Jeff Masters’ post, Act I, Scene I, Tropical Depression One of the Hurricane Season of 2010, indicated that a tropical depression was forming in the Western Caribbean. The National Hurricane Center has now confirmed this prediction and designated the storm Alex. In the discussion this morning was a note I did not like at all:
THE GFDL…SHIPS…AND LGEM
MODELS FORECAST ALEX TO BE A HURRICANE OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO.
THE INTENSITY FORECAST WILL NOT YET DO THAT…BUT WILL CALL FOR
MORE STRENGTHENING OVER THE GULF THAN THE PREVIOUS FORECAST.
Five years ago, Hurricane Cindy formed at about this same of year and from the same location. She went right through the area where the oil is currently gushing from the Gulf.
This weekend, a number of people reading this blog and throughout the coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico will be watching for reports on Tropical Storm Alex. If it goes ever so slightly in a more northerly direction, it will disrupt and hinder the Oil Spill containment and clean-up efforts. It will be disaster for the coastal areas if it pushes oil into the estuaries. CNN noted these two scenarios in Tropical Storm Plus Oil Slick Equals More Fear and Uncertainty:
"The greatest nightmare with this storm approaching is that it takes this oil on the surface of the Gulf and blows it over the barrier islands into the bays and the estuaries," Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, told CNN. "And that is where you really get the enormous destruction, because it’s just very difficult to clean up those pristine bays."
Alex is heading is west-northwest direction and was not predicted to directly pass over the massive oil slick caused by the ruptured BP undersea well, though its path could change.
A tropical storm in the Gulf has the potential to disrupt BP efforts to collect gushing oil and drill relief wells. It would also complicate efforts to clean up miles of coastline. High winds and seas could distribute the oil — still gushing from a blown deepwater well — over a wider area while storm surges could wash more oil ashore, according to a fact sheet prepared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
While searching YouTube for a fitting and more optimistic conclusion to this post, I came across the following which shows how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy the remarkable talents and creativity of others in our age: