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AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL 900 AM EDT FRI JUN 18 2010 .DISCUSSION...11 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS CONTINUES TO SHOW A WEAK PRESSURE PATTERN ACROSS THE REGION WITH A HIGH PRESSURE RIDGE FROM MIDDLE TENNESSEE NORTHEASTWARD INTO CENTRAL PENN. THIS HAS OUR REGION AGAIN IN A LIGHT NORTHERLY FLOW. THE LOW LEVEL AIRMASS CONTINUES TO BE WARM AND MUGGY WITH DEWPOINTS ACROSS MUCH OF THE REGION IN THE LOW TO MID 70S THIS MORNING...WITH UPPER 70S DEWPOINTS AT THE COAST. VAPOR IMAGERY AND 500 MB DATA SHOW A MID LEVEL RIDGE CENTERED OVER WESTERN LOUISIANA...PLACING OUR REGION IN DEEP LAYER NORTHERLY FLOW. PRECIPITABLE WATER ON THE 12 UTC SOUNDING AT KTAE WAS 1.99 INCHES. THE AIRMASS DOES APPEAR VERY MOIST FROM THE SURFACE UP TO ABOUT 550MB. ABOVE THIS...THE AIRMASS DOES DRY OUT. A SIMILAR PROFILE IS INDICATED AT THE KFFC SOUNDING THIS MORNING AS WELL. A MODIFIED KTAE SOUNDING OF 97/70 THIS MORNING SHOWS ABOUT 3100 J/KG OF SBCAPE WITH AN LI OF -7C. AGAIN TODAY THESE ARE VERY FAVORABLE VALUES FOR THE LIGHT NORTHERLY FLOW REGIME...THOUGH COVERAGE OF SHOWERS AND STORMS IS EXPECTED TO BE HINDERED SOMEWHAT BY THE SLIGHTLY DRIER AIR ALOFT. THE CURRENT FORECAST SHOWS THIS SCENARIO WELL...BUT MAY MAKE A FEW ADJUSTMENTS TO THE FORECAST TO SHOW A LITTLE LESS COVERAGE IN THE NORTHERN PORTIONS OF THE FORECAST AREA. THE REMAINDER OF THE FORECAST IS ON TRACK WITH NO ADDITIONAL CHANGES NEEDED. HAVE A GREAT DAY! && .MARINE...CONDITIONS OUT OVER THE MARINE AREA REMAIN LIGHT WITH GENERALLY NORTHERLY FLOW NEAR THE COAST SHIFTING TO WESTERLY WELL OFFSHORE. RADAR IS SHOWING NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND STORMS ACROSS THE MARINE AREA MOVING SOUTH. WINDS COULD BRIEFLY GUST TO 20 OR 25 KNOTS IN AND NEAR THESE STORMS. COVERAGE OF THESE STORMS WILL DIMINISH BY THE AFTERNOON HOURS. && .AVIATION...SIMILAR TO YESTERDAY...GIVEN AN EXPECTED LIGHT NORTHWESTERLY MEAN WIND FROM NEAR THE SURFACE TO ABOUT FL100...THE AFTERNOON SEA-BREEZE TSRA WILL LIKELY BE MORE PREVALENT ACROSS THE FLORIDA TERMINALS THIS AFTERNOON COMPARED TO ELSEWHERE. INITIAL SCATTERED CONVECTIVE ACTIVITY NEAR THE COAST WILL PROPAGATE INLAND THROUGH EARLY EVENING. CONDITIONS NEAR OR IN ANY TSRA WILL GENERALLY BE MVFR TO IFR.
