCHP maps by June 30th last year as we do now.


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251. beell
Oil Spill Calculation-skytruth.org
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16920



Gulf of Mexico - Deepwater Horizon Incident

www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com
Member Since: Juli 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
Increased precipitation in the EATL and less in the EPAC appears to be on store. This might also induce more tropical cyclone activity.



As of May 1st, 2010. El Nino appears to be at 0.06+ C. Getting close to that neutral mark.


Shear also continues to decrease, a week or so ago the area in the Bahama's was at 80 kt wind shear.


TCHP as of May 1st, 2010. Note the growing area of about 110 kj TCHP.


Compared to May 1st, 2009.


And May 1st, 2005 even.


This is why I fear any westward tracking storms in the Caribbean this year.
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Quoting troy1993:
Hey guys is it possible that we could see long track Cape-Verde type hurricanes like Hugo and Fran hitting the East Coast this year?
Yes its very possible
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Quoting CybrTeddy:



Cooling increasing off SA, although that loop doesn't show La Nina beginning to spring.

That would just be the Humbolt coming back from being overrun by El Nino conditions. A de-El Nino sign, if you will. Back to normal.
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Quoting troy1993:
Hey guys is it possible that we could see long track Cape-Verde type hurricanes like Hugo and Fran hitting the East Coast this year?

I could say it is highly likely this year.
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Morning Ike, I put out my Psychotic powers to stop anything from spreading the spill further....lol
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Quoting CycloneUK:
Iceland volcano looking active today

It also appears that the eruption has moved from the original craters.

Link

mmmmm that is interesting about the Iceland volcano. seem's like its moved further down the side of the mountain/glacier.
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243. IKE
Cloud mass in the SW GOM looks headed right for the oil spill/underwater oil volcano.
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Hey guys is it possible that we could see long track Cape-Verde type hurricanes like Hugo and Fran hitting the East Coast this year?
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Nah, I assume he's mature enough to take some heat. As the old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen". I'm sure part of him expected such a negative backlash when he made such a comment, and as a consequence of that, he should be fully prepared to take the brunt of whatever was brought his way.

This isn't to say that I don't respect weatherblog, though -- on the contrary, there are very few here that I don't respect. I'm just saying. Life isn't always nice, and you will, more often than not, bear the brunt of bluntness.

The only person I would insinuate owes him an apology is Ameister, or whatever, for posting an image that was used in a derogatory context.


Hey u took my handle picture---pick another one!
(:

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Quoting atmoaggie:

Ummm, where?



Cooling increasing off SA, although that loop doesn't show La Nina beginning to spring.
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Quoting P451:
SSTs warming. 2 week loop. Gulf warming quickly now. Note La Nina beginning to show up.




Ummm, where?
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Quoting leftovers:
west africa does seem wetter than it has been recently. maybe in july

The Gulf of Guinea went from warmer than normal to mostly colder than normal pretty quickly. Cooler than normal historically associated with more Sahel rainfall.
Not sure about earlier onset of Sahel rainfall, but probably. Anyone?
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Also worth mentioning that the EPAC season starts next week, May 15th.

Our season starts in 4 weeks.
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Good morning? Getting darker here by the minute.

(just east of the circled plus)
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Iceland volcano looking active today

It also appears that the eruption has moved from the original craters.

Link
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I dread the thought of what would happen to all of the inlets and rivers in my area if we were to get an Ivan like cane make landfall just west of Pcola this year. I was not here for Ivan, but they have told me that the water that got pushed inland was unbelievable.

The area would probably be coated with oil and take decades to recover.

If a cane does make landfall on the Gulf Coast this year, is it possible that a large amount of oil could be sucked up off of the surface and spray / coat everything for many miles inland?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
29 days.. and it begins.

Morning folks!

