STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — AccuWeather.com — High temperatures and quiet seas will create an opportunity for workers in the Gulf to complete work on the Helix Producer this week.
A new containment cap is expected to be placed on the leaking well sometime Monday and be collecting oil at its full capacity by the end of the week.
The Helix Producer was initially delayed because of weather, and while rough seas may have hampered cleanup in past weeks, tranquil conditions will prevail for this week.
Additional mechanical setbacks occurred this weekend, though reports put the delay at less than a day.
In a press briefing on Friday, Admiral Thad Allen said replacing the containment cap would be accelerated because of “a weather window that will allows to potentially 7 to 10 good days of weather.”
‘We’d like to take advantage of that,” Allen said.
Waves will remain at 1-2 feet for most of the week, with a slight chance of swellMondaying to heights of 4-5 feet sometime Friday night or into the weekend.
Containment booms will be their most effective when placed over calm waters.
Temperatures will continue to be hot, with highs rising into the 90s then cooling into the 70s overnight.
The calm weather may also enhance the use of the MZ-31 airship, which arrived on Thursday. The blimp will be used to visually track the oil spill, directing cleanup and containment efforts.
Calmer seas may also provide beneficial conditions for A Whale, the Taiwanese super tanker that is predicted to process up to 21 million gallons of contaminated water per day.
Rough weather may have impacted the effectiveness of the ship in earlier tests.
AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Tom Kines contributed to this report.
By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com