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 800 PM EDT THU JUN 17 2010 FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO... 1. A STRONG TROPICAL WAVE APPROACHING THE LEEWARD ISLANDS IS PRODUCING AN AREA OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. ALTHOUGH THE ASSOCIATED SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY HAS INCREASED THIS EVENING...IT REMAINS POORLY ORGANIZED DUE TO STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS. DEVELOPMENT...IF ANY...IS EXPECTED TO BE SLOW TO OCCUR AS THIS SYSTEM MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT ABOUT 15 MPH. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINS AND GUSTY WINDS ARE POSSIBLE OVER PORTIONS OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS...THE VIRGIN ISLANDS...AND PUERTO RICO OVER THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
1.) Storm Fuel: I am very concerned with any storm that makes it into the Gulf of Mexico this Summer. It is mid june and the water temperatures of the gulf are ranging 85-89 already. Hurricanes typically form when the water temperature is at least 83 degrees. The gulf will be a bath tub this summer, and will stay warmer, longer. This is like gasoline for tropical storms.
2.) Sub tropical high pressure building over the northeast and mid-atlantic. High pressure systems typically last for a few weeks at a time during summer. Last year we had high pressure closer to the tropics. High pressure systems act as steering mechanisms for storms, they rotate clockwise, and are often what keeps a storm from veering back into the Atlantic. Models project the high to be farther to the north, which if it is, will be helping to steer storms towards the Carribean and Gulf, by blocking them from turning out to sea.
3.) Moisture: The evidence of a La Nina developing this summer will promote a warmer, more humid atmosphere in the Atlantic. this will aid a storm in its development. Last year we had a lot of dry air at the upper levels, that largely helped prohibit storm development.
4.) Lack of windshear: Wind shear is the movement of winds in different directions horizontally in the atmosphere. Windshear is what blows the tops off hurricanes and prohibits them from developing an eye wall. Forecast models are depicting less windshear in the Atlantic.
There are other elements, such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation….but we will leave those for another blog. It’s time for Live at Lunch..
(CNN) — A power string of six earthquakes shook the northern coast of Papua, Indonesia, Wednesday, killing at least two people and causing widespread damage on Yapen Island, officials said.
“We don’t know how bad it is yet, but we have received reports that 200 houses on the coast line were damaged and 227 others were in town,” according to Papua police spokesman Wachyono, who goes by a single name. The national disaster coordinating agency will be sending a team to assess the situation, he said.
Four of the earthquakes hit the region within an hour’s time, starting just after midday. A fifth and sixth quake hit the region a few hours later.
A 6.4 magnitude quake quake struck at 12:06 p.m. local time, followed by a more powerful 7.0 magnitude quake 10 minutes later, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. Within the next 42 minutes, a 5.1 magnitude quake also rattled the region, along with a magnitude 6.2 quake. Weaker quakes of magnitude 4.9 and 4.8 hit the area after 3 p.m.
The epicenters of the earthquakes were clustered within 90 kilometers (56 miles) of each other and some 180 kilometers (110 miles) north of Enarotali, Indonesia.
“People ran out of their houses and headed for higher ground in fear of a tsunami,” said Denni Siregar, the police chief of the Yapen Island sector, which lies near the epicenters. “There’s no injuries reported yet but at least one house is damaged.”
A tsunami watch that was issued by the Indonesian Meteorological Agency was later lifted.
Indonesia is on the so-called Ring of Fire, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
In 2004, a 9.1-magnitude underwater earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra, triggering a tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people in 14 countries.
The tsunami, which washed away entire communities, caused nearly $10 billion in damage and more casualties than any other tsunami in history, according to the United Nations. Indonesia was among the hardest hit nations.
…CAROLINAS AND ERN GULF COAST STATES…
A VERY MOIST AIRMASS WILL AGAIN BE IN PLACE ACROSS THE CAROLINAS
EXTENDING SWWD INTO GA AND ERN AL THIS AFTERNOON. SFC DEWPOINTS IN
THE LOWER TO MID 70S F SHOULD YIELD STRONG INSTABILITY WITH MLCAPE
VALUES IN THE 2000 TO 3000 J/KG RANGE. SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS
THUNDERSTORMS SHOULD INITIATE IN A WEAKLY SHEARED ENVIRONMENT BY
EARLY TO MID-AFTERNOON WHEN LOW-LEVEL LAPSE RATES WILL BE VERY
STEEP. THIS COMBINATION OF PARAMETERS SHOULD BE FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE
PULSE STORMS WITH WET DOWNBURSTS POTENTIAL. THE THREAT APPEARS TO BE
GREAT ENOUGH TO WARRANT A SLIGHT RISK FROM NC SSWWD INTO SRN/CNTRL
GA…SE AL AND THE NRN FL PANHANDLE.
