Scientists: Oil Could Reach East Coast in Weeks
BP has yet to cap the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, and as millions of more gallons of oil rush into the waters as new National Center for Atmospheric Research predicts that spill could start affecting the Atlantic Coast in a matter of weeks with Miami's shores some of the first hit.
Six powerful computer models were used to predict the path of the spill. However they were based on the dispersal of liquid the same density as water, and not on actual oil. The researchers also stress that the model is not a forecast. Weather conditions and the Loop Current -- the current through which oil could reach the east coast-- can't be predicted accurately more than a few days in advance.
However the model estimates the potential range of the oil, and that range is devastating.
"I've had a lot of people ask me, 'Will the oil reach Florida?'" NCAR scientist Synte Peacock said in a release. "Actually, our best knowledge says the scope of this environmental disaster is likely to reach far beyond Florida, with impacts that have yet to be understood."
Watch a video of the NCAR models below.
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