What would a hurricane do to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:57 PM GMT on May 26, 2010

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Hurricane season is upon us next week, and the Deepwater Horizon blowout is still spewing a geyser of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. With this year's hurricane season likely to be a severe one, with much above average numbers of hurricanes and intense hurricanes, we have the unwholesome prospect of a hurricane churning through the largest accidental oil spill in history. A hurricane has never passed over a sizable oil spill before, so there are a lot of unknowns about what might happen. The closest call came in 1979, after the greatest accidental oil spill in history, the massive Ixtoc I blowout. That disaster dumped 3 million barrels (126 million gallons) of oil into the Southern Gulf of Mexico between June 1979 and March 1980. Category 1 Hurricane Henri passed just north of the main portion of the oil spill on September 16 and 17, generating 15 foot seas and southwest winds of 15 - 25 knots over the spill region on the 16th. Interestingly, the NOAA/AOML report on the spill found that the winds did not blow long enough or strongly enough to control the direction of oil flow, as evidenced by the fact that the wind direction was often 180° to the direction of plume flow. The main impact of the wind was to dilute the oil and weather it, converting it to a thick "mousse".

Oil and beaches
During the Ixtoc spill, prevailing currents circulating clockwise from the blowout carried a 60-mile by 70-mile patch of sheen containing a 300 foot by 500 foot patch of heavy crude 900 miles to the South Texas coast. On August 6, 1979, tarballs from the spill impacted a 17 mile stretch of Texas beach. Mousse patches impacted the shoreline north of Port Mansfield Channel on August 15 and again on August 18. On August 24, mousse impacted shoreline south of Aransas Pass. By August 26, most of North Padre Island was covered with moderate amounts of oil. By September 1, all of the south Texas coast had been impacted by oil. However, Hurricane Henri formed in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche on September 17 - 18. At the same time, a strong non-tropical low pressure system formed along the Texas coast, bringing gale-force winds and rainfall amounts in excess of ten inches to the coast. The combination of swells from Hurricane Henri and wind-driven waves from the non-tropical low pressure system scoured the oiled beaches of over 90% of their oil (Gundlach et al., 1981). The oil washed over the barrier islands into the estuaries behind them, and much of it sank to the bottom of the ocean. According to NOAA, impacts to the estuaries were minor. However, Payne and McNabb (1984) noted that selected regions of the coast, most of the beached oil was heavily resistant to transport during storms. Oil/sediment mats were ultimately covered by clean sand, but the oil/sediment mats were re-exposed and washed into the lagoon behind the barrier islands one year later when Category 3 Hurricane Allen battered the coast. No transport of the oil/sediment mats from the lagoon bottom was observed in the 3-year period following Hurricane Allen.

So, the Ixtoc blowout experience shows us that if a sandy beach is already fouled by oil, a hurricane can help clean up the mess. However, the situation is different along shores with marshlands, where the many shoreline plants offer crevices and tangled roots for the oil to accumulate in. A hurricane will help scour some of the oil out of marshlands, but the majority of it will probably remain stuck. This is also true of rocky beaches. Rocky shores fouled by the great Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska in 1989 have been pounded by many hurricane-strength storms over the years, but these storms were not able to clean the beaches of oil like Hurricane Henri did for Texas' beaches in 1979.

Transport of oil by hurricanes
Shores that are already fouled by oil will probably benefit from a hurricane, but the oil cleaned off of those shores then becomes someone else's problem. The strong winds and powerful ocean currents that a hurricane's winds drive will bring oil to large stretches of coast that otherwise would not have gotten oil. This is my chief concern regarding a hurricane moving through the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Consider the case of the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989. The ill-fated tanker split open in Prince William Sound on March 24, and oil spill response crews were initially able to contain the spill behind booms and make good progress removing it. However, two days later, a powerful Gulf of Alaska storm with 70 mph winds roared through, overwhelming the containment booms and distributing the oil along a 90-mile stretch of coast. The oil went on to foul over 400 miles of Alaska coast, a far larger disaster than would have occurred than if the storm had not passed by. Similarly, a hurricane moving through the Gulf of Mexico spill will very likely make the disaster much worse, spreading out the oil over a larger region, and bringing the oil to shores that otherwise might not have seen oil. It is true that the oil will be diluted some by being spread out over a larger area, so some shores will not see a substantial oiling. But overall, a hurricane passing through the oil spill is likely to result in much higher damage to the coast.

I expect that during the peak portion of hurricane season (August - October), the clockwise-rotating eddy that is attempting to cut off from the Loop Current this week will be fully separated from the Loop Current. The separation of this eddy will substantially reduce the possibility that significant amounts of oil will reach the Florida Keys and Southeast U.S. coast, since the Loop Current will be much farther south, flowing more due east towards the Keys from the Yucatan Channel. Oil moving southwards from the spill location due to a hurricane's winds will tend to get trapped in the 250-mile wide eddy, potentially covering most of the surface of the eddy with oil. Thus we might have a 250-mile wide spinning oil slick in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico for days or weeks after a hurricane. This could potentially have a significant warming effect on the Gulf waters, since the oil is dark and will absorb sunlight, and the oil will prevent evaporation from cooling the waters underneath it. Since Loop Current eddies contain a large amount of very warm water that extend to great depth, they often act as high-octane fuel for hurricanes that pass over. The rapid intensification of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were both aided by the passage of those storms over Loop Current eddies. Thus the warming of the Loop Current Eddy by oil pulled into it by a passing hurricane or tropical storm could lead to explosive intensification of the next hurricane that passes over the eddy.

The Loop Current Eddy will move slowly westwards toward Texas at about 4 miles per day after it fully cuts off. When it reaches the shallow waters near the Texas coast in early 2011, the eddy will turn northwards and gradually dissipate, By then, I expect that the vast majority of the oil in the eddy will have dispersed, sunk, or evaporated.

Storm surge and oil
One of the more unnerving prospects to consider if a hurricane hits the oil spill is what the hurricane's storm surge might do with the oil/dispersant mixture. The foul mix would ride inland on top of the surge, potentially fouling residential areas and hundreds of square miles of sensitive ecosystems with the toxic stew. The impacts of the oil and dispersant on vegetation may be too low to cause significant damage, since the hurricane would dilute the mixture with a large amount of sea water, and wash much of the toxic brew off the vegetation with heavy rain. We do have some limited experience with oil spills during Hurricane Katrina's storm surge to shed light on the subject. Katrina's storm surge caused over 8 million gallons of oil to spill into the storm surge waters. The largest spill occurred when the storm surge hit the Murphy Oil refinery in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. According to Santella et al. (2010), The refinery was inundated with 12 feet of water, and a partially filled 250,000-barrel above ground storage tank was dislodged and ruptured, releasing 25,100 barrels (1.05 million gallons) of mixed crude oil. Dikes surrounding the oil tanks at the refinery were flooded and breached and oil from the spill covered a residential area of approximately one square mile affecting approximately 1,800 homes. Front-end loaders were needed to remove the oily sediments from the area. A class action lawsuit resulted from the spill, ending in a $330 million settlement with a buy-out of properties closest to the spill and graded compensation in a larger zone. Katrina also caused a 139,000-gallon crude oil leak from a 20-inch pipeline at Shell Nairn Pipeline Company in Port Sulphur, Louisiana. Approximately 10,500 gallons of the spill reached the shoreline and coastal marshes, and only 10,700 gallons were recovered. This release resulted in a $5.5 million class action settlement to nearby property owners (http://www.nairnclaims.com). I haven't been able to find any information on how the marshlands fared after getting oiled by this spill.

Katrina's storm surge also destroyed an oil tank at Chevron's Empire facility, releasing oil into a retention pond in a region surrounded by marshland. Three and half weeks later, Hurricane Rita's storm surge hit the oily mess in the retention pond, washing 4,000 - 8,000 gallons of oil into nearby marshlands, which were heavily or moderately oiled. According to the EPA and Merten et al. (2008), the oiled marshlands were set on fire six weeks after the spill, resulting in 80-90% removal of the oil and contaminated vegetation. The marshland recovered fairly quickly, as seen in aerial photos taken five months after the burn (Figure 1)--though oil still remained in the roots, affecting burrowing crabs and the wildlife that feed on them. So, oiled marshes can recover somewhat from a storm-surge driven oiling, but it is uncertain if burning could be successfully used to restore a 100+ square mile region of marshland oiled by the storm surge from a major hurricane. Another big unknown is how toxic BP's dispersants might be to the vegetation.


Figure 1. Upper left: oiled marshlands as seen on October 10, 2005, near Chevron's Empire facility, after the storm surges of Katrina and Rita. Right: The marshlands on March 16, 2006, five months after the controlled burn. The marshlands had largely recovered. Bottom: the controlled burn in progress (October 12, 2005.) Image credit: Merten, A.A., Henry, C., and J. Michel, 2008, Decision-making process to use in-situ burning to restore an oiled intermediate marsh following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 2008 International Oil Spill Conference.

Wind and oil
The winds from a hurricane hurl ocean sea spray miles inland, often causing major defoliation and tree damage far beyond where the storm surge penetrates. For example, Category 2 Hurricane Bob of 1991 blew sea spray inland 4 miles (7 km) inland over Cape Cod. The salt deposited defoliated nearly all the deciduous trees along the coast. Kerr, 2000 document the case of Category 2 Typhoon Gay of November 23, 1992, which hit the 15-km wide island of Guam with 95 - 100 mph winds. Interaction with another typhoon disrupted Gay's thunderstorm activity, resulting in a nearly rainless typhoon for Guam. As a result, heavy amounts of salt coated the entire island, resulting in nearly complete defoliation. The salt didn't actually kill many plants, and the island re-greened within a year. The Category 3 New England Hurricane of 1938 was able to cause salt damage to trees as far as 45 miles inland, due to wind-blown sea spray. Thus we can anticipate that a hurricane passing over the oil spill will be able to hurl oil and toxic dispersants many miles inland during landfall. In regions where little rain falls, the concentrations of the oil and dispersants may be a problem. Again, we have no experience with this sort of situation, so the potential risks are unknown.

Rain and oil
Hurricanes evaporate huge amounts of water from the ocean and convert it to rain. In general, we do not need to worry about oil dissolving into the rain, since the oil and water don't mix. Furthermore, about 50-70% of the oil that is going to evaporate from the spill does so in the first 12 hours that the oil reaches the surface, so the volatile oil compounds that could potentially get dissolved into rain water won't be around. Hurricanes are known to carry sea salt and microscopic marine plankton hundreds of miles inland, since the strong updrafts of the storm can put these substances high in the troposphere where they can be carried far inland as the hurricane makes landfall. The Eastern Pacific's Hurricane Nora of 1997, whose remnants passed over Southern California, brought traces of sea salt and marine microorganisms to clouds over the central U.S. similarly, we can expect any landfalling hurricanes that pass over the oil spill to pick up traces of Gulf of Mexico crude and transport it hundreds of miles inland. However, I doubt that these traces would be detectable in rainwater except by laboratory analysis, and would not cause any harm to plants or animals.

Lightning and oil
Could a lightning strike from a hurricane ignite oil from the spill, and the hurricane's winds hurl the flaming oil inland, creating a fiery maelstrom of water, wind, and flame? This would make a great scene in a typical bad Hollywood disaster movie, but it's not going to happen with the universe's current laws of physics. Lightning could set an oil slick on fire, in regions where the oil is most dense and very fresh. About 50-70% of the evaporation of oil's most flammable volatile compounds occurs in the first 12 hours after release, so fresh oil is the most likely to ignite. However, the winds of a hurricane are so fierce that any surface oil slick of flaming oil would quickly be disrupted and doused by wave action and sea spray. Heavy rain would further dampen any lightning-caused oil slick fires.

Bringing oil at depth to the surface
Hurricanes act like huge blenders that plow through the ocean, thoroughly mixing surface waters to depths as great as 200 meters (650 feet), and pulling waters from depth to the surface. Thus if sub-surface plumes of oil are located within 200 meters of the surface, a hurricane could potentially bring them to the surface. However, the huge sub-surface plumes of oil found by the research vessel Pelican were at depths of 2300 - 4200 feet, and a hurricane will not affect the ocean circulation at those depths.

Comparisons of the Deepwater Horizon blowout with Exxon Valdez
One footnote to consider when comparing the Deepwater Horizon blowout to the disastrous March 24, 1989 Exxon Valdez spill: the amount of oil spilled in that disaster is usually quoted as 11 million gallons (260,000 barrels.) However, this is the number given by Exxon Mobil, and independent assessments by the State of Alaska came up with a much higher figure--24 to 36 million gallons, with state investigators stressing that the lower number was very unlikely. I'd be inclined to believe Exxon grossly understated the actual severity of the spill, much like BP is attempting to do with the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Steven Wereley, an associate professor at Purdue University, used a computer analysis (particle image velocimetry) to arrive at a rate of 95,000 barrels (4 million gallons) per day since the April 20 blowout, nearly 20 times greater than the 5,000 barrel a day estimate BP and government scientists have been citing. If he is correct, and the State of Alaska's figures on the Exxon Valdez disaster are correct, the Deepwater Horizon blowout so far has spilled five times the oil Exxon Valdez did.

References
Gundlach, E.R., Finkelstein, K.J., and J.L. Sadd, "Impact and Persistence of Ixtoc I Oil on the South Texas Coast", Proceedings: 1981 Oil Spill Conference (Prevention, Behavior, Control, Cleanup) March 2-5, 1981, Atlanta, GA. p 477-485.

Kerr, A.M., 2000, "Defoliation of an island (Guam, Mariana
Archipelago, Western Pacific Ocean) following a saltspray-laden
dry typhoon," Journal of Tropical Ecology 16:895901.

Merten, A.A., Henry, C., and J. Michel, 2008, Decision-making process to use in-situ burning to restore an oiled intermediate marsh following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 2008 International Oil Spill Conference.

Payne, J.R. and D. McNabb, Jr., "Weathering of Petroleum in the Marine Environment", Marine Technology Society Journal 18, 3, Third Quarter 1984.

Santella, N., Steinberg, L.J., and H. Sengul, 2010,Petroleum and Hazardous Material Releases from Industrial Facilities Associated with Hurricane Katrina, Risk Analyis, Volume 30, Issue 4, Pages 635-649, Published Online: 16 Mar 2010

90L
I've been focused more on the oil spill, and will have just a limited discussion of (90L) off the South Carolina coast. The storm has changed little over the past 24 hours, and doesn't have time to develop into a subtropical storm, before an approaching trough of low pressure pulls the system out to sea Thursday and Friday. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving 90L a less than 10% chance of developing into a depression or tropical/subtropical storm, and anticipates not writing any more special advisories on 90L. There presently isn't much to be concerned with about this storm, though Bermuda may get more heavy rain and high seas from the storm late this week as it moves out to sea. Wunderbloggers Weather456 and StormW have more on 90L.

Central American disturbance
An area of disturbed weather has developed just off the Pacific coast of Mexico. 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. There is the potential for disturbed weather accompanying the disturbance 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 should be low enough to allow development should the disturbance stay in the southern reaches of the Caribbean. 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.

Jeff Masters

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2241. booboo2284
12:09 AM GMT on June 19, 2010
should not have been made in the first place!
Member Since: June 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 317
2240. divdog
1:48 PM GMT on June 06, 2010
Quoting RitaEvac:
If they went with 18 which is the middle number of the spread, the Stock market would crash. Insurance companies would panic. Oil sitting in the gulf with those kind of numbers would spook investors and spike gas prices. And this blog would explode...
I work in the industry and the stock market is not going to crash based on some forecast that may or may not come true.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 755
2239. mtobis
5:37 PM GMT on June 05, 2010
I disagree on a couple of points. See here.

Is the albedo of oil really lower than that of water? And wouldn't suppressed evaporation suppress hurricanes?
2238. divdog
5:38 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting CycloneOz:


Hahaha! LOL! :D
What really matters is what actually happens not some forecast. Don't rely so much on the numbers, wait and respond when a storm affects you.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 755
2237. SAINTHURRIFAN
4:01 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
well thier is one who has been on this blog for awhile who constantly post lengthy links, and trys to constantly joke with a fake accent.He also trys to monopolize the blog and insult anyone who disagrees with him. I never put anyone on ignore but i did him.Once i put him on ignore i was able to scan back through posts of quality bloggers like levi, 456,drak,23 and reed, floodman and ike. And like ike i thank there will be a lot gone this year just wish the blog admins would quit playing favorites on a couple one in paticular who uses the word pal lol.And storm w how could i forget you you do a great job.Have a nice day and God Bless.
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 709
2236. Stormchaser2007
3:52 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Alex in 2 days.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15947
2235. Dropsonde
3:36 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting Patrap:
U betcha..but Like I said..we have a Hurricane Hunter featured blogger here on wu..one can ask him anything HH related and he will answer your inquiries Im sure
If he's active, he probably won't say anything negative. My sources are a couple of books that interviewed government hurricane researchers off the official record and the blogs of retired mets -- in other words, people who don't have to worry about retaliation or non-promotion for making complaints.

