|Oil spill ‘unlikely’ to impact NWTN during hurricane season |
|Posted: Friday, June 4, 2010 12:40 pm |
| OILY GULF – A supply vessel passes through an oil sheen near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana, Monday, May 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) |
The murky mess in the Gulf of Mexico plaguing BP officials and the federal government in the Gulf of Mexico, has caused a significant amount of marine life damage as an estimated 20 to 40 million gallons of oil have already made its way into the ocean since an April 20 explosion at the off-shore oil rig.
National media outlets are reporting that nearly 1 million gallons are spewing out from the busted oil well that lies on the bottom of the ocean every day.
With hurricane season officially beginning this week, the far-reaching impacts of massive storm systems and a never-ending flow of oil into the ocean are causing meteorologists to speculate about the consequences, or lack thereof.
“I would say that the oil in the ocean is not going to get drawn into a hurricane and brought into the Northwest Tennessee region this summer during hurricane season,” National Weather Service Senior Meteorologist Michael Scotten said on Wednesday.
“Hurricanes and tropical storms cover such a large area compared to the size of the oil spill. There is so much air and water vapor with these types of systems that the amount of oil would be insignificant,” Scotten added.
While Northwest Tennessee has felt the rippling effects of large-scale hurricanes in the past, the most significantly impacted areas from the oil spill are projected to be Louisiana and Florida, according to Accuweather meteorologists.
According to a press release issued by Accuweather, if the oil makes it far enough inland, water supplies along the Gulf have the potential to be impacted.
Oil also has the potential to be pushed farther into the Louisiana Delta and into the natural wildlife reserves along the Gulf Coast.
There are many factors that need to be considered when predicting what areas could be contaminated by oil. The strength of the tropical storm or hurricane and the exact path of the storm will both determine the spread of the oil and even how much of the oil will be mixed with the water in the Gulf.
The storm surge created by the hurricane or tropical event will also determine how far inland the oil contamination will occur.
“We have never really seen a situation like this, so it is pure speculation as to what might happen,” Accuweather meteorologist David Samuhel said in a phone conversation on Wednesday.
“A hurricane draws from a large area of moisture before it evens gets to the gulf, so I think only coastal areas would see an issue when a storm surges,” he added.
Thus far, 16 to 18 tropical storms are predicted for this hurricane season.