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 800 PM EDT TUE JUN 15 2010 FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO... AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED ABOUT 900 MILES EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES IS PRODUCING LIMITED SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS HAVE BECOME UNFAVORABLE FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION AND THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD TO NORTHWESTWARD NEAR 15 MPH. ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. $$
By Jon Auciello, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
Since 2010 began, no other region of the United States has seen the variety of extreme weather that has ravaged the Oklahoma City region. Ice storms, blizzards, softball-sized hail, deadly tornadoes and now massive flooding have each hammered the region.
Since Sunday evening, the Oklahoma City area has received as much as 10 inches of rain, flooding streets and forcing dozens of water rescues.
The flooding is only the most recent form of extreme weather to strike the area in 2010.
The first of two weather-related federal disasters in Oklahoma was declared following an ice storm in late January that coated the southwestern and south-central portions of the state with three quarters of an inch of ice, according to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. Massive power outages affecting 180,000 customers resulted from the Jan. 28-29 storm.
On March 20, blizzard conditions overtook the state. The death of one Oklahoman was blamed on the storm after it unloaded 8 to 12 inches of snow. The National Climatic Data Center states that late-season snowfall propelled Oklahoma to its fifth-snowiest winter with 23.3 inches.
A second federal disaster was issued because of weather after a deadly tornado outbreak occurred on May 10.
Of the 29 tornado reports that were filed in the state that day, the two strongest tore through the Oklahoma City metro area. Both of these twisters measured EF-4 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Each also took a life.
The storms on May 10 also brought huge hail to the region. Some stones were as large as softballs (4.75 inches), inflicting extensive damage to buildings and vehicles across central Oklahoma.
A few days later on May 16, another severe weather outbreak ripped through central portions of the state. Hail measuring 4.25 inches in diameter caused massive damage in Oklahoma City and surrounding locales.
A recent article by The Oklahoman estimated the damage inflicted on these two days was likely to exceed a billion dollars.
Unfortunately, Oklahoma City may not be off the hook with this latest bout of extreme weather immediately. The National Weather Service has placed the area under a Flood Warning until 12:18 p.m. Wednesday when drier, but humid weather is expected to arrive.
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 800 PM EDT MON JUN 14 2010 FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO... AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED ABOUT 1250 MILES EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES HAS CHANGED LITTLE TODAY...BUT CONTINUES TO SHOW SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST TO REMAIN SOMEWHAT CONDUCIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THIS LOW FOR THE NEXT DAY OR SO...BUT ARE EXPECTED TO BECOME LESS FAVORABLE AFTER THAT. THERE REMAINS A MEDIUM CHANCE...40 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD TO NORTHWESTWARD AT ABOUT 15 MPH. ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
A large ridge of high pressure (centered over the Chattahoochee valley) is sitting right on top of the South. In the summertime, this means hot, sticky, and stagnant weather conditions… along with the possibility of record-breaking high temperatures.
For the most part, the only way to get any relief form these conditions is when isolated storms start to pop-up. For that to happen, the air at the surface has to get mighty hot so that the rising air can break through the “cap” in the atmosphere. It’s that “breaking through” that gives us those isolated – instead of the much-needed, widespread – showers and storms.
The good news is that this past weekend’s near-record heat – combined with Monday’s new high temperature record for Dothan of 101 degrees – is starting to break through that “cap” – triggering some heavy downpours, and even some reports of hail around Headland, Monday afternoon.
There’s been enough “cap breakage” that our shower and storm chances for Tuesday and Wednesday is now at 50%.
I hope you get some of that 50%!
