April 22, 2015
April 20th, 2015 marked the 5 year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In this visible satellite image from the following day, the plume of smoke can be seen in the center of the image blowing southeasterly from the oil rig. The image below is courtesy of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For a full animation of the image below, visit the link below and click on the center of the blank image. The animation is fascinating, not only showing the smoke plume billowing out from the exploded oil rig, but also shows remnants of the land breeze the previous night which pushed clouds south of the Deepwater site, then a subsequent sea breeze as daytime heating commences in the afternoon. The daytime convective clouds over the Mississippi Delta of Louisiana are most fascinating, preferentially forming on the small spits of land or shallowest waters to form micro scale ribbons of cloud. Upper level clouds that go racing by near the end of the animation demonstrate wind shear though the depth of the atmosphere, as they travel rapidly eastward while shallower clouds are blown in other directions by the near-surface winds.