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Deepwater Horizon Incident, Gulf of Mexico
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As the nation’s leading scientific resource for oil spills, NOAA has been on the scene of the Deepwater Horizon spill from the start, providing coordinated scientific weather and biological response services to federal, state and local organizations. More
Situation: Friday 30 April
Today the Deepwater Horizon incident declared a Spill of National Significance (SONS). A SONS is defined as, “a spill that, due to its severity, size, location, actual or potential impact on the public health and welfare or the environment, or the necessary response effort, is so complex that it requires extraordinary coordination of federal, state, local, and responsible party resources to contain and clean up the discharge” and allows greater federal involvement. Estimates of the release rate increased to 5000 barrels (210,000 gallons) per day based on surface observations and reports of a newly discovered leak in the damaged piping on the sea floor.NOAA is assisting the Unified Command in evaluating a new technique to apply dispersants to oil at the source – 5000’ below the surface, if successful this would keep plumes and sheens from forming. Work continues on a piping system designed to take oil from a collection dome at the sea floor to tankers on the surface; this technique has never been tried at 5000’. Drilling of a relief or cut-off well is still planned, but will not be complete for several months.
Dispersants are still being aggressively applied. Over 100,000 gallons have been applied. The test burn late yesterday was successful and approximately 100 barrels of oil were burned in about 45 minutes. Additional efforts are planned contingent on good weather.
With shore impacts looming, sensitive shorelines are being pre-boomed. Over 180,000 feet of boom have been deployed, and another 300,000 feet are forward staged. NOAA efforts have included: getting pre-impact samples surveys and baseline measurements, planning for open water and shoreline remediation, modeling the trajectory and extent of the oil, supporting the Unified Command as it analyzes new techniques for handling the spill. Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) activities are also underway.
- Forecasts indicate persistent winds from the southeast through the weekend which will push surface oil towards shore
- The State of Louisiana allowed shrimpers to start an early season today to get ahead of oil impacts
- NOAA’s Assessment and Restoration Division (ARD) is evaluating concerns about potential injuries of oil and dispersants to fishes, human use of fisheries, marine mammals, turtles, and sensitive resources
- ARD is coordinating with Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to evaluate plankton and trawl sampling efforts.
- Baseline aerial surveys to assess marine life were conducted today with personnel from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), these will continue as needed.
Clouds start returning early in the afternoon… SE wind 10-15 mpg… A little muggy late in the day… High 80… Scattered showers with some isolated downpours throughout the afternoon and early evening.
Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, have added a Montecito-area property to their already vast real estate holdings, reports the Montecito Journal. The couple spent $8,875,000 on on an Italian-style villa with 1.5 acres, a swimming pool, spa and fountains, six fireplaces, five bedrooms, nine bathrooms and an ocean view. (Wonder what the carbon footprint of this will be?)
Concern is growing along the Gulf coast in the wake of the major oil spill. Currently up to 200,000 gallons are spilling into the Gulf of Mexico each day. The leading edge of the oil is now 16 miles away from the mouth of the Mississippi river. Southeasterly winds are only complicating the situation.
Here is a look at the current conditions.
A TORNADO WATCH is in effect until 6 am cdt Sunday morning for all AL, GA and FL counties in the WTVY-TV viewing area. Thunderstorms moving in from the Gulf of Mexico may strengthen during the overnight hours. Please be aware of quickly changing conditions close to you.
…SEVERE WEATHER REMAINS POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON INTO SUNDAY…
DYNAMICS ARE RATHER WEAK THIS MORNING…SO THE ACTIVITY
HAS REMAINED TAME. HAVE BOOSTED THE POPS FOR THE MORNING FOR SOUTH
GEORGIA TO ACCOUNT FOR THESE STORMS. ONCE THIS ACTIVITY LIFTS
NORTHEAST…EXPECT A BREAK IN THE ACTION WITH POSSIBLY SOME
HEATING AS THE LOW CLOUDS BREAK UP. THE ACTION WILL CONTINUE THIS
AFTERNOON AS THE MAIN SHORTWAVE MOVES INTO THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI
AS THIS HAPPENS…THE SHEAR AND INSTABILITY WILL INCREASE
ACROSS THE WESTERN HALF OF THE FORECAST AREA WITH THE POTENTIAL
FOR SEVERE STORMS. OF SOME CONCERN THIS MORNING ARE THE OBSERVED
DEWPOINTS…WHICH ARE CURRENTLY RUNNING 5 TO 7 DEGREES ABOVE
GUIDANCE. IF THESE VALUES DO NOT MIX OUT OVER THE NEXT FEW
HOURS…INSTABILITY COULD BE MORE THAN PREVIOUSLY ANTICIPATED THIS
AFTERNOON WEST OF THE APALACHICOLA RIVER. ALL MODES OF SEVERE
WEATHER WILL BE POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON INTO THE EARLY EVENING. BY
The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis (named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas), above the ash plume of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano on the evening of April 22, 2010. (As far as we can tell, it’s the only volcano ever named after an eyechart!)
