Oil continues impacting Louisiana coast; storms for Caribbean and SE U.S. waters?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 20. toukokuuta 2010 klo 15:01 (GMT)

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Light southeast to east winds are expected to blow over the northern Gulf of Mexico today through Sunday, resulting in potential oiling of Louisiana shorelines from the mouth of the Mississippi River westward 150 miles, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA. Clouds over the Gulf of Mexico have cleared, and we should get a good view late this afternoon on how far south the oil spill has penetrated into the Loop Current. Statements from NOAA and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite data imply that most of the oil that was pulled southwards to the northern boundary of the Loop Current is now caught in a counter-clockwise rotating eddy just to the north of the Loop Current. Some oil has escaped this eddy and is on its way south towards the Florida Keys. This tongue of oil consists of "numerous light sheens with some emulsified patties and streams," according to NOAA. I wish they'd provide more information about what the sensitivity of various ecosystems may be to oil at these concentrations. It would also be good to have more information about what the concentration of the toxic dispersants are in the surface waters of the spill, but I expect no one knows. The oil will grow more dilute as it travels the 500 miles to the Florida Keys. My present expectation is that the oil entering the Loop Current this week will cause only minor problems in the Keys next week. However, there is a lot of uncertainty about what the oil may do to the fragile Keys ecosystem. SAR imagery from last night and this morning continue to show a large plume of oil being drawn southeastward from the oil spill location into the northern boundary of the Loop Current. With winds expected to remain light over the coming week, I expect oil will continue to be drawn southwards into the Loop Current and the counter-clockwise rotating eddy just to its north. Much of the oil caught in this eddy may circulate around the eddy in 3 or so days, and potentially enter the Loop Current early next week. As I discussed in my post Wednesday, the Loop Current is very unstable right now, and is moving chaotically 10+ miles in a single day, making prediction difficult.


Figure 1. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) image of the oil spill taken at 7:56am EDT May 20, 2010, by the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) RadarSat-1 satellite. Image credit: Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing, University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. SAR images have a resolution of 8 - 50 meters, and can be taken through clouds and precipitation.


Figure 2. Latest oil trajectory forecast from NOAA for this Saturday.

Oil spill resources
My post Wednesday with answers to some of the common questions I get about the 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
HYCOM ocean current forecasts from LSU

Potential serious rainfall threat to Haiti next week
Long-range forecasts from the NOGAPS model, and to a lesser extent, the ECMWF and GFS models, continue to predict an increase in moisture and decrease in wind shear over the Western Caribbean 4 - 6 days from now, leading to development of a tropical disturbance with heavy rains in the Western Caribbean early next week. A strong subtropical jet stream over the southern Gulf of Mexico will steer the disturbance to the north and east, and the potential exists for heavy rains of 3 - 6 inches to affect eastern Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic in the Tuesday - Thursday time frame next week. It is possible that a tropical depression could form from this tropical disturbance, though most of the models indicate that high levels of wind shear will make this improbable.

Southeast U.S. coastal storm next week could become subtropical
A region of cloudiness and showers just east of the Bahama Islands will develop into a strong extratropical storm over the weekend. This storm is expected to move slowly northwestward towards the Southeast U.S. coast Sunday and Monday, and could bring 20 - 30 mph winds and heavy rain to the coast of North Carolina by Tuesday. While the storm will initially form in a region of high wind shear and be entirely extratropical, it will move into a region of lower wind shear in a gap between the polar jet stream to the north and the subtropical jet stream to its south early next week. At that time, the low will be positioned near the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, and will have the opportunity to develop a shallow warm core and transition to a subtropical storm. The models are divided on whether the storm will eventually make landfall on the Southeast U.S. coast 6 - 7 days from now, and it is too early to offer odds on this occurring. The counter-clockwise flow of air around this low will probably lead to northeasterly winds over the oil spill region Monday through Wednesday, keeping oil away from the coasts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, but pushing oil westwards towards Texas. Wunderblogger Weather456 has a more detailed discussion of the potential development of this system in his blog this morning.

Tornadoes and large hail pound Oklahoma
A significant severe weather outbreak occurred last night over Oklahoma and surrounding states, with 25 tornado reports, 8 reports of damaging winds, and 23 hail reports. Severe weather wunderblogger Dr. Rob Carver has the details in his wunderblog this morning. The Vortex2 field project had a perfect opportunity to intercept these tornadoes, since they were slow moving and occurred over relatively unpopulated regions. The University of Michigan students writing our Vortex2 featured blog will have an update when their schedule allows.


Figure 3. Baseball-sized hail pounds a suburban Oklahoma City swimming pool, making huge splashes, in this remarkable video. The action gets really intense about 90 seconds into the video.

I'll be back with a new post Friday.

