Loop Current and Eddies

The media portrayed the loop current as some great expressway that would send the spill hundreds of miles in a few days. The truth is a bit more complicated. There are competing currents. Also, only a small portion of the spill, called the "tendril" will potentially enter the loop current.

The image below comes from the University of South Florida. Four different models are shown. The WFS model has the oil spill "tendril" moving in the SSW direction. In the GOM Hycom model, the oil will reverse course, forming a hook pattern. The SABGOM model shows the two eddies keep the spill from going in any direction, just disperses the end of the spill. Finally, the Global Hycom model has a more pronounced hook pattern.

It's interesting, this tug of war of currents. But, no matter which model is right, it is all good news for Florida, because the longer the oil stays away from our coastline, more of the oil will degrade and disperse. Stay tuned.

See link:

University of South Florida website