April 29, 2010

Latest Oil Pics: Oil Spill Reaches the Coast and Bad Meteorology

The latest MODIS satellite picture shows the oil making landfall on the far SE Louisiana coast. Not good. I made a blow-up below so you can see the detail. On the meteorological side, you can see nice rows of cloud streets over land in the first picture.

The weather is not cooperating I am afraid. Below are the surface winds predicted for tonight and tomorrow night . Moderate southeasterly winds blowing the oil directly to the coast.
10 PM Thursday

10 PM Friday

And here are some recent surface observations over the Gulf of Mexico...SE winds are clearly evident.
This is all very serious. The persistent southeasterly winds are pushing water up against the coast, where the general water levels will be several feet above normal. On top of that there is substantial wave action--roughly 5-7 feet. The only good aspect of all this...and good is a bad word, is that it is moving the spill away from Florida. There is a loop current in the Gulf and if the spill went south, the oil could move along the western side of Florida, into the Keys and the Everglades, and around the peninsula towards Miami. This is the last place in the U.S. you want a major spill.


  1. The oil slick looks like a hurricane.

  2. Hopefully they can stop this leak soon....they are saying that if the methods they are trying now don't work that it could take a few months to stop it. Doesn't hurricane season start in May or June? It would be a massive tragedy made worse if a tropical storm or hurricane blew all that oil onto shore all at once.

  3. BP underestimated the amount leaking, by a large amount. I wonder is Palin will change her motto to "Spill, baby Spill"?


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