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Old 05-04-2010, 09:54 PM
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Default Oil Spill - Florida, Cuba, Bahamas & Eastern Seaboard Prospects, Deep Horizon Blowout

"Deep Horizon" Spill Response Page
http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/


Florida DEP page dealing with State response and tracking:
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/default.htm



Oil a long-range threat to southwest and southeast Florida, Cuba, and the Bahamas



"The surface ocean currents that transport the oil are driven by the wind and by the large scale ocean current structure of the Gulf of Mexico. The latest surface ocean current forecast (Figure 3) from NOAA's RTOFS model indicates a complicated current structure along the Gulf Coast over the next seven days, making it difficult to predict exactly where the oil slick might go. The warm Loop Current enters the Gulf from the south and loops around to the southeast to exit through the Florida Keys. A counter-clockwise rotating cool eddy is located a few hundred miles south of the Florida Panhandle, and a clockwise-rotating warm eddy is located south of Louisiana's Mississippi Delta. If next Tuesday's cold front brings strong enough northwesterly winds to the oil spill region, it is possible that a portion of the spill will get caught in the circulation of these two eddies and sucked southwards into the Loop Current. If this occurs, the oil would be move relatively rapidly at 2 - 4 mph to the southeast and then eastwards through the Keys, potentially fouling beaches in the Keys, northwest Cuba, the southwest and southeast coasts of Florida, and the western Bahamas. Based on the movement of the spill earlier this week during offshore winds, I don't think the spill will be able to make it into the Loop Current next week. However, if the oil keeps spewing from the ocean floor for many months, eventually a wind pattern will set up that will take the oil into the Loop Current. This would most likely happen if a persistent trough of low pressure settles over the East Coast in May, or if a tropical storm makes landfall along the Florida Panhandle this summer. We're fortunate that there are no hurricanes to worry about right now, as the strong winds and storm surge of a hurricane would be able to drive the oil far inland along a wide swath of coast"
From: http://www.wunderground.com/blog/Jef...?entrynum=1470


An overview in the Sunsentinel:



"Outer bands of the powerful Loop Current moved north to within 31 miles of the destroyed wellhead, spewing thousands of barrels a day. If the current reaches the spill, it could drag the slick south to the Florida Keys within days, and push it north to Broward and Palm Beach counties in a week to two weeks, marine scientists said.

"If it continues to move in that direction, and there is no reason why it shouldn't, the Loop Current could very well be at the wellhead," said Bob Weisberg, who is using satellite images to track the slick at the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida. "So there is a strong likelihood that at some point in the future oil will be entrained into the Loop Current."

Gov. Charlie Crist on Monday extended a state of emergency south to Sarasota County. Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Dry Tortugas National Park and Biscayne National Park began disaster preparations, establishing a response team comparable to that set up for hurricanes, and Tuesday they will begin assessing vulnerable natural systems, such as mangrove shorelines."
Continued at: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/fl-loop-...,2846542.story


An article in the Miami Herald:

"Winds expected to shift and ease in the next few days could buy some time for weather-beaten crews battling to bottle up and burn off a massive slick of rust-colored crude before it fouls fragile marshes and sugary beaches across four Gulf Coast states.
But that brief reprieve could soon send a nasty ripple effect toward South Florida -- pushing outlying plumes of polluted surface water and patches of tar balls into the Gulf of Mexico's powerful loop current. That would propel the mess across the mangrove islands, seagrass beds and coral reefs of the Florida Keys, then up toward Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale and beyond.
Oceanographers tracking the BP oil slick -- still expanding from an uncapped well belching an estimated 210,000 gallons a day -- said Monday that questions about the loop's impact have increasingly turned from if to when.
Satellite images suggest the loop, which moves seasonally, is creeping north, spinning off small whirls of current that University of Miami oceanographer Nick Shay said may already have drawn in the slick's leading, and lightest, edge.
Robert Weisberg, an oceanographer at the University of South Florida, who updates daily tracking models, pinpoints the loop still about 30 miles south of the slick.
But, he stressed, ``The immediacy of the collision of these two features is real. Will it happen in a day, two days, three days, a week, two weeks? I don't know. I'm not willing to say that yet.''
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/05/0...#ixzz0myo17Jmr


