Tropical Storm Debby has formed in the Gulf of Mexico

By: angelafritz , 9:18 PM GMT on June 23, 2012

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Tropical Storm Debby has been named by the National Hurricane Center this afternoon after hurricane hunters investigated Invest 96L and found a solid closed circulation, with maximum winds of 50mph and gusts up to 65mph. All interests along the Gulf of Mexico coast should pay attention to the progress of Debby. Debby is drifting north at 5mph. The storm has brought heavy rains to Western Cuba, South Florida, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula over the past two days, but the disturbance's heaviest rains are located well offshore over the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, where heavy thunderstorms are generating winds near tropical storm-force. A buoy 243 miles west of Naples, FL measured sustained winds of 31 mph, gusting to 38 mph, with 10-foot waves, at 8 am EDT Saturday morning. Our Wundermap for the surrounding ocean areas shows a large region of the northern and eastern Gulf of Mexico is experiencing winds of 20 - 30 mph.

Visible satellite loops show an unorganized tropical cyclone with an obvious surface circulation, though the thunderstorm activity is well displaced to the east. The heavy thunderstorm activity is slowly expanding and growing more intense. Upper-level winds out of the west continue to create moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear over the region, though that is expected to increase over the next few days. Water vapor satellite loops show a region of dry air over the central Gulf of Mexico, which will continue to interfere with Debby's development and make it hard for the west side of the circulation to maintain heavy thunderstorms. Ocean temperatures are about 28.5°C (83°F) in the Central Gulf of Mexico, which is about 1°F above average.


Figure 1. Saturday afternoon satellite image of Tropical Storm Debby in the Gulf of Mexico.


Figure 2. Saturday afternoon forecast track for Tropical Storm Debby.

Forecast for Debby
The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Debby to remain a tropical cyclone over the next 5 days as it drifts north and then west toward Texas. The Hurricane Center is forecasting a very slow progression of the storm, with a potential landfall not occurring until Friday. However, most of the models that predict the turn to the west suggest landfall will happen before or around Wednesday. The models are still generally split on the forecast for Debby; by Monday, the majority of the reliable models, including the ECMWF, NOGAPS, HWRF, and UKMET, agree that a ridge of high pressure will build in over the Southern U.S., forcing Debby west across the Gulf of Mexico and into South Texas by Wednesday. However, the GFS model, which has been our 2nd most reliable track model over the past two years (behind the ECMWF), has consistently been predicting that a trough of low pressure pushing off of the U.S. East Coast will be capable of grabbing the disturbance and accelerating it to the northeast across Florida north of Tampa Bay on Monday. The GFDL model splits the difference between these extremes and takes Debby north to a landfall near the Alabama/Florida border on Tuesday. The predicted track west to Texas is still the most likely outcome, though it remains a low-confidence forecast. In terms of intensity, none of the models is predicting Debby will become a hurricane, nor is the Hurricane Center. Though sea surface temperature is warm (and around 1°F above average), the actual heat content of the Gulf is relatively low. Wind shear is predicted to remain moderately strong through Sunday, but will increase to 30+ knots by Tuesday.

Debby's place in history (by Jeff Masters)
Remarkably, Debby's formation on June 23 comes a full two months ahead of the usual formation date of the season's fourth storm in the Atlantic, August 23. Debby's formation beats by twelve days the previous record for formation of the fourth named storm of the year in the Atlantic, set in 2005, when Hurricane Dennis was named on July 5. An early start to the Atlantic hurricane season has been increasingly common in recent years. In 2008, I blogged about the research of Dr. Jim Kossin of the University of Wisconsin, who published a 2008 paper in Geophysical Research Letters, titled "Is the North Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?" He concluded that yes, there is a "apparent tendency toward more common early- and late-season storms that correlates with warming Sea Surface Temperature but the uncertainty in these relationships is high". Three out of four of this year's early quartet of storms--Alberto, Beryl, and Debby--formed in ocean areas that were more than 1°F above average, which is an unusually high amount of warmth. We should expect to see more early-season Atlantic tropical storms as a consequence of global warming, since cool ocean temperatures are a key impediment to formation of such storms. However, this assumes that factors such as wind shear and atmospheric stability won't grow more hostile for tropical cyclone formation during the early part of hurricane season, and this is uncertain. If we do end up seeing a substantial increase in early-season tropical storms as a consequence of global warming, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Early-season tropical storms are often more boon than bane, bringing much-needed drought-busting rains, like Tropical Storm Beryl did for North Florida last month. With drought frequency and intensity predicted to increase for much of the Gulf Coastal states in coming decades, an increase in rainfall from early-season tropical storms may do more good than the damages inflicted by the high winds and flooding these storms may bring. There is typically a lot of wind shear around in May, June, and July, making it difficult for early season storms to reach major hurricane status. According to Wunderground's list of major early-season hurricanes, since record keeping began in 1851, there has been only one major hurricane in May, two in June, and nine in July. Three of these occurred in the past ten years, so there has not as yet been a large increase in early-season major hurricanes due to global warming.

