Potential tropical trouble brewing in gulf
Hurricane experts are putting Texas residents on alert for a potentially fast-forming tropical system now churning off the coast of Louisiana. Should conditions remain favorable, a tropical depression could form by the middle of the week as it moves westward toward the Texas coast. AccuWeather reported that light wind shear, combined with above-normal water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico, mean conditions are favorable for a tropical depression or even a tropical storm by mid-week. “An influx of tropical moisture, streaming up from the Gulf of Mexico, will be running into a stalled front across the southern U.S. The first named storm, Tropical Storm Alex, formed five days later in the Gulf of Mexico and produced heavy rainfall as it crossed Florida.myrgv.com
Forecasters monitoring potential area of low pressure in northern Gulf of Mexico
The National Hurricane Center is watching for the potential for an area of low pressure to develop in the northern Gulf of Mexico early next week. This potential area of low pressure has been given a 20% chance of development into a tropical cyclone within the next 5 days. The NHC is also watching an area of cloudiness and showers that have become a little more concentrated near a tropical wave located over the central tropical Atlantic Ocean. Environmental conditions appear conducive for development of this system over the next few days, and a tropical depression could form during the early to middle part of next week. This system is forecast to move westward at 15 to 20 mph over the tropical Atlantic, approach the Windward Islands on Tuesday, and move into the southeastern Caribbean Sea by Wednesday, the NHC reports.myrgv.com
La Nina equals triple tropical trouble!
I’ve been talking all year about La Nina, that cooler-than-normal water in the Pacific, which basically means dry weather for Texas and a lack of upper level winds across the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Its opposite, El Nino, is warmer than normal Pacific water which creates those upper level winds and those winds can shear apart developing tropical systems. So El Nino is El Amigo in that regard! La Nina not so much.
Bad news for the 2022 hurricane season: The Loop Current, a fueler of monster storms, is looking a lot like it did in 2005, the year of Katrina
A satellite image of ocean heat shows the strong Loop Current and swirling eddies. Christopher Henze, NASA/AmesThe Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1, and the Gulf of Mexico is already warmer than average. Even more worrying is a current of warm tropical water that is looping unusually far into the Gulf for this time of year, with the power to turn tropical storms into monster hurricanes. It’s called the Loop Current, and it’s the 800-pound gorilla of Gulf hurricane risks. When the Loopnews.yahoo.com
The Gulf is ready for action
As I write this and check my pool water, it’s an amazing 88°! Totally ready for swimming, but the pool is a shallow body of water and easy to heat up when we’re having record heat! The Gulf of Mexico water is still hovering in the upper 70s to low 80s near shore, but 80° is that magical threshold where the water is warm enough to sustain tropical storms and hurricanes. And that number, which calculates to 26° Celsius, is abundant and even higher goes to 28°C right now:
New red snapper rules mandate venting tool
The DESCEND Act defines both venting tools and descending devices. Commercial fish descenders: There are several practical fish descenders available. For more information, visit www.sheltonproducts.com ($6) or search the Bass Pro website for the SeaQualizer Fish Release Tool ($59). Venting tools: Another tool to vent a fish involves a sharp needle or steel cannula which is used to puncture a fish’s inflated swim bladder so it can return to deep water. The new rule on using descenders or venting tools aims to reduce mortality of under-sized fish that must be released, as well as improving mortality rates for catch-and-release.myrgv.com
Wreck of only sunken Gulf whaler discovered 190 years later
Roughly 15 years before Herman Melville introduced the world to Moby Dick, a whaling ship from Massachusetts sank near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Nearly 190 years later, experts say, it’s still the only whaler known to have gone down in the Gulf of Mexico, where the threat of enslavement at Southern ports posed a risk for Black and mixed-race men who often were part of whaling crews. An old news clipping found in a library shows its 15 or so crew members were rescued by another whaling ship and returned home to Westport, Massachusetts, said researcher Jim Delgado of SEARCH Inc.news.yahoo.com