An article from the Tampa Tribune:

TAMPA - Northerly winds that slowed a massive oil spill's approach Tuesday to the Panhandle and northern Gulf Coast could mean disaster for the rest of Florida.
Those winds, prompted by the passage of a cold front, helped to keep oil at bay along the immediate shoreline in the Gulf of Mexico. But those winds might push the oil closer to the conveyor belt of ocean currents that could eventually send the oil all the way to the Florida Keys and up the state's east coast.
The oil moved precariously closer to the so-called Loop Current, the river of water in the Gulf that surges to the north before dipping southward through the Florida Keys. That current then turns into the Gulf Stream, which moves along the U.S. east coast."
Continued at: http://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/may...news-breaking/

.......

Transport of the spill to Florida and into the Straits of Florida and up the east side of the state will depend upon many factors. Extension of the spill eastward to and entrainment by the Loop Current, transport southward and passage into flow of the Florida Current and up into the Straits of Florida. Weather, prevailing winds and nature of the oil plume along the way are key factors.

Animated current model chart over time at: http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/ofs/viewe...rundate=latest

There is a cold front passing over Florida currently (May 4, 2010) with winds clocking with that passage. Spill transport in a given direction is in part a function of the speed and duration of wind relative to that direction. Winds shift in terms of direction and speed regularly throughout time further complicating transport predictions. Model winds and waves out to 180 hours from the present appear at: http://dadecosurf.com/nww3_height

More wind and related weather information at:
http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=6734


More about transport and fate of oil releases at sea
http://www.offshore-environment.com/oil.html


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Old 05-04-2010, 10:08 PM
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Here is the latest update from:

Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog Last Updated: 2:48 PM GMT on May 04, 2010
http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/show.html

"Oil spill update

The oil slick from the April 20 explosion and blowout of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon has retreated from the coast, thanks to a slackening of the persistent onshore winds that have affected the northern Gulf of Mexico over the past week. According to the latest NWS marine forecast, winds will be light and variable through Wednesday, resulting in little transport of the oil slick. Winds will then resume a weak onshore flow at 5 - 10 knots, Thursday through Friday, then reverse to blow offshore at 5 - 10 knots over the weekend. The net result of this wind pattern will be little transport of the oil slick. The only areas at risk of landfalling oil over the next five days will be the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, and the Chandeleur Islands. The latest forecast of Gulf currents from the NOAA HYCOM model (see also this alternative view of the HYCOM ocean current forecast) show weak ocean currents affecting the region during the remainder of the week. These currents will not be strong enough to push any oil southwards into the Loop Current over the next five days, so the Keys and South Florida are safe from oil for now. I'll have a post on the long-range prospects for oil to enter the Loop Current later this week, and a discussion of how a hurricane might affect and be affected by the oil spill."





AND

A slide show of weather considerations impacting the migration of the oil spill at:
http://www.weather.com/outlook/weath...0-05-04?page=2





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Old 05-04-2010, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Water Monkey View Post
Good information Rick. We have had some great wind since Saturday here in the bay area.

I am saddened and angered by the events unfolding with the oil spill. After riding the past few days I started to wonder if these might be the last few days of good wind in oil-free waters!? It sucks that we even have to think that way but the forecast is not looking good. I hope I'm wrong.....
Thanks, this one may be a long haul with luck playing a significant role in the outcome particularly for points east and north bordering the Florida Current/Gulfstream.