References
Kossin, J., 2008, "Is the North Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?", Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 35, L23705, doi:10.1029/2008GL036012, 2008.

Angela and Jeff

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Quoting MississippiWx:
Already almost hit the center...looks like the center could be almost due south of Pensacola/Destin, FL area.


They've already found 40mph winds.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7597
2235. emguy
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

That is either a trolling comment or a comment made out of extreme inexperience with the models... LA and FL are more in play than yesterday for sure, but we could easily see a shift back on the 12z runs... There's a reason that even with last night's model information the NHC still says Texas...



You cannot say Texas is in the clear. Models shift all the time, they could easily come right back.


No Neither. I have been forecasting for 27 years. I have also had coorintion with the NHC on many storms in the past. I am familiar with their product timelines, their forecasting language, and what they are doing. Most essential element of their forecast package was in their discussion after referencing the models..."future changes further north and east may be required". They are awaiting the next model runs...but know what is afoot. Major changes in sciance require an application of Continuity of Operations. They are doing it.

Mean time, you should access the NHC webpage, read up of timelines and issuance of products. Know that the 5AM advisory was written at 2AM and that at 2AM they estimated where the storm would be at 5AM. Furthermore, it is 7AM, so look at the satellite and the data and see where it is now. She is getting boxed into an area where storms do make landfall in June...and she will...It was good that the models shifted before failing...
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2234. LargoFl
Quoting Jedkins01:


Heck there needs to be a tropical storm warning soon even down to the Central Florida coast if this thing does turn right, we are getting gusts of 30 to 40 mph and they are offshore winds! If debbie intensifies and moves into say the big bend, those winds become onshore winds here, and those heavier bands move in? Yeah, we could see tropical storm conditions. Am I worried? no, it will just add some excitement to the mix if it happens, but we've been through countless T.S. force wind events. That Tampa Bay area might not get hardly and direct hit but we get a lot of system give us a lot of effects from them.
yes i think warnings should come for florida now, maybe they will as they get the new data from the planes going out there now,tampa nws says a new update comes at 11am..we'll see
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Already almost hit the center...looks like the center could be almost due south of Pensacola/Destin, FL area.

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2232. gator23
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

That is either a trolling comment or a comment made out of extreme inexperience with the models... LA and FL are more in play than yesterday for sure, but we could easily see a shift back on the 12z runs... There's a reason that even with last night's model information the NHC still says Texas...



You cannot say Texas is in the clear. Models shift all the time, they could easily come right back.


Yes but, the less time between now and landfall the more reliable the models become and with most major models now favoring Florida it is looking more and more likely. The ridge has shifted East and degrades west you can see this on the steering patterns
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Quoting LargoFl:


Heck there may require a tropical storm warning soon even down to the Central Florida coast if this thing does turn right, we are getting gusts of 30 to 40 mph and they are offshore winds! If debbie intensifies and moves into say the big bend, those winds become onshore winds here, and those heavier bands move in? Yeah, we could see tropical storm conditions. Am I worried? no, it will just add some excitement to the mix if it happens, but we've been through countless T.S. force wind events. That Tampa Bay area might not get hardly and direct hit but we get a lot of system give us a lot of effects from them.
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2229. LargoFl
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2228. LargoFl
Quoting TampaCat5:
Really coming down now in Tampa! Might be up to 3" by 7AM.
yeah if this stays here we may well get 4-5 inches or even more depending
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Really coming down now in Tampa! Might be up to 3" by 7AM.
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2226. LargoFl
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Got to check my rain guage for Cocorahs at 7AM. I'm going to get soaked. Looks like I've got about 2", about 6 miles north of Downtown Tampa.
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Waltz For Debby seems appropriate. We had a few relatively heavy lines pass through here (Largo/Seminole, FL) half hour to an hour ago, but the rest has just been this relentless drizzle.
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Starting to see some showers wrapping around the WEST side of the CoC on long range radars out of NOLA and Mobile...finally.

Also, shortwave IR indicates a new lind of feeder bands starting to form on the far S. side of the system, so it may be getting some new energy with the shear coming down to the west.

Figure 3p.m. should be interesting, might actually have heavy convection on the west side by then.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
2220. LargoFl
Quoting Jedkins01:
Getting some nice wind gusts this morning at my house, near 2.50 so far, its been gusting easily 30 to 35 mpg consistently for a while now, it is an amazingly broad system!
yes same here, tree's are swaying, a few dead branches have fallen, not too bad but pouring rain finally
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Quoting emguy:


The dabate here was that the reliable EURO broke rank. Originally, the GFS and the EURO had this hitting Florida. GFS stuck with it, stuck with it, stuck with it. EURO bent and went to Texas, then after many many runs, bent and went to New Orleans. All other models are east of it NOW...less the HWRF..So they all joined an eastern half of Gulf idea. Point being, in the battle of the reliables...well the case is closed. Texas option is gone now. Besides...it would just about have to go through all of coastal Louisiana just to have a shot at getting to Texas now anyway. It's too far north to consider Texas any more.

That is either a trolling comment or a comment made out of extreme inexperience with the models... LA and FL are more in play than yesterday for sure, but we could easily see a shift back on the 12z runs... There's a reason that even with last night's model information the NHC still says Texas...



You cannot say Texas is in the clear. Models shift all the time, they could easily come right back.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7597
Quoting CarolinaHurricanes87:


Just saying.... if the professionals don't want to do their job, I'll happily take over... and probably do it for half the salary. Just don't understand why people would be so defensive when they clearly made a mistake.... are they not allowed to be held accountable?


Please stop!
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Getting some nice wind gusts this morning at my house, near 2.50 so far, its been gusting easily 30 to 35 mpg consistently for a while now, it is an amazingly broad system!
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Quoting newportrinative:


Chill. As the other poster stated, this isn't much of a storm right now and your acting as if it is with warnings needed to go up. I live in FL and I am not worried. Gonna get some rain and possibly some wind gusts but that's it.


Just saying.... if the professionals don't want to do their job, I'll happily take over... and probably do it for half the salary. Just don't understand why people would be so defensive when they clearly made a mistake.... are they not allowed to be held accountable?
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2215. GetReal


I pointed this out about three hours ago, and believe that it should be again. Surface pressures remain high over the the Ne GOM coast, Florida and Ga. Surface pressures along the north central gulf coast, especialy off La coastal waters are lower and falling, IMO Debbie will eventually turn WNW towards Se are central La coast.
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2214. emguy
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Pretty major shift east last night on the models... Remember, they do this ALL the time... Wait until the 12z runs today to buy into a more north or east path... IMO, Texas is still most likely for a landfall location.


The dabate here was that the reliable EURO broke rank. Originally, the GFS and the EURO had this hitting Florida. GFS stuck with it, stuck with it, stuck with it. EURO bent and went to Texas, then after many many runs, bent and went to New Orleans. All other models are east of it NOW...less the HWRF..So they all joined an eastern half of Gulf idea. Point being, in the battle of the reliables...well the case is closed. Texas option is gone now. Besides...it would just about have to go through all of coastal Louisiana just to have a shot at getting to Texas now anyway. It's too far north to consider Texas any more.
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AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
524 AM CDT SUN JUN 24 2012

.SYNOPSIS...
LATEST SURFACE ANALYSIS SHOWED A DEEP LOW OF 998MB ASSOCIATED
WITH TROPICAL STORM DEBBY. INFRARED SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWED COLD
CLOUD TOP CONVECTION WEST OF THE CENTER. UPPER AIR ANALYSIS SHOWED A
LARGE ANTICYCLONIC CIRCULATION CENTERED OVER THE CENTRAL PLAINS
AND NORTHEAST FLOW OVER NORTHERN LOUISIANA AND NORTH MISSISSIPPI.
PRECIPITABLE WATER PLOTS SHOWED THE CENTRAL GULF COASTAL SITES ABOVE
1.7 INCHES...ABOVE 2 INCHES AT ALL FLORIDA UPPER AIR SITES.

