Warm core eddy formation in the Gulf of Mexico. Image credit:Texas A&M.; Dept of Oceanography, Quarterdeck Online TAMU.edu
As reported in the Miami Herald, physical oceanographers are tracking a notable change in the Gulf 'loop current.' "...over the last two weeks, a counter-current on the outside of the loop began pushing east and may force the current into a circular pattern oceanographers call a ``warm core eddy.''" The new eddy - currently 100 miles west of Tampa - "typically will drift west -- bad news for Texas and Mexico but a good development for the Florida Keys."
Texas' Governor Perry may favor secession from the Union a bit less until after he gets the Federal emergency aid declaration. Note: this news is no reason for Florida Key dwellers to kick back.
Scientists say it is much harder to predict what might happen to submerged oil if it moves south. It's possible, for instance, that seasonal upwelling of cold water in the summer could push it out below the eddy and loop current onto the shallow Continental Shelf west of Florida, Muller-Karger said.
If that happened, winds and weather would take over.
``After it's on the shelf, it can affect anywhere along the coast,'' he said.