It is informed speculation but Jeff Masters' Blog has become an information source worth considering during tropical weather season. Weather will have a major hand in determining how this mess turns out. See his latest update above regarding his opinion about near term spill migration prospects.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:42 PM
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Volunteer Alerts, Biological Impacts

Additional information, including calls for volunteers to help in the major response likely to be required in this crisis at:

General Information, Observer Reporting Links And Details On Biological Impacts:

http://marinebio.org/blog/
http://marinebio.org/


Volunteer Alerts:


Comprehensive site - VOLUNTEER FLORIDA, CLICK IMAGE to access site

Surf Rider Foundation resources:
http://oilonthebeach.blogspot.com/
http://www.usnews.com/money/blogs/fr...oil-spill.html

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Old 05-04-2010, 11:02 PM
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To help updates make more sense, I've split this topic into two threads including this one. Updates may or may not be made on a regular basis.

The original information websites should be used for reliance and not information posted here.

An important site for updates on combined response efforts to the spill is:
http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/


The other thread on fksa.org pertaining to this spill includes:

Deep Horizon Oil Spill - Source Plume & Blowout Mitigation Updates
http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=9609


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Old 05-05-2010, 12:36 PM
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Situation Report #7, May 5, 2010
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwater...rt7_050510.pdf

Latest NOAA Update, May 4, 2010
http://tinyurl.com/NOAA-Update

An update regarding preparations in Florida:
"Florida Deepwater Horizon Response MAY 4, 2010
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
TALLAHASSEE – The State Emergency Response Team, in support of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as the lead response agency for the state of Florida, is actively monitoring the Deepwater Horizon response.
The following is a summary of state and BP response actions to date, as well as tips for residents and visitors to take precautions both pre and post-landfall.
Landfall Predictions:
Deepwater Horizon continues to discharge an estimated 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) per day.
BP has completed construction of a dome, expected to be in place as early as next weekend, which will be used in an attempt to contain the oil discharge. BP has also begun drilling a relief well to eliminate the discharge.
Currently, there are no impacts to the state projected in the next 72 hours; however, Florida continues to make preparations to safeguard the state’s shoreline.
The state of Florida reminds its residents and visitors that the state’s coastline has not been impacted at this time and remains open for public enjoyment.
State Actions:
Continued at: http://www.panhandleparade.com/index...#ixzz0n4bQV6yq


Update from the Miami Herald:
"Workers stop one of three leaks at Gulf oil spill, Posted on Wednesday, 05.05.10
BY MARIA RECIO, AUDRA BURCH, JOSEPH GOODMAN AND JENNIFER LEBOVICH
PANAMA CITY, Fla. -- As emergency workers along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday raced to defend sensitive shorelines from the massive oil spill, authorities said they'd stopped one of the leaks at the deep-water well.
It won't reduce the amount of oil flowing from BP's sunken rig, but it will allow the oil company to focus efforts on attacking the two remaining leaks, said Coast Guard Petty Officer David Mosley.
``This is definitely a step toward the shut off or containment of the leak,'' Mosley said."
Continued at: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/05/0...#ixzz0n4m6f0YD


"Oil: Experts say it's not if it'll reach the Keys, but when
By KEVIN WADLOW, Posted - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 07:28 AM EDT
The outer edges of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill crept closer to the Loop Current Tuesday as Florida Keys response agencies convened to draft a battle plan.
One scientist tracking the extent of the spill cautioned South Florida "to go into hurricane mode."
"We have to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best," said Nick Shay, an oceanographer at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science who specializes in currents. "This is like a oceanic hurricane. It's already a disaster for the northern gulf."
The Loop Current flows north in the Gulf of Mexico, then loops west and south before heading to the east through the Florida Straits.
Shay said it appears "inevitable that at least some part of the oil slick is going to make it into the Loop Current, but at this point the exact concentration is uncertain."
Efforts to use a giant concrete box to catch oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon drill site, 5,000 feet below the gulf surface, were under way at press time.
If attempts to use the concrete collection domes fail and the leak continues to feed an estimated 210,000 gallons of crude oil into the gulf each day, Shay said, "This will far surpass any [environmental damage] the Exxon Valdez did."
Audubon of Florida research director Jerry Lorenz said if the oil reaches South Florida's mangrove forests, the critical ecosystems could be destroyed.
"Once it's in the mangroves, it really can't be cleaned out," Lorenz said on a conference call held by the Everglades Foundation. "It would take years, if not decades, to wash out.""
Continued at: http://www.keysnet.com/2010/05/05/21...-the-keys.html