This weekend was a scorcher across the southeast! Augusta hit 101 on Saturday, Dothan was 99 Saturday, 100 Sunday, and Panama City Beach set 2 new records 94 on Saturday, beating the record of 93 on 2003, and 91 on Sunday beating the record of 89 in 1998. Highs are expected to remain in the 96-99 range through thursday with heat index 102-106 through Wednesday!
Additionally, there has been some development in the tropics. An area of thunderstorms has organized around 1,100 miles East Southeast of the Cape Verde islands. It is very unusual to see developments in the Atlantic this early into the season, as the best area for development early in hurricane season is typically in the warmer, more shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Carribean. This cluster of storm is anticipated to develop into a Tropical Depression and possibly into our first Tropical Storm, Alex. The area of development is moving West Northwest at 15 mph and is expected to encounter more hostile windshear after two to three days. While this storm is very far away from making landfall, it will be monitored closely over the next week. We will also monitor the tropical wave that is not far behind it, moving off the west coast of Africa. Now is a great time to prepare your hurricane kit, for this potentially activce 2010 season!
The vine that ate the South could be the vine that pollutes the South!
At a test site in Madison County, Ga., scientists studied the potential effect of kudzu on ozone pollution. They compared the emissions of ozone-causing nitrogen oxides from soils where kudzu had invaded with sites where it was absent.
The invasive vine more than doubled nitrogen oxide emissions.
“We found that this chemical reaction caused by kudzu leads to about a 50 percent increase in the number of days each year in which ozone levels exceed what the Environmental Protection Agency deems as unhealthy,” said study co-author Manuel Lerdau. “This increase in ozone completely overcomes the reductions in ozone realized from automobile pollution control legislation.”
Saturday is going to be verrrry hot. Latest computer models are indicating 100 degrees for Dothan and Albany. (The record in Dothan is 99, set in 1977). The Heat Index will be around 105 – highest for the year so far. Not as hot in the Panhandle, south of I-10, but still above average. Don’t overdo it!
Only a slight chance for a few showers Sunday. Better chances (40%) for Monday – but still just showers. No significant rain in sight.
Taken from icecap.com. This guy is exactly why I believe politicians are often bandwagoners, supporting their beliefs not in hard evidence and fact, but by what logically “makes sense” in their minds. See for yourself.
Lindsey Graham Said What About Climate Change?
By Kate Sheppard
On Tuesday, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham told reporters that he would vote against the climate bill he helped author. Now he’s going one step further. Graham, one of the few Republicans who claimed to care about climate change, now says global warming is no big deal.
Graham appeared on Wednesday at a press conference with Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), who was rolling out his own energy bill, a measure that relies heavily on expanding nuclear power and raising fuel economy standards without putting a cap on carbon dioxide emissions. Yesterday, Graham said he didn’t think any energy bill could get 60 votes this year because oil drilling has become too controversial. Today he decided, at the last minute, to back Lugar’s bill.
Reporters asked Graham several times about why he was supporting Lugar’s bill, when just a few months ago he had argued that the Senate shouldn’t pass a “half-assed” bill that lacked hard restrictions on carbon emissions. Graham replied that he now doesn’t think pricing carbon is that important. “The science about global warming has changed,” he noted, offhandedly. “I think they’ve oversold this stuff, quite frankly. I think they’ve been alarmist and the science is in question,” Graham told reporters. “The whole movement has taken a giant step backward.”
I followed up with him. “Can you clarify that statement that the science on global warming has changed?” I asked.
“The public acceptance about global warming has changed,” he said.
“Well, what do you think?” I replied.
I’ll print his response in full, because it’s a humdinger:
It makes sense to me that the planet is heating up because you can measure heat. It’s not a stretch to say that what goes into the air is contributing to global warming, but I don’t want to be in the camp that says I know people in Northern Virginia will never see snow. At the end of the day, I think carbon pollution is worthy of being controlled, whether you believe in global warming or not. I do believe that all the CO2 gases, greenhouse gases from cars, trucks, and utility plants is not making us a healthier place, is not making our society better, and it’s coming at the expense of our national security and our economic prosperity. So put me in the camp that it’s worthy to clean up the air and make money doing so. This idea that carbon’s good for you. I want that debate. There’s a wing of our party who thinks carbon pollution is okay. I’m not in that wing.