Jeff Masters

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1181. kingy
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 16:31 (GMT)
here is the live video feed of the oik leak, looks like loads is coming out at the moment
1180. kingy
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 16:16 (GMT)
the recent bp video of the leak still shows oil billowing out of the pipe even though they are collecting 5000 barrels a day of slurry on the surface , so lets say that the well has been leaking a conservative 10,000 barrels a day for 31 days. Thats over 13 million gallons so far, more than the exxon disaster. That will come ashore sometime, maybe a hurricane in a few months. Maybe a tide in a week. Who knows ? But I am amazed that is a minor item on many news stations still. Will they only wake up when the oil starts coming ashore ?
1179. CaribBoy
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:15 (GMT)
Let's say hello to Invest 90L.
Member Since: 6.10.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5605
1178. SouthDadeFish
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 12:56 (GMT)
It's 90L on the Navy site as well.
Member Since: 12.08.2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
1177. Cavin Rawlins
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 12:26 (GMT)
Ok its official we have 90L

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al902010.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201005211219
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, AL, L, , , , , 90, 2010, DB, O, 2010052112, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL902010
AL, 90, 2010052012, , BEST, 0, 270N, 718W, 15, 1015, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 90, 2010052018, , BEST, 0, 272N, 717W, 15, 1015, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 90, 2010052100, , BEST, 0, 274N, 717W, 15, 1015, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 90, 2010052106, , BEST, 0, 276N, 720W, 20, 1014, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 90, 2010052112, , BEST, 0, 275N, 723W, 25, 1013, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1015, 80, 40, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,

invest_al902010.invest
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1176. Cavin Rawlins
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 12:23 (GMT)
Now this is preliminary data please approach with caution but I think we may have 90L soon

fal902010.dat ( 05/21/2010 12:19:00 PM)

This is from the TPC ftp site but I'm not a 100% sure as yet.
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1175. wunderkidcayman
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 12:19 (GMT)
guuys I think that our carib storm might suprise us in the coming days
Member Since: 13.06.2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9598
1174. stormwatcherCI
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 12:15 (GMT)
Quoting pottery:
Loads of moisture everywhere
and sea surface temps are high.
This could be a real bad year
and there's several reasons why.
Nino is gone and Nina comes
we all know what that means,
Or in case you dont, check the sums
it means stock your shelves with beans.
And what about that BA high
controlling tracks and stuff?
Looks like Westward Ho! to me
this season could be rough.
And adding oil upon the waters?
not going to work this time,
someboddy made a boo-boo
and the Gulf is filled with slime.
The fish dont like it, it's really bad,
and every day there's more,
There's not a single reason to be glad
but I guess we can blame Al Gore.
LOL. Now I see Oz is not the only poet on here. Good job !
Member Since: 9.10.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
1173. IKE
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 12:13 (GMT)
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1172. ackee
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 12:12 (GMT)
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yup I saw that.

ECMWF 00z 144 Hours

Can I get a link to the ECMWF
Member Since: 15.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1341
1171. Cavin Rawlins
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 12:11 (GMT)
Pressures drop drastically at buoy 41047 overnight but is now rising due to the daily atmospheric tides

Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1170. IKE
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 12:09 (GMT)
SYNOPSIS FOR THE SW N ATLC INCLUDING THE BAHAMAS
530 AM EDT FRI MAY 21 2010

.SYNOPSIS...DEVELOPING LOW PRESSURE NEAR 25N74W WILL MOVE N OVER
THE WATERS BETWEEN 69W AND 73W THROUGH TUE WHILE TRAILING A
BROAD TROUGH S TO HISPANIOLA.

Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1169. Cavin Rawlins
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 12:04 (GMT)
Quoting StormW:


Because those images are under subscriptions at weathertap, those persons who are not signed up with them can not see the images if you hotlink them. I can see them because I have an account with them but if you would log out of weathertap and view the blog you wouldn't see anything.

The best thing to do is save them to your computer and upload them to a image hosting website like imageshack.
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1168. mikatnight
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 12:02 (GMT)
No, it's not June 1; but there's a chance the first storm of the season will form this weekend

By Eliot Kleinberg Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Updated: 4:43 p.m. Thursday, May 20, 2010
Posted: 4:34 p.m. Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oh, and by the way.

There's a chance - right now, just a chance - that a subtropical or tropical storm will form north of Hispaniola late this weekend or early next week.

It would get the first name on the 2010 list: Alex.

Jim Lushine, retired warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service's Miami office, said today in an email he believes it's "likely" the storm will form. He also believes it will move northwest toward the Florida-Georgia state line "but directly will do little but stir up some waves at the beaches."

National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen was more guarded.

"Some of the models are trying to spin up an area of low pressure. Whether it's tropical, subtropical or no tropical we don't know yet," he said.