"Other experts say oil 'pretty unlikely' to hit Keys, Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Some scientists say the Loop Current is a moving target, one that will dodge the bullet of having oil trapped in it -- thanks also in part to weak winds and a weak feeder eddy.
The core of the Loop Current was 150 miles from the oil slick Tuesday and has begun to move south, as it does seasonally, one computer model shows.
It will be 200 to 300 miles away from the slick's location on Tuesday within the next five days, according to Eric Chassignet, director of the Center for Ocean Atmospheric Prediction Studies at Florida State University.
That makes the possibility of the slick reaching the Loop Current and bringing oil south along the Florida Coast to the Florida Keys, Florida Bay and Dry Tortugas "pretty unlikely," Chassignet said.
His prediction comes from a tried-and-true model that his agency, the Navy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have been using for the past five years, he said, adding that he is "confident" of its accuracy.
The possibility of wind blowing the slick into the Loop Current was refuted Tuesday by Doug Helton, NOAA's incident operations coordinator from the oil rig accident. He said the winds have not been strong enough in one consistent direction to push the slick to one specific area.
Even if the wind did blow it into a counterclockwise-moving eddy that was 50 miles from slick on Tuesday, that feeder current isn't strong enough to push the oil into the main Loop Current, Chassignet said.
"If it (oil) is trapped in the eddy, not much will be captured by the main Loop Current," Chassignet said.
The immediate concern for environmental damage has been and remains on the offshore islands on the northern Gulf Coast and the wetlands and estuaries of the Mississippi Delta, Helton said."
From: http://keysnews.com/node/23026

"Gulf oil spill could 'devastate' South Florida's environment
By David Fleshler, Sun Sentinel, 10:03 a.m. EDT, May 5, 2010
Few parts of the United States would be as devastated by an oil slick as the southern coast of Florida.
A necklace of federal wildlife refuges wraps around the tip of the peninsula, protecting wading birds, Key deer, American crocodiles and nesting sea turtles. The largest coral reef system in the continental United States forms an undersea rainforest of fish, crabs, sponges and coral, extending from the southern end of the Keys to the shallows off Palm Beach. The beaches from Broward County up the coast are among the most important in the world for loggerhead sea turtles, now just beginning their annual nesting season.
"A major oil spill would devastate the ecosystem and the economy based on that ecosystem," said Larry Crowder, professor of marine biology at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment. "It's a particularly bad time of year because just about everything is nesting or replicating.
"In the Gulf of Mexico giant blue fin tuna are spawning, and their eggs and larvae float on the surface," he said. "Seabirds and gulls are nesting. For nesting sea turtles, obviously, oiling the beaches could have a devastating impact."
The critical question for South Florida is whether the slick spreading across the northern Gulf of Mexico will be dragged south by the Loop Current, a swift stream of water that flows from the Gulf through the Florida Straits between the Keys and Cuba, feeding into the Gulf Stream, a current that comes within a few miles of the southeast Florida beaches.
"Exactly when the oil will enter the Loop Current is unknown, but it appears to be imminent," said Robert Weisberg, an oceanographer at the University of South Florida who tracks the current. "Once it's in the Loop Current, it's only a matter of a week or so before the oil is at the entrance to the Florida Straits, and one more week in the vicinity of Miami and Palm Beach."
Continued at: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/flo...,6744447.story


Putting the current state of things in the area into perspective, a news video from Key Largo: http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local-b...-92814149.html


Will the oil spill seriously impact South Florida, the Keys, Cuba and the Bahamas? No way to know yet, it is still too soon. Preparations are underway just in case.