I asked him, if carbon emissions aren’t warming the planet, why are they bad? Here’s his reply:
I just think it’s bad…the reason I don’t hang out in traffic jams and get out and suck up the wind is I think this crap is bad for you. We’ve had an increase in asthma cases. If you’ve ever been to Thailand stuck behind 400 motorcycles, it’s a lousy place to be. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist in my view to understand that the stuff floating in the Gulf, if you burn it doesn’t make it better for you. If you wouldn’t go swimming in this stuff, why would you burn it and want to breath it?
Graham ended his commentary on the subject on this note: “I do believe the environmental benefit of a low carbon economy is worth the Republican party’s time and attention. Does climate change have to be your religion? No, it is not my religion, it is my concern.”
This is quite different from what Graham has been saying for the past eight months. Last October, he co-authored an op-ed with John Kerry (D-Mass.) arguing that that “climate change is real and threatens our economy and national security.” Now he’s fumbling to figure out how to make it seem like he still cares – but not too much.
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL 855 PM EDT THU JUN 10 2010 FRIDAY...THE OVERALL SYNOPTIC PATTERN WILL NOT CHANGE MUCH FOR THE FINAL DAY OF THE WORKWEEK. 594DM H5 RIDGE WILL BE RIGHT OVERTOP THE FORECAST AREA...AND LEAD TO ANOTHER HOT AND SUPPRESSED DAY. KTLH 00Z SOUNDING PROFILE SHOWS A WELL MIXED BOUNDARY LAYER TO AROUND 6000FT TODAY. ASSUMING ANOTHER SIMILAR MIXING EVENT FOR FRIDAY WILL RESULT IN HIGH TEMPS AWAY FROM THE COAST AT LEAST INTO THE MIDDLE 90S. LATE IN THE AFTERNOON/EARLY EVENING A SMALL INFLUX OF MID-LEVEL MOISTURE TOWARD THE I-75 CORRIDOR/SUWANNEE RIVER VALLEY MAY BE ENOUGH TO POP A FEW SHOWERS/STORMS WHERE THE BIG BEND AND EAST COAST SEA-BREEZES EVENTUALLY COLLIDE. LOCAL HI-RES WRF IS SHOWING A SCATTERING OF STORMS FOR THESE FAR EASTERN ZONES DURING THE EVENING...WITH THE ACTIVITY FADING AFTER SUNSET. CURRENT FORECAST GRIDS SHOWING 20-30% RAIN CHANCES/COVERAGE OVER THE EASTERN THIRD OF THE AREA...AND SEE NO REASON TO MAKE ANY ADJUSTMENTS AT THIS TIME. OUTLOOK FOR THE WEEKEND HAS THE UPPER RIDGE BEGINNING TO RETROGRADE TO THE WEST...BUT STILL HOLDING AN INFLUENCE ON THE REGION. THEREFORE...ANTICIPATED BOTH SATURDAY AND SUNDAY TO HAVE HIGH TEMPS IN THE LOWER TO MIDDLE 90S. PERHAPS A BIT BETTER CHANCES FOR A FEW WIDELY SCT AFTERNOON/EVENING SEA-BREEZE STORMS...ALTHOUGH OVERALL COVERAGE SHOULD REMAIN SUPPRESSED. && .AVIATION... VFR CONDITIONS WILL PREVAIL AT ALL TERMINALS FOR MOST OF THE FORECAST PERIOD. THE ONLY EXCEPTION IS THE POSSIBILITY FOR A BRIEF PERIOD OF MVFR VISIBILITY AT TLH...ABY AND DHN AROUND DAWN. ISOLATED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL DEVELOP ACROSS AREAS MAINLY E OF ABY AND TLH...WITH CHANCES HIGH ENOUGH TO MENTION IN THE FORECAST FOR VLD. && .MARINE...LIGHT WINDS AND SEAS ARE EXPECTED THROUGH THE SHORT TERM IN SOUTHEASTERLY FLOW. &&
I thought I would bring up some statistics from the Gulf of Alaska oil spill on March 24, 1989 to give perspective on the immense magnitude of the Gulf of Mexico spill. Valdez was tragic, but BP’s spill is unprecidented.
