Depending on the track of this season’s hurricanes, the oil spill is sure to be spread over a wider area, but it is difficult to model exactly where the oil would be transported to.
One clue is that the wind of hurricanes circulate in a counter-clockwise direction …. but what track will they take …. east or west of the spill?
Will they drive the oil toward the east coast, toward Texas, or toward island and coastal resorts? As we watch and wait, Hurricane Alex is now developing 1400 miles east-south-east of the Gulf, moving at a slow 15 mph …. plenty of time to pick up massive energy as it approaches!
Recent years have produced as few as 3 hurricanes; this year, scientists are talking about 10 or more.
At this point, tracking hurricanes, is closer to conjecture than science ….. Scientists do offer this hopeful note: with a massive oil slick, evaporation may suppress the natural “feeding” of a storm with more moisture, thus reducing its’ strength. Though this statement is offered up to the public as hopeful, the oil slick is very patchy. Besides, the operative word here, …. is “may.”
Experience teaches us little. Oil spills in the past, have been caused by hurricanes but they were not a long-lasting leak, and covering a large area prior to a storm.
What is sure is that the winds are likely to spread the oil over a wider area; during Katrina and Rita (2005) both oil released during the storms became very widely dispersed.
Other questions remain unasked …. more at this point than are answered:
- Will the oil be lifted into the atmosphere?
- Would electrical storms react somehow oil in the atmosphere?
- How will it impact the workers?
- How soon will the ships be withdrawn from the potential storm area?