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Old 05-05-2010, 04:27 PM
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Thanks for all the info rick!
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:53 PM
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You're welcome, here's some more:

NOAA - Coral Reefs: Spills and Other Threats
http://tinyurl.com/Coral-Spill-Response

NOAA - Home | Emergency Responders | Responding to Oil Spills
http://tinyurl.com/NOAA-Responder-Guide

Also, some ideas about how this mess may have come about are explored in the latest update to the other thread, along with mitigation efforts, new plume drift modeling here:
http://fksa.org/showthread.php?p=45276#post45276
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:38 PM
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Florida Response Update - May 6, 2010:
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwater...nse_050610.pdf

Florida Situation Report #8:
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwater...rt8_050610.pdf

API Summary for today:
http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/pro...06&id=11484342

The plume is still keeping its distance from the Panhandle and the Loop Current for now, a good thing. Efforts are underway to drill a cutoff well, to place a containment over the leak at 5000 ft., to intercept existing product with booms, skimmers and through ongoing controlled burns around the source area.
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:53 PM
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"Florida Specific:
• The 72-hour NOAA trajectory shows no oil landfall in Florida.
• Oil Containment Boom (in feet)
o 93,500 deployed in Florida
o Pensacola staging area: 160,900 deployed/ 11,300 staged/ 20,000 ordered
o Panama City staging area: 6,000 staged/ 20,000 ordered
• In accordance with established plans, protective booming is now being deployed in the coastal areas of Escambia, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa Counties.
• There are 401 British Petroleum (BP) and contract personnel working on the effort in the Pensacola area.
• BP issued a 25 million dollar block grant to Florida, which is being used for booming costs.
• The incident command post is established in the U.S. Coast Guard’s Sector St. Petersburg for the west coast of Florida. A virtual planning section is set up for Sector Key West."
Continued at: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwater...rt9_050710.pdf

"Boom Placement:
• Approximately 160,400 feet of boom has been placed out of the Pensacola and Panama City staging areas.
• An additional 16,700 feet is expected to be placed today.
• Currently 11,300 feet of boom is staged in Pensacola with an additional 20,000 booms on order. In Panama City, there is 6,000 feet staged and an additional 53,000 feet of boom on order.
• Placement of boom is based on tides and where the oil is threatening, as well as direction given in each region’s area contingency plan.

• The booming strategy focuses on identified environmentally sensitive areas.
o Estuaries and inlets are at the top of the list, not the beach areas.
o This is to protect sensitive habitat that support wildlife and fish.
o If the oil washes on the beach, the sand can be cleaned.
o Note that booms are not a failsafe solution.
o They can become ineffective in high seas, strong winds, or currents over one knot.

• Florida’s countieswill notice an advisory if conditions become unsafe.

• Consider the following tips for avoiding negative health impacts from an oiled shoreline:
o Avoid entering areas where oil can be seen or smelled.
o Avoid direct skin contact with oil, oil-contaminated water and sediments.
o Do not swim or ski in areas affected by the oil spill, and if traveling through the area by boat, take precautions when hoisting the boat anchor. If oil makes contact with skin, wash it off with soap and water.
o Do not fish in oil spill-affected waters.
o Do not harvest or eat dead fish, fish with oily residue or fish that have a petroleum odor.
o Avoid boating through oil slicks or sheens.
o Young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and individuals with underlying respiratory conditions should avoid the area.
o Prevent pets from entering oil-contaminated areas.
• Those near Florida’s Gulf Coast may detect an odor because of the oil spill. Some people are more sensitive to these odors and may experience nasal irritation and feelings of nausea. In combination with seasonal allergies, such as sensitivity to pollen or pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, some people may experience more severe symptoms.
• Individuals experiencing symptoms that are aggravated by the odors from the oil spill should consider:
o Staying indoors, in air conditioning, and avoiding strenuous outdoor activity.
o If symptoms do not improve, contact a primary care physician or other health care provider for medical advice.
o Individuals who have pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma or other respiratory illness should contact their health care provider if feeling symptomatic."
Continued at: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwater...nse_050710.pdf

"Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: NOAA Modifies and Extends Commercial and
Recreational Fishing Closure in the Oil-Affected Portions of the Gulf of Mexico
Closed area restricts fishing in less than five percent of the Gulf"


Continued at:
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwater...y_bulletin.pdf


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