10.8 million or 250,000 barrels was leaked in Alaska. The entire tanker was only carrying 55 million gallons of oil, 26-30,000 barrels is leaking into the Gulf of Mexico PER DAY.
Oil covered 1,300 miles of Alaskan coastline and 11,000 sq. miles of ocean with an estimated 100,000-250,000 animals died from that spill, but now in the gulf, with so much dispersant it is very difficult to know how many oil plumes are in the gulf of mexico.
It has already been debated that The Gulf of Mexico has been up to 6 times larger than the 1989 spill, and NOAA officials have said it could take 30 years to clean the Exxon Valdez spill. Less than 10% of the Valdez spill was recovered from the gulf of Alaska, and 26,00o gallons of oil are estimated to still be in the sand in the Alaskan beaches.
Several residents of Alaska, including a former mayor, committed suicide after the spill.
If this doesn’t chip the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, what does this spell for the gulf’s future?
Lots of people on the internet are blaming this on the oil spill. Not so, says an official at Alabama Marine Resources. They are aware of the situation and say it’s nothing unusual. The fish are Gulf Menhaden, and fish kills like this happen around this time of the year because Menhaden become so plentiful in many areas that they use up all the oxygen in the water. Both pictures are from Dog River Marina in Mobile.
The most likely location for tropical storms in June? The Gulf of Mexico.
If one does form, history suggests it will form close to the coast and then make landfall fairly quickly. Rather than tracking the storm for 8 to 10 days, you might only have a day or two to prepare and move to safety.
The storm could start after a low-pressure system moves out of Texas and into the Gulf, or a late-season cold front leaves just enough energy behind to interact with the rapidly warming water.
The strongest tropical system ever recorded in June was Audrey, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in southern Louisiana on June 27, 1957.
We’re over 5 weeks into the Gulf Oil spill and it now appears as if it could be August before a second well has been completed that will halt the flow of the current spill. While some are saying this is now 9 times larger than the Gulf of Alaska Exxon Valdez spill, it begs the question, How will this spill effect generations to come? It is most certainly depressing to be force-fed news of continuous failure, but how long will it take to disperse, and get back to “normal”? The Gulf of Mexico is roughly 615,000 square miles in size, and 810 nautical miles in length. There’s an estimated 660 QUADRILLION gallons of water encompassed in it. But the majority of the gulf is shallow, and the so much of the coastline is widely inhabited. Since it is an unprecedented event, and I am no expert, it is hard to speculate the future of the Gulf of Mexico, but I do believe the vast majority of the oil that is being released will be going to go out to sea. However, the Sunshine state’s biggest fears are coming closer to becoming reality. As of June 2, oil sheen is being reported only 9 miles offshore of Pensacola Beaches. This is the farthest east the spill has been noticed. Will this translate fishing and harvesting devastation eventually into tourism and hospitality business failure?
It is undeniable that thousands of families livelihoods are being devastated by this spill. The chain reaction trickles from fishing and oysters, to the shelves and people who run the stores that sell the product, to the drivers who deliver what is now unable to be harvested. How long will THAT take to recover? And then there is the Environmental impact. Nothing is more gut wrenching than photographs of oil slicked dying animals, that had no hand in this. I imagine people’s reaction to those photos are very similar to those 11 that were killed on the oil rig; a feeling of helplessness.
While I have far more questions than answers, I do believe there are enough people in this country that do care, and will work tirelessly to come back to clean up the mess, long after it is not stealing daily headlines. My biggest fear though after all is said and done, is that change will not be made. We must learn from this. Big business can no longer get by cheating the work ethic that this country was founded on, and when they do, they MUST be held accountable, so that devastation of this magnitude may never be reached again.