I wonder if we will see a system between now and the official start of the season?
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Morning everyone.... Don't know if I actually expect anything to happen in the EPac before official start day, but current activity is surely moistening the atmosphere.... am also interested in potential impact [if any] of increased moisture in SW GoM, and potential interaction of same w/ front forecasted to move through the GoM in a couple days....

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!
Member Since: Oktober 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22728
Hi, Thank you aquak9 for post 222

Misty
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Quoting P451:
Good Morning. A few AOIs. Loops ending 830AM ET.




that second loop looks like a very bad wild fire.
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29 days.. and it begins.

Morning folks!
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Good morning.
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223. kingy
some moisture gets into the Gulf...

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/gmex/wv-l.jpg
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good Day, WU-Bloggers worldwide, wherever the sun might be as you read this.

misty- I doubt the computer models have an oil- sheen variability to add to the calculations. We'd never know if it had an effect on the models, anyway...they're just models.

Not like we can calculate the precision and accuracy of the models, because we never know in advance what the correct model solution will be.
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Not weather related, but another piece of "good" news.


NEW YORK - Police found an "amateurish" but potentially powerful bomb in a smoking sport utility vehicle in Times Square, then cleared the streets of thousands of tourists milling through the landmark district so they could dismantle it, authorities said Sunday.
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Morning,

Here is what THE MAN has to say about flow rates of oil:

"But Coast Guard commandant Adm. Thad Allen, appointed Saturday by Obama to lead the government's response, said no one could pinpoint how much oil is leaking because it is about a mile underwater.
"And, in fact, any exact estimation of what's flowing out of those pipes down there is probably impossible at this time due to the depth of the water and our ability to try and assess that from remotely operated vehicles and video," Allen said during a conference call."
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Howdy folks!! Good morning to everyone...

'cept Aussie.. good evening to you sir!
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2639
Quoting msgambler:
Good morning Pat, Orca, Tampa, SouthAL, And all others. Hope your Sun. morning is starting off good. Looks like the winds are dying down a bit which is a good sign for us for a while anyway. Good evening Aussie

Good Evening
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Good morning Pat, Orca, Tampa, SouthAL, And all others. Hope your Sun. morning is starting off good. Looks like the winds are dying down a bit which is a good sign for us for a while anyway. Good evening Aussie
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Good morning everyone,

Will the oil slick in the GOM affect computer model predictions if a tropical storm should develop? Not saying I see anything now. I am not a weather expert, but I am a FL resident so I am thankful for wunderground blog
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214. kingy
Morning everyone,

The european press is reporting 25,000 barrels of oil are coming out per day, and that it could double up soon. How do they expect people to believe that a slick so massive and so quickly growing can come from 5,000 barrels per day. Check out the link below, it basically says that the situation is already out of control.

"The oil is gushing from BP's sunker Deepwater Horizon rig at 25,000 barrels a day and could reach 50,000 barrels a day according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Earlier estimates had put the leak at 5,000 barrels a day. Experts and officials said their greatest fear was that a disintegration of pipes close to the rig could produce an unchecked gusher that would ravage Americas southern coastline. "

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7113708.ece
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213. kingy
Hi Aussie,

I am interested in the EPAC activity too. Is the current rainmaker moving into the BOC going to amount to anything or are the SST's too cool at the moment

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/gmex/rb-l.jpg
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Does anyone here find this interesting?



EPAC low moving into the Clark Basin.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Some might owe WeatherBlog an appology?


Nah, I assume he's mature enough to take some heat. As the old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen". I'm sure part of him expected such a negative backlash when he made such a comment, and as a consequence of that, he should be fully prepared to take the brunt of whatever was brought his way.

This isn't to say that I don't respect weatherblog, though -- on the contrary, there are very few here that I don't respect. I'm just saying. Life isn't always nice, and you will, more often than not, bear the brunt of bluntness.

The only person I would insinuate owes him an apology is Ameister, or whatever, for posting an image that was used in a derogatory context.
Member Since: März 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21302

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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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