From Green Right Now Reports

It’s happening. A “small portion” or “light sheen” of the BP oil slick has reached the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico, which could very likely carry it toward Florida, according the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Gulf currents (Image: NOAA)

Gulf currents (Image: NOAA)

However, as the oil travels toward and along Florida’s west coast it will become “highly weathered” before it reaches the Florida Straits and “both the natural process of evaporation and the application of chemical dispersants would reduce the oil volume significantly,” NOAA reported in a news release this afternoon.

Translation: Tarballs coming!

Or not. NOAA also reported that the oil “entrained” in the Loop Current could still miss Florida’s beaches. If it gets caught in a clockwise revolving offshore eddy, it would not be headed for the Florida Straits.

“Both the location of the Loop Current and location of the oil slick are dynamic and constantly changing. NOAA tracks the location of the surface oil daily through analysis of satellite imagery, observer over flights with helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, as well as advanced sensing technology on aircraft,” the agency reported.

The Loop Current pushes into the gulf near the Yucatan and moves across the water in an arc before heading south along Florida’s west coast. Near the tip of Florida it merges with other currents, becoming the Florida Current as it moves across the straits. It joins the Gulf Stream and moves north along the Eastern Seaboard.