Trump plane makes emergency landing after engine failure
A plane carrying former President Donald Trump was forced to make an emergency landing in New Orleans last weekend after suffering engine failure over the Gulf of Mexico. The details of the emergency landing, first reported by Politico, were confirmed Wednesday by a person familiar with the incident who was not authorized to speak publicly about it and spoke on the condition of anonymity. The engine failure occurred shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday as the former president was traveling on a donor's private plane from a Republican National Committee donor retreat in New Orleans back to his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago.news.yahoo.com
Sea Turtle, Inc. releases cold-stunned turtles
On Tuesday, Sea Turtle, Inc. released 77 cold-stunned Atlantic green sea turtles back into the ocean at Cameron County Beach Access #4. Group by group Sea Turtle, Inc. personnel took turns carrying turtles of all sizes into the ocean’s recurring waves. In total, Sea Turtle, Inc. rescued 80 cold-stunned turtles from the cold temperatures this past weekend. “We got a few on Friday, most of them on Saturday and a few on Sunday,” Sea Turtle, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Wendy Knight said. “We could not do this without you.”Those who see or come across a stranded sea turtle on South Padre Island or Boca Chica beach are asked to call Sea Turtle, Inc.’s 24/7 emergency line at (956) 243-4361.myrgv.com
The return property taxpayers get for their money (Jan. 31, 2022) – Houston Public Media
On Monday's show: A massive sale of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico last year has been invalidated, and a new study examines whether taxpayers in the city may be paying for more than they receive in services from the county.houstonpublicmedia.org
A federal judge canceled major oil and gas leases over climate change – Houston Public Media
The ruling revokes leases sold in the Gulf of Mexico, in the largest oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history. It says the Interior Department failed to consider the greenhouse gases it would produce.houstonpublicmedia.org
The Biden administration sold oil and gas leases days after the climate summit – Houston Public Media
The Biden administration oversaw one of the largest oil and gas lease sales in American history just days after pledging to take action on climate change at the international climate summit.houstonpublicmedia.org
What to Know about this August Front
August fronts do happen, but rarely, and one is slated to limp through here next Tuesday/Wednesday. The models both push this through although the American seems to be a bit more optimistic. Here’s the latest from the American model--just follow that green precipitation line going through here and into the Gulf. That’s the front!
New study triples estimate of red snapper in Gulf of Mexico
The $12 million Great Red Snapper Count estimated that the Gulf holds about 110 million adult red snapper -- those at least 2 years old. More than 60% of the red snapper were in areas that previously had not been checked, according to the study by 20 scientists from 14 universities and NOAA. AdThe report estimated that about 48 million adult red snapper swim off Florida, 29 million off Louisiana, 23 million off Texas and 10 million off Mississippi and Alabama. He noted that the red snapper count received twice as much funding as all of the studies he oversees at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Congress voted for the study in 2016, as red snapper recreational seasons got shorter and shorter while anglers kept seeing more and bigger fish.
Galveston orcas stun visitors: Other creatures visitors can find off the Gulf Coast
GALVESTON, Texas – Last week’s viral video of orcas swimming near a Galveston Party Boat had people talking about the wonders of the island’s wildlife. Greg Whittaker, animal husbandry manager and wildlife expert with Moody Gardens, spoke to KPRC 2 about these unexpected visitors of the Gulf and what other animals Galveston visitors can expect to see around the island. Usually, they would be hunting fish such as tuna and smaller dolphin species,” Whittaker said. Dolphins (Pixabay)Sea turtlesSea turtles, according to Whittaker, are usually found in the bay areas of the Gulf, foraging for food. Larger stingrays are usually found in the deeper waters of the Gulf, while smaller types (usually golden colored) are finding clams on the Gulf shoreline, according to Whittaker.
