The LOOP is located in the Gulf of Mexico in a semi-tropical zone. Average summer vtemperature is 290 c (840 f) and average winter temperature of 140 c (570 f). Thunderstorms in summer and cold fronts in winter develop quickly and can be severe. The terminal is located in a hurricane zone and although such storms are infrequent, the area is often effected by hurricsanes passing east or west of the port. Poor visiabilty occurs most often in January when low visiablity occurs two percent of the tiime.
Tides and Currents
Currents usually set W for about 55% of the time and E for about 25% of the time. The average speed is 0.72 knots.
Heavy outflow from the Mississippi River may cause strong W currents, often in excess of 4 knots.
Wind and Sea
Easterly winds prevail throughout the year. Thunderstorms in the summer and cold fronts in the winter develop quickly and can be quite severe with wind speeds up to 25 m/sec (50 knots-Beaufort 10) developing for short periods.
The port is in a hurricane zone, and although such storms are an infrequent occurrence at the terminal, the area is often affected adversely during the months of June through November by hurricanes, passing E or W of the port. The Loop Port Superintendent will use the following guidelines in deciding whether various port activities will be allowed to begin or continue, or whether they will be terminated:
a) Bunkering is not allowed in the port.
b) Tanker mooring and hose hook-up are generally allowed in significant seas of up to 2 m (6').
c) Operation of the mooring launches and work boat, as well as cargo discharge, are generally considered safe in significant seas of up to 3.7 m (12').
d) In seas of 3.7 m (12') or more, cargo discharge may be stopped and cargo hoses disconnected, especially if a storm is building up.
e) Tankers may be requested to depart:
- if seas become greater than 5 m (15')
- if winds become greater than 22 m/sec (44 knots/Beaufort 9)
f) The complete shut-in of all systems and the evacuation of the port will be ordered when it is necessary due to a hurricane. Evacuation orders will be issued well in advance of the storm's expected arrival.