"It's not unusual at all, especially in that part of the world," Feltgen said.

"It's not like somebody throws a switch on June 1," Feltgen said. That date, which marks the official start of the season, is just a week and a half away.

Tropical Storm Arthur formed May 31, 2008. The last one before that was Arlene, which formed off Cuba May 6, 1981.

Subtropical Storm Andrea formed off the North Florida coast on May 9, and subtropical storm Ana looped about in the Atlantic 200 miles south of Bermuda for nine days in April 2003. April!

Of 1,354 tropical storms recorded in the Atlantic Ocean between 1851 and 2007, only 18 formed in May, and only four became hurricanes. None struck land. Between 1966 and 2007 only four formed in May and one became a hurricane.

(Eliot Kleinberg is a highly respected local historian and author of the book, "Black Cloud", about the 1928 Lake Okeechobee Hurricane).
Member Since: 18.10.2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1167. MiamiHurricanes09
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 12:01 (GMT)
11:15 UTC - Zoom-in on the Bahamian low.

Member Since: 2.09.2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
1166. MiamiHurricanes09
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:57 (GMT)
Quoting StormW:


I'm still doing analysis on and off right now...I still believe it has the potential for STS status. ECMWF right now brings it to NC/VA border, with at least 40-45 mph sustained.
Yup I saw that.

ECMWF 00z 144 Hours

Member Since: 2.09.2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
1164. Cavin Rawlins
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:55 (GMT)
Quoting pottery:
Loads of moisture everywhere
and sea surface temps are high.
This could be a real bad year
and there's several reasons why.
Nino is gone and Nina comes
we all know what that means,
Or in case you dont, check the sums
it means stock your shelves with beans.
And what about that BA high
controlling tracks and stuff?
Looks like Westward Ho! to me
this season could be rough.
And adding oil upon the waters?
not going to work this time,
someboddy made a boo-boo
and the Gulf is filled with slime.

The fish dont like it, it's really bad,
and every day there's more,
There's not a single reason to be glad
but I guess we can blame Al Gore.


Bravo! lol
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1162. pottery
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:49 (GMT)
Loads of moisture everywhere
and sea surface temps are high.
This could be a real bad year
and there's several reasons why.
Nino is gone and Nina comes
we all know what that means,
Or in case you dont, check the sums
it means stock your shelves with beans.
And what about that BA high
controlling tracks and stuff?
Looks like Westward Ho! to me
this season could be rough.
And adding oil upon the waters?
not going to work this time,
someboddy made a boo-boo
and the Gulf is filled with slime.
The fish dont like it, it's really bad,
and every day there's more,
There's not a single reason to be glad
but I guess we can blame Al Gore.
Member Since: 24.10.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23105
1161. Cavin Rawlins
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:49 (GMT)
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Hello StormW and 456! What's your take on this system over by the Bahamas?


Blog Update

Low pressure system develops east of the Bahamas; No change to Caribbean potential

Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1160. MiamiHurricanes09
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:48 (GMT)


Member Since: 2.09.2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
1159. MiamiHurricanes09
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:45 (GMT)
Hello StormW and 456! What's your take on this system over by the Bahamas?
Member Since: 2.09.2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
1158. MiamiHurricanes09
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:44 (GMT)
Good Morning!

Looks like the area in the SW Caribbean has been discounted by most models. Looks like our primary focus now is the subtropical system east of the Bahamas. I think we might have an invest by early tomorrow morning if the system can organize more.

Member Since: 2.09.2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
1157. Cavin Rawlins
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:40 (GMT)
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
456,you think it will be invest later today?


As simple as that question looks, its tough for me to answer. The reason why, is that a designation of an invest is subjective rather than objective.

The best way to answer that question is to tell you when I feel it should be an invest rather than tell you when the NHC will designate it one (which is impossible to know from here).

I think it should be an invest sometime this weekend, the NHC may or may not agree, hence, subjectivity.
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1155. Bonedog
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:37 (GMT)
Yes long time LOL Just been so busy lately. I have been lurking and droping a few posts about the oil from time to time =)

I have been using Doc's cummulus method to spot the outskirts and it is really helping to see the enourmus size of this slick. Basically looking at the "area of uncertanty" lines is where the actual slick is in the NOAA charts. Just by the outline of the clouds.

I will be down in FL soon and spending some quality time there so hopefully I will be posting more with my feet in the sugar sand and a cold maragarita in my hand =) hehehe and finally clearing my mind. So as usual keep an eye on the horizon, the storms follow me LOL
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
1154. cg2916
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:36 (GMT)
Quoting StormW:


I'd say that's a TD, maybe a weak TS
Member Since: 21.12.2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3026
1153. Cavin Rawlins
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:36 (GMT)
Quoting cg2916:


Hey, 456! You're right, Storm!

BTW, loved the post! What do you think will happen with the Bahamas system in terms of development? I think it will at least be an Invest.


It's all on my blog....

I also think it will be atleast an invest with a moderate chance of becoming STS Alex.
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1152. Tropicsweatherpr
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:35 (GMT)
Good morning. 456,you think it will be invest later today?
Member Since: 29.04.2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13334
1151. Cavin Rawlins
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:35 (GMT)
The LLC is elongated and I picked up two small vortices. This is a typical hybrid low.
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1150. cg2916
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:34 (GMT)
Quoting Weather456:


lol, morning to you. Now you can see who has learned so much from you.


Hey, 456! You're right, Storm!

BTW, loved the post! What do you think will happen with the Bahamas system in terms of development? I think it will at least be an Invest.
Member Since: 21.12.2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3026
1149. Cavin Rawlins
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:33 (GMT)
Everything becoming clearer

Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1146. Cavin Rawlins
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:31 (GMT)
Quoting Bonedog:
Storm and 456 good morning and I would like to say CONGRADULATIONS on becoming featured this tropical season. As always I look foward to your reports and will be keeping a weather eye on the horizon.


Much thanks.
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1145. Bonedog
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:29 (GMT)
thanks weatherwannabe I figured as much, thus the question, but just wanted verification.

Thanks.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
1144. Cavin Rawlins
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:27 (GMT)
Quoting StormW:
Good morning 456!

I have to say, it is nice to be able to put a face with the name!


lol, morning to you. Now you can see who has learned so much from you.
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1143. Bonedog
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:27 (GMT)
Storm and 456 good morning and I would like to say CONGRADULATIONS on becoming featured this tropical season. As always I look foward to your reports and will be keeping a weather eye on the horizon.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
1141. weathermanwannabe
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:25 (GMT)
1139. Bonedog 7:19 AM EDT on May 21, 2010

Big Bend area in this photo is light refraction; no reports of oil at all in this area and I'm headed out there (out of St. Marks) for some trout fishing tommorow morning....So far so good in the Big Bend.
Member Since: 8.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8308
1139. Bonedog
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:19 (GMT)
Yesterdays Aqua Pass

OMG How sad. The spil is huge and you can see where the streamer or tongue of oil entered the Loop Current and is being sped rapidly. Thankfully its in an Eddy right now. Another observation from that image (zoom to 250M) is that sheen oil I see up near Big Bend or just light refraction?

The spill is getting larger and larger and I like now how all of a sudden after we demand transparency and other professionals have been saying its alot worse then 5K now they up their "estimates" to... "alot more then 5K but still uncertain".

Lets hope someone comes up with a solution to cap this well (hopefully someone other then BP) and actually try to save the Gulf instead of the oil.

Lets keep our fingers crossed that no systems develope or threaten the GOM for a long time.

OK Back to lurking.....
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
1138. weathermanwannabe
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:13 (GMT)
Quoting StormW:


The wave...should it break from the ITCZ and get further north...it would be some thing to watch


Thanks.....The CMISS vort map is not showing anything in that specific area yet but it looks pretty good to me right now and in a low sheer environment at the moment........
Member Since: 8.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8308
1137. Cavin Rawlins
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:13 (GMT)
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1135. CaribBoy
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:10 (GMT)
This morning discussion from PR's NWS..


AT LOWER LEVELS...HIGH PRESSURE WHICH DOMINATED THE CENTRAL
ATLANTIC WILL WEAKEN AS ANOTHER HIGH MOVES SOUTHEAST OUT OF
CANADA AND INTO THE NORTHWEST ATLANTIC. AT THE SAME TIME A LOW
WILL DEVELOP NORTH OF HISPANIOLA AND MOVE NORTH UNTIL WEDNESDAY.
THIS WILL LEAVE THE LOCAL AREA IN LIGHTER BUT DECIDEDLY SOUTHEAST
FLOW FROM TODAY UNTIL NEXT WEEKEND. THIS LOW PRESSURE AND ONE THAT
FORMS IN THE SOUTHWEST CARIBBEAN WILL PULL DEEP MOISTURE ACROSS
THE LOCAL AREA THAT WILL GENERATE HEAVY RAINS FROM TIME TO TIME
DURING THE NEXT 10 DAYS.



Stay tuned... as they like to say
Member Since: 6.10.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5605
1134. pottery
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:10 (GMT)
Good Morning . Nice morning here. Another day of things trying to happen, with shear ruling the roost.
Member Since: 24.10.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23105
1133. weathermanwannabe
21. toukokuuta 2010 klo 11:09 (GMT)
1131. StormW 7:07 AM EDT on May 21, 2010

Good Morning Captain........Translation?
Member Since: 8.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8308

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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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