WATCH: Rare orca sighting off Galveston coast goes viral
Guests aboard the "New Buccaneers" party boat on Galveston Bay encountered a pod of Orcas swimming away from the boat. GALVESTON, Texas – No, it’s not Sea World, but a group of fishing enthusiasts had an “once in a lifetime” adventure after a pod of orcas rode along with them on a boat. Posted by Galveston Party Boats, Inc. on Wednesday, March 17, 2021Harderman added he thought the orcas were a mix of pilot and killer whales, but many of them were identified as juvenile orcas. AdThe Facebook video posted on the Galveston Party Boats page quickly went viral Thursday, capturing attention nationwide. Orcas such as the species captured on the viral video are known to be endangered, according to NOAA Fisheries.
Interior postpones March oil leases onshore and offshore
The Interior Department said Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 that it is postponing onshore and offshore oil lease sales planned for next month in line with President Joe Biden's executive order on climate change. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)NEW ORLEANS – The Interior Department said Friday that it is postponing onshore and offshore oil lease sales planned for next month in line with President Joe Biden's executive order on climate change. The onshore sales were postponed to confirm the adequacy of underlying environmental analyses, said Interior spokesperson Melissa Schwartz. AdLow interest and small attendance at offshore lease sales covering different parts of the Gulf of Mexico prompted President Barack Obama's administration to combine them. “Canceling this huge offshore Gulf oil auction helps protect our climate and life on Earth," said Kristen Monsell of the Center for Biological Diversity.
Biden halts oil and gas leases on US land, water for 60 days
In the closing months of the Trump administration, energy companies stockpiled enough drilling permits for western public lands to keep pumping oil for years. That stands to undercut President-elect Joe Biden's plans to block new drilling on public lands to address climate change. Its effect could be further blunted by companies that stockpiled enough drilling permits in Trump's final months to allow them to keep pumping oil and gas for years. Oil and gas extracted from public lands and waters account for about a quarter of annual U.S. production. But there are other ways an ambitious Biden administration could make it harder for permit holders to extract oil and gas.
Houston-area forecast: Sweater weather this weekend
HOUSTON – Cold air has settled into Southeast Texas and will be sticking around for a while. We are in the beginning of the longest stretch of cold weather that has hit Houston so far this season. As we head into late Sunday, temperatures will start to drop and wintry precipitation will be getting close to Southeast Texas! Sunday NightAccumulations will be insignificant in Southeast Texas but snow will accumulate north and northwest of our area. Weekend Travel WeatherAfter Sunday’s rain/snow mix event, the rest of the ten day forecast shows a cooler than normal start with plenty of sunshine for the week ahead.
Oil companies snag Gulf of Mexico waters for offshore drilling in last bid before Biden transition
The industry saw Wednesday’s auction as potentially the last opportunity to lease federal waters for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for the next four years. In the last opportunity for oil companies to bid on federal Gulf of Mexico waters under a Trump administration, the federal government on Wednesday leased more than a half-million acres to companies for offshore oil drilling and production. Oil companies have struggled this year as the pandemic, combined with less faith from Wall Street investors, have left them strapped for cash. A handful of Texas energy companies, including a subsidiary of Murphy Oil, which recently said it would relocate its headquarters to Houston from Arkansas, made smaller offers. “This lease sale is pouring fuel on the flames of climate change,” said Emma Pabst, a global warming solutions advocate with Environment Texas.
Tropical Storm Iota forms, could follow Eta’s deadly path
Hurricane experts were closely watching the Caribbean, where Tropical Storm Iota formed Friday afternoon. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Iota could bring dangerous wind, storm surge and as much as 30 inches (76 centimeters) of rainfall to northern Nicaragua and Honduras. The storm was located about 350 miles (560 kilometers) south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica and had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph). Iota is a record-setting 30th named storm of this year’s extraordinarily busy Atlantic hurricane season. Earlier, firefighters in Tampa had to rescue around a dozen people who got stuck in storm surge flooding on a boulevard adjacent to the bay.