Spill could reach Florida Keys by Sunday
Oil has entered or is near the loop current, which takes water to the Keys and the Gulf Stream.
Tue, May 18, 2010 at 9:47 AM
REEFS IN DANGER: Aerial view of Carysfort Reef off of Key Largo, Fla. Despite BP siphoning some of the oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, worries escalated about the ooze reaching a major ocean current that could carry it through the Florida Keys and up
University scientists are forecasting that oil from the spill off Louisiana could reach Florida's Key West by Sunday.
University of South Florida researchers said Tuesday the southern arm of the massive spill has entered or is near the so-called loop current, which circulates in the Gulf and takes water south to the Florida Keys and the Gulf Stream.
The Gulf Stream could eventually take the oil up Florida's Atlantic coast.
Twenty tar balls were found by the Coast Guard off Key West on Monday. They are being tested to see if they came from the Louisiana spill or elsewhere. Tar balls can occur naturally or come from other sources such as ships.
USF scientists use currents, wind forecasts and other elements to make their predictions.
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