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Weather Blog: Tricky Oil Forecast

by Gene Norman / 11 News

khou.com

Posted on May 6, 2010 at 5:46 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 10:48 PM

Clouds began to clear over the spill yesterday, giving the crew aboard the International Space Station an opportunity to see the disaster from space.  Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi took this picture:

Earlier this week, there was speculation that some of the oil leaking in the Gulf might get picked up by the stronger loop current that comes in from the Caribbean and then does a u-turn back toward the Florida Peninsula and the East Coast of the U.S.  However, a series of eddy currents, small swirls in the Gulf circulation near the spill, are making forecasting tricky.  Here's a look at those Gulf currents courtesy of ROFFs Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service:

In addition to those influences, a cool front moving in from the west this weekend is forecast to stall over the area, leaving variable winds.  In a way, if the spill doesn't move much that could help crews continue their containment efforts.  However, the longer the oil stays out there, the more of it spreads and in some cases begins to sink.  That poses a danger for marine wildlife in the Gulf.

The front I mentioned is also forecast to slip into Southeast Texas this weekend, temporarily disrupting the humid weather that began to move in today.  There could be a few isolated showers early Saturday followed by drier weather through Sunday.  This is early May though, so don't expect the humidity to stay away too long.

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