By: Jessica Gresko
By: Jessica Gresko

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - TV weather forecasters on the Gulf Coast
have a new responsibility: predicting where oil will wash ashore.

The forecasters began adding the slick to their weather lineup soon after the spill began in April, but their initial success was spotty. The oil didn't move as quickly as predicted, and Florida Panhandle residents spent days awaiting oil before it actually appeared.

One potential difficulty for forecasters is there aren't as many instruments collecting ocean data as on land. Weather instruments
affixed to oil rigs provide eyes for forecasters, but some areas with fewer instruments can leave them blind.

The meteorologists have turned to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which produces daily forecasts of the spill's track.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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