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Gulf oil spill: Weather to worsen Sunday

May 1, 2010 |  3:45 pm


The storm system that uprooted trees in Arkansas on Saturday could pose a threat to cleanup efforts in the Gulf Coast, as heavy winds and storms move through the Louisiana area Sunday. Raging winds have already made it difficult for responders to clean up oil, but conditions will worsen Sunday, said Ken Graham, the chief meteorologist with the National Weather Service in New Orleans.

The high winds have pushed waves in the Gulf of Mexico to 7 to 10 feet. Sunday, the seas are expected to rise an additional 2 feet. “That doesn’t help,” Graham said. “And it makes it tough on people getting boats out there.” Graham said high seas and potentially strong thunderstorms could make it unsafe for vessels to be at sea.

But there is a ray of hope, Graham said. The winds should be shifting late Monday or early Tuesday, which will push water from land and allow the seas to return to reasonable levels.“If we can just get through tomorrow,” Graham said. “Things will get better Monday. Because it sure hasn’t this weekend.”

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: National Weather Service forecast map for late Saturday afternoon