WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - So far the damage from Deepwater Horizon oil leak has been confined to the Gulf of Mexico. However, recent supercomputer model simulations from the National Center for Atmospheric Research shows that once the oil moves into the Gulf's Loop current some of it will move towards the U.S. east coast including North Carolina within weeks or possibly a few months.
Oil has been leaking from the Deepwater horizon since April 20. It is possible oil will continue to leak into the Gulf until August, when BP expects relief wells to be in place capping the oil for good.
NCAR's models show the oil moving around Key West, Florida and the up the east coast of Florida along the Gulf stream. The Gulf stream should eventually take some oil near Cape Hatteras according to the models and then out into the central Atlantic. These simulations even show a little oil possibly reaching Europe down the road.
It is too early to talk about the timing of any oil reaching southeast North Carolina. This model also doesn't account for how diluted the oil would be or what the surface or underwater characteristics of the oil would be. These are questions that will have to be answered with more research.