The past few years Panama City Beach has had some pretty easy hurricane seasons, but experts predict the 2010 season is predicted to be more active than the average for the 1950-2000 seasons. Reports estimate 11-16 named storms, 6-8 hurricanes and 3-5 major hurricanes to occur during this year which is up significantly from the past two years as well as the average.
This forecasting system uses a statistical methodology that comes from 58 years of past data and climate-related global and regional predictors.
The early forecast for the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season issued in December can be seen as a good estimate of future storm activity. The scientists at Colorado State University are hesitant to release actual storm number predictions until April 2010. Yet, this December 2009 report aims to “satisfy the curiosity of the general public and to bring attention to the hurricane problem.” This is the 27th year that the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project has released a hurricane season forecast.
Due to the fact that previous December forecasts have yet to show a satisfactory forecast skill, the December reports only issue a range of numbers and an assessment of current conditions. This assessment provides the background for the forecast in determining the likely conditions for Atlantic basin tropical cyclone presence. The specific numbers will not be issued until early April 2010.
The hurricane season officially runs June 1st through November 30.
First things first, the radio requires 3 AAA batteries. They should be used only as a back up power source, when the power goes out. Otherwise, plug your radio into a wall, place it somewhere near a window that you will hear it, and plug the jack into the one that says DC power on the back,
Based on where you live will decide what counties you would like to include or exclude in your list of what counties your radio picks up. I would recommend having more than one, but not including all of them, it will drive your crazy. If you need counties out of the area, you can go to the link listed to the National Weather Service.
Turn the radio on, and hit the Menu Button, it will then say TIME, the up and down arrows help you move through the menu options, to set the clock hit SELECT and then use the up down arrows to move the numbers, the left and right arrows move you to the next place once you select the right number. Once you have the time hit MENU,
Hit MENU again, and then use the up and down arrows to move through the list until you come to the option titled SAME SET. This is where you will program your county codes. Hit SELECT. You then have three options, MULTIPLE, SINGLE or ANY. Multiple is typically what most people chose, because you can ad as many or as few counties to your liking. SINGLE will only put one county in, and ANY will set off every watch or warning for any surrounding county…and will ultimately drive you crazy
Once you have selected MULTIPLE it will say SAME 01, hit select again, this will lead you to where you enter your six digit county code. You should see six blank dashes like this — — — — — –. Use your up and down arrows to enter the numbers, once you have the right first number, use the side arrow to move to the next one. Once you have all six digits entered, hit SELECT again. This will take you back to SAME 01. Hit the up arrow to move you to SAME 02…and so on and so forth continue this way until you have all your county codes entered.
Finally, to make sure you are getting the best sound quality for your area, scroll through the menu again until you see CHANNEL. Before doing this, make sure you’re not near any electronics or anything that would obstruct a good signal. Hit SELECT and then scroll through the different frequencies until you hear the clearest quality. Once you find it, hit MENU until it brings you back to the clock. And VOIA LA…your radio is set!!!
Here’s another “thank you” to everyone who showed up to have their Midland Weather Radios programmed at Bruno’s in Dothan Friday. If you had to wait a little longer than you planned, thanks for your patience. From time-to-time we were just overwhelmed with the lines!
Remember, if you haven’t bought your weather radio yet, they’re still available for $29.99. And be sure to ask one of the Bruno’s managers to help you program it for your specific county.
In less than 2 months we will enter the 2010 Hurricane Season. While activity does not really begin to pick up until usually early August, Hurricane Forecasters are predicting a much more active 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season than 2009, with 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes (Cat 3 or higher) as predicted by Colorado state forecasters Gray & Klotsbach.
The GOES 13 East Satellite was launched by NOAA today, and is going to orbit the area where most of our Atlantic systems develop. It’s pretty exciting stuff. To read more on the GOES 13 Satellite, check out the link above.
Just a quick “thank you” to everyone who showed up to have their Midland Weather Radios programmed at FoodWorld Wednesday. If you had to wait a little longer than you planned, thanks for your patience. From time-to-time we were just overwhelmed with the lines!