Coast Guard’s Expert: “There will be oil off the coast of Miami shortly, if it’s not already there. It’s happening”

Thursday, June 10, 2010
By Paul Martin

USF Expert’s Forecast For Today: Oil Off the Coast of Miami, Miami New Times Blog, June 9, 2010:

“There will be oil off the coast of Miami shortly, if it’s not already there. It’s happening,” says Dr. Robert H. Weisberg, director of the University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group in the school’s College of Marine Science. And Weisberg says he has the forecasts to prove it–four of them to be exact. The latest updates to those forecast has oil from the Gulf spill showing up in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Miami today.

It’s no surprise then that Weisberg says he has already received reports of oil from the Gulf spill off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. “And if it’s off the coast of Fort Lauderdale then it means it has already been by Miami.” Weisberg understands why some government and tourism officials are hesitant to play up the threat of oil on South Florida beaches. But that doesn’t make it any less serious, he cautions.

The way Weisberg explains and eddy has formed in the massive loop of oil still growing in the Gulf. “If the loop reattaches with the eddy then it could mean a lot of oil for Miami. That is the reality,” he says. “It all depends on whether the loop current reattaches and those things we can’t really predict.”

He says that the fact that more oil hasn’t been spotted off the coast of Miami, considering it unique position so close to the Gulf Stream, has been pure good fortune. “So far Miami has lucked out big time.” Everyday he says they reinitialize the forecast with the latest information from Navy satellites and other government agencies as well as surface drifters deployed by USF itself. “It’s the best rendition you can get.”

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