I'm not debating this any further. If you are formerly affiliated with the U.S. government and took it as a bash of some entity within it, it is not -- it's a bash of those non-scientists in Washington who control the money.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 414
2234. WaterWitch11
3:34 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
the voice of reason:

so what is it? is the leak stopped or is it just a little less than before? obviously no one knows what they are talking about. why say it has been stopped and then say its just a little less?
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 3 Comments: 1706
2233. AussieStorm
3:34 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting SouthALWX:

lol, so you ship out crap you wouldnt use yourself ... are you sure you arent part of america XD

In Scotland they export all Johnny Walker Whiskey. and that is good stuff
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
2232. Cavin Rawlins
3:33 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting Ossqss:
NOAA's new forecast tool has been leaked ,,, gheeze, :)



LOL
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2231. hurricanejunky
3:32 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
new blog!
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
2230. FSUCOOPman
3:32 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting Weather456:
14-23 is two different hurricane seasons all together. That is too wide.


After applying the 70% it's 9.8 (10) - 29.9 (30) storms... I'm not a betting man, but odds say they're going to be right with that range. Way to hedge your bets NHC.
Member Since: August 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 376
2229. CycloneOz
3:32 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting Ossqss:
NOAA's new forecast tool has been leaked ,,, gheeze, :)



Hahaha! LOL! :D
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4020
2228. CycloneOz
3:32 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting JamesSA:
Forecasts shouldn't be politicized or influenced by market concerns. That is like a mayor refusing to issue an evacuation for a town in danger because it would hurt commerce. We might as well have the forecasts issued by The Office of Propaganda if that is to be the case.


LOL..."Martin! If we close the beaches now, then our summer tourist season is over!" *Cue theme music...in B# please!*
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4020
2227. Ossqss
3:31 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
NOAA's new forecast tool has been leaked ,,, gheeze, :)



BTW, new blog
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
2226. SouthALWX
3:30 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting StormW:


Well, here is SST anomalies for 5/26/1998.


This is Today's



1998 produced 14 named storms

they look surprisingly similar. could be the best SST analog, though that high anomaly in the far east pacific in '98 isnt present and could be important.
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
2225. RitaEvac
3:30 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting Patrap:


Guess you've never seen a DOD Budget request then,..LOL


Nope, but I've seen what I write on my check every year to uncle sam
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9676
2224. hydrus
3:30 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting Skyepony:
I can understand the spread.. all conditions point to a high number season, on the same hand no point in crashing the market before the 1st storm is named. The outlook skill with these are low & the experience in calling an extreme hyper active season is even less. Personally I'd like to see less spread, but obviously confidence is low & NOAA is bound to a certain extent to protect US economic interests.
They would have maintained more credibility just by acknowledging it will be an above average year rather than releasing numbers like that. Like when you mentioned the stock market. There are other industries that flinch when these statistics are released.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22256
2223. Patrap
3:30 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
just a big bully huh


One that can use periods too.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129411
2222. JamesSA
3:29 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting RitaEvac:
If they went with 18 which is the middle number of the spread, the Stock market would crash. Insurance companies would panic. Oil sitting in the gulf with those kind of numbers would spook investors and spike gas prices. And this blog would explode...
Forecasts shouldn't be politicized or influenced by market concerns. That is like a mayor refusing to issue an evacuation for a town in danger because it would hurt commerce. We might as well have the forecasts issued by The Office of Propaganda if that is to be the case.
Member Since: August 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 579
2221. CycloneOz
3:29 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting CycloneOz:


I'll always go for the one that's zeroing in on a major metropolitan area.


And if it's a choice between two metropolitan areas, then:

1) Which one is closer to me?
2) Which one will have the "bigger" storm hit it?
3) Which one has multiple Outback SteakHouse restaurants.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4020
2220. mikatnight
3:28 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
CNN now
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
2218. gordydunnot
3:28 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Has anybody considered the fact that if we have more then normal intense hurricanes they may use up some of the energy available for other storms to form.This I believe is the reason for the spread. More storms maybe good. Its the ace that is incredible to me. Two or three Andrews should be enough death and destruction for everyone.Like Pat said the numbers aren't important. Get prepared because I wouldn't count on the government these days. They look like they got there hands full troops all over the world,if you think about it we are in the middle of more they we can handle.IMO
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
2217. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:28 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting Patrap:


U should take your own advice.
Period.

LOL
just a big bully huh
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55517
2216. Patrap
3:28 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting RitaEvac:


Thats because tax payers money is limitless!


Guess you've never seen a DOD Budget request then,..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129411
2215. hurricanejunky
3:28 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting CycloneOz:


Can you be at 7 landfalling major category storms this year?

Can you do 11 landfalling storms of any category size this year?

I'm hoping you respond "yes!"...


Of course the answer is YES...BUT...there's always a BUT...where these storms make landfall will dictate how quickly funding becomes a factor...
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
2214. Cavin Rawlins
3:28 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting RitaEvac:
If they went with 18 which is the middle number of the spread, the Stock market would crash. Insurance companies would panic. Oil sitting in the gulf with those kind of numbers would spook investors and spike gas prices. And this blog would explode...


Speculation is what drives booms and recessions.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2212. CycloneOz
3:27 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting SouthALWX:
0z, want to know my biggest worry this year? That it wont be a matter of IF you can intercept a major ... but a case of WHICH to intercept at a given time ... now thats scary to think about.


I'll always go for the one that's zeroing in on a major metropolitan area.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4020
2211. CycloneOz
3:26 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting RitaEvac:
If they went with 18 which is the middle number of the spread, the Stock market would crash. Insurance companies would panic. Oil sitting in the gulf with those kind of numbers would spook investors and spike gas prices. And this blog would explode...


!Cry Havoc! and release the hounds! :)
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4020
2210. RitaEvac
3:26 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting Patrap:
The Air Force Reserve is the Designated DoD resource for the Hurricane Hunters,at Biloxi.

Like I said,cost is never a obstacle to fly a storm.

Ever.




Thats because tax payers money is limitless!
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9676
2209. Cavin Rawlins
3:26 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting JamesSA:
Do you think politics might be involved? Perhaps there are some elements in the organization saying 'we can't put out such a high number because it will scare people and hurt tourism etc.' ... and others saying 'no, this is the data, we need to report it' ... and instead they end up putting out this cartoon with a crazy spread?


Not sure, I'm not a resident of the US.

Second, reporting high numbers and hurt tourism is the least of any body's problem. Storms devastating an unprepared entire country's economy is of much more importance that if Royal Caribbean reported 10, 000 less passengers this summer. Report the facts and people will decide how to use those facts.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2208. SouthALWX
3:26 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
0z, want to know my biggest worry this year? That it wont be a matter of IF you can intercept a major ... but a case of WHICH to intercept at a given time ... now thats scary to think about.
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
2207. Patrap
3:26 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
U betcha..

We have a Hurricane Hunter featured blogger here on wu..one can ask him anything HH related and he will answer your inquiries Im sure


I've read otherwise.


Id like to see where that was read,if possible.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129411
2206. dfwWxDude
3:26 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting sarahjola:

so what is it? is the leak stopped or is it just a little less than before? obviously no one knows what they are talking about. why say it has been stopped and then say its just a little less?


Seems like they have never known what the pressure's were inside the well or BOP, or/and they have never been willing to release the info. I read somewhere, that unless they sample what it coming out of the well, they can't say for sure.

It seems they have stopped the oil from coming out of the ground, but have not capped anything. The drilling mud is now flowing out of the busted BOP, because its pressure it greater than the oil.

They have to get the cement down there now, and they can't user the normal methods to do it since the drilling risers are gone.

There are still a fews ways this could mess up. The BOP valves that are partially closed could break open, the entire BOP could fail, they could lose drilling mud pressure, or the cementing process could fail. I am praying that none of this happens, but this is not a done deal.
Member Since: September 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 80
2205. RitaEvac
3:25 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
If they went with 18 which is the middle number of the spread, the Stock market would crash. Insurance companies would panic. Oil sitting in the gulf with those kind of numbers would spook investors and spike gas prices. And this blog would explode...
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9676
2204. Dropsonde
3:25 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting Patrap:
The Air Force Reserve is the Designated DoD resource for the Hurricane Hunters,at Biloxi.

