Weather conditions have calmed down, including much weaker winds, at the site where the Shell drilling rig grounded in Sitkalidak Island, Alaska.
However, the calmer conditions will not last for long. During the day Wednesday, there might be 20- to 35-mph winds from the southeast with even higher gusts at times. Winds from the southeast are an onshore direction, allowing wave and swell heights to build.
Rain and snow showers will also be around, reducing the visibility at times.
Shell has released a statement on their website in response to the incident:"...We have already begun a review - working with our marine experts, partners and suppliers – of how this sequence of events, including the failure of multiple engines on the MV Aiviq (towing vessel) led to this incident. We intend to use lessons from that review to strengthen our maritime fleet operations, globally. The incident did not involve our drilling operations, nor does it involve any possibility of crude oil release."
More than 250 people are involved in a response to a Shell drilling rig which ran aground around 9:00 p.m. AK time yesterday on the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island.
The rig, known as Kulluk, was adrift on New Year's Eve after the towlines between it and its two tow vessels parted amidst rough seas.
The condition of the grounded rig and its impacts on the environment are not yet known.
Overflights are scheduled to assess the situation, according to Shell, pending improved weather conditions.
“The extreme weather conditions and high seas continue to be a challenge," Susan Childs, Incident Commander for Shell, said in a press release. "...Our priority right now is maintaining the safety of our response personnel and evaluating next steps," Childs said.
When the Kulluk grounded, a large and powerful storm was approaching southwestern Alaska.
"The storm was stirring high winds and large swells," AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Meghan Evans said.
Winds were sustained between 30 and 40 miles per hour with gusts reaching as high as 55 miles per hour. Light rain and fog were reducing the visibility to as low as two to three miles. Monday night, swells reached as high as 35 feet.
The Kulluk is said to be carrying 139,000 gallons of ultra low sulfur diesel and 12,000 gallons of combined lube oil and hydraulic fluid.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
As a second storm in three days pushes east of the Rockies, severe and drenching storms will erupt across areas from the southern Plains to the Southeast to close out this weekend.
Despite Tuesday, March 20 marking the first day of spring, it certainly will not feel like it to those in the mid-Atlantic, where a quick-hitting snow event is expected.
Residents in the burn areas around Southern California are being put on alert for major mud flows and flooding as the start of spring is expected to coincide with the return of rain across the state.
Tropical Cyclone Marcus threatens Australia's Kimberley region with flooding rainfall into Monday.
Severe thunderstorms set to sweep through the Southeast from Monday to Tuesday will open the door for a new round of chilly air to invade the region.
A spell of unseasonable warmth in Germany will be replaced by arctic cold through Sunday as the “Beast from the East” returns.
Lives and property will be in severe danger across southeastern Madagascar as a potent tropical cyclone unloads torrential rain into Monday.