“Drifters starting in the southern half of the current search area or below (dark blue, green, light blue) can be observed on and around the coast of Western Australia, with many drifting towards Tasmania. No debris has been discovered on the Australian coast. This indicates that a starting location within the current search area, or further north, is more likely.
A significant number of red drifters have already reached the coast of Madagascar and mainland Africa. This is not consistent with the time at which debris was discovered. The first item of debris was not discovered on Reunion Island until 16 months after the accident. This suggests a reduced likelihood of debris originating from the northernmost areas shown in Figure 10 (red and white coloured regions).”
See Investigation: AE-2014-054 – Assistance to Malaysian Ministry of Transport in support of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on 7 March 2014 UTCThis should put an end to all the uninformed speculation. Drifting buoys and simulations matched with debris that washed ashore in the western Indian Ocean suggest that the crash site will be found slightly further north than the current search area. Whether this data and analysis will be compelling enough to continue the search a bit further north or not remains to be seen but it looks like the way to go IMHO.
Besides the tracks of the debris there is the analysis of the wreckage that suggests the plane took a nose dive and may have spiralled down further north due to a shorter flight. It’s tenuous but consistent with the data they have used to justify the current search. I would bet the decision will be made to extend the search northward as the necessary equipment is on site. That might depend on crews needing rest and other bookings for equipment but I can see this search having priority more or less.