Like I said,cost is never a obstacle to fly a storm.

Ever.


I've read otherwise. But it really doesn't matter. They should be doing more investigations into cyclogenesis, and they aren't.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 414
2203. CycloneOz
3:24 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting PcolaDan:


corrected :)


Thank you! You are correct... :)
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4020
2202. Patrap
3:24 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
The Air Force Reserve is the Designated DoD resource for the Hurricane Hunters,at Biloxi.

Like I said,cost is never a obstacle to fly a storm.

Ever.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129411
2201. CycloneOz
3:23 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hey guys it looks like 90-E is moving north or north-northeast and prob. soon northeast


Let's start calling 90-E "Lassie" because she formed while "Timmy was down in the well."
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4020
2200. PcolaDan
3:23 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting CycloneOz:


You know what we should do as a group of bloggers?

1) We should vote on our top five RESPECTED bloggers.
2) Top five bloggers come up with their own consensus every season
3) Send a press release with "our" season prediction and explanation behind it.

I think that would be HUGE for us here.

And I think we'd probably be very accurate, too! :)


corrected :)
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
2199. Skyepony (Mod)
3:23 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
I can understand the spread.. all conditions point to a high number season, on the same hand no point in crashing the market before the 1st storm is named. The outlook skill with these are low & the experience in calling an extreme hyper active season is even less. Personally I'd like to see less spread, but obviously confidence is low & NOAA is bound to a certain extent to protect US economic interests.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 208 Comments: 39051
2198. HurricaneSwirl
3:23 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
14-23??? Do they have any respect or confidence for themselves? I'm rooting for either a 13 season or a 24 season now, it would be hilarious if such a wide range was WRONG. EDIT: Obviously the 13 would be much more preferred by all (minus a few)
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
2197. wunderkidcayman
3:22 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
hey guys it looks like 90-E is moving north or north-northeast and prob. soon northeast
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12710
2196. CycloneOz
3:21 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting hurricanejunky:
Yep Oz, looks to be a hum dinger. We may be a couple of busy bees!

NHC Latest Forecast 5/27/10


Can you be at 7 landfalling major category storms this year?

Can you do 11 landfalling storms of any category size this year?

I'm hoping you respond "yes!"...
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4020
2195. Dropsonde
3:20 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting Patrap:
Pity that the budget for flight is not higher

Cost is NEVER a consideration for a NOAA nor HH Hunter flight

Period
They are nonetheless allocated a certain amount of money each year that they can spend according to a schedule of their own choice. I expect the military is better off in this regard; science agencies have to scramble for every penny, especially in this age of budget crises in which the fools holding the purse strings think that the first things to go ought to be science and education. It doesn't help when they slit their own throats a la the Proenza debacle of a few years ago, and sabotage people who are trying to get them more.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 414
2194. HurricaneObserver
3:20 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Hello all. I've been lurking here since the middle of the 2008 hurricane season, though I'd join in for this year.
Member Since: May 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 58
2193. JamesSA
3:20 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting Weather456:
14-23 is two different hurricane seasons all together. That is too wide.
Do you think politics might be involved? Perhaps there are some elements in the organization saying 'we can't put out such a high number because it will scare people and hurt tourism etc.' ... and others saying 'no, this is the data, we need to report it' ... and instead they end up putting out this cartoon with a crazy spread?
Member Since: August 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 579
2192. hydrus
3:20 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting SLU:


Yeah it's as if they have very little confidence with their forecast skill. That sort of range plus a probability doesn't really tell me exactly what type of season I should expect. They're also saying that there's a 30% probability that the season could be outside of that range also. Very, very unclear from my point of view anyway ...
I am sure they know at the end of the season, the odds of them being wrong with there predictions are slim. It is similar to pick a number between 1 and 3. Chances are good you will guess the right number.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22256
2191. CycloneOz
3:20 PM GMT on May 27, 2010
Quoting StormW:


You got that right...hell, at least split the difference and come up with a for sure 18.


You know what we should do as a group of bloggers?

1) We should vote on our top five bloggers.
2) Top five bloggers come up with their own consensus every season
3) Send a press release with "our" season prediction and explanation behind it.

I think that would be HUGE for us here.

And I think we'd probably be very accurate, too! :)
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4020

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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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