&&

.SHORT TERM...
THE FORECAST TODAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY IS HIGHLY DEPENDENT ON NHC
OFFICIAL TRACK OF TROPICAL STORM DEBBY. MODELS ARE STILL STRUGGLING
WITH THE TRACK OF DEBBY THROUGH WEDNESDAY. ECMWF TRACK HAS
SHIFTED EAST AND SLOWER THAN PREVIOUS RUNS...BRINGING A DEEP LOW
ACROSS SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA TUESDAY NIGHT. THE SLOW PROGRESSION MAY
DUE THE LARGE RIDGE HOLDING STEADY TODAY THROUGH TUESDAY. GFS TAKES
DEBBY NORTHEAST OVER NORTHEAST GULF THIS AFTERNOON...THEN HOLD IT
STATIONARY TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY AND THEN MOVES DEBBY EAST ACROSS
FLORIDA TUESDAY. WITH THE SLOWER TRACK...HAVE INCREASE RAIN CHANCES
FARTHER NORTH ACROSS INLAND ZONES MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY.
WITH ANTICIPATED CLOUD COVER AND RAIN...HAVE LOWER HIGH TEMPS
ACROSS SOUTHERN ZONES MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY. WITH THIS
TRACK...HEAVY RAINS SOUTH OF TIDAL LAKES IS NOT EXPECTED UNTIL
MONDAY. HAVE NOT INCREASED AMOUNTS MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY YET
AND REALLY CONFINED THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS ALONG THE COAST FOR
NOW...WILL HOLD ON FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR NOW. BEYOND DEBBY...OUR
OFFICE MAINTAINED LOWER THAN NORM RAIN CHANCES WITH TEMPS SLIGHTLY
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Slowly but steadily, convection wrapping around...

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7597
... Flash Flood Watch in effect through Monday evening...

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee has issued a

* Flash Flood Watch for portions of Florida... including the
following counties... Calhoun... inland Bay... inland Franklin...
inland Gulf... inland Jefferson... inland Wakulla... Leon...
Liberty... coastal Jefferson... coastal Bay... coastal
Franklin... coastal Gulf and coastal Wakulla.

* Through Monday evening

* rain bands from Tropical Storm Debby will produce very heavy
rainfall rates and could lead to flash flooding. Projected rain
totals through late Monday range from around 3 to 4 inches near
Interstate-10... to as much as 10 to 12 inches over parts of Gulf
and Franklin counties.

* Flash flooding would be most likely in urban areas and cities as
well as flood prone locations and low lying areas.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead
to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation.

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action
should flash flood warnings be issued.







235 am EDT sun Jun 24 2012 /135 am CDT sun Jun 24 2012/

... Coastal Flood Advisory remains in effect until 8 PM EDT /7 PM
CDT/ this evening...
... High surf advisory remains in effect until 8 PM EDT /7 PM CDT/
Monday...
... High rip current risk remains in effect through this evening...

* surf... breakers 3 to 5 feet this evening building to 5 to 7
feet by Sunday afternoon.

* Coastal flooding... tides are expected to remain at least one
to two feet above normal through the Sunday evening high tide
cycle. Overall storm tide of 2 to 4 feet can be expected
around the time of high tide... with the highest values in Gulf
County.

* Timing... high tides for the Florida Panhandle occur late
Sunday morning between 9 am and 1 PM. It is during that time
that the threat for coastal flooding will be greatest.

* Impacts... minor coastal flooding is expected... impacting low
lying coastal roads. Minor to moderate coastal erosion is
expected with the high surf through Monday.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A coastal Flood Advisory indicates that onshore winds and tides
will combine to generate flooding of low areas along the shore.

A high surf advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in
the advisory area... producing rip currents and localized beach
erosion.

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Quoting NortheastGuy:
What time is Recon headed out this morning?

They're on the way now.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7597
Recon is inbound...

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Very heavy rains here in Cape Coral, no surprises there. The threat for tornados along the west coast of Florida IS real and there are no tornado "watch" boxes anywhere in the state. I do not understand that at all.
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The "C" tower out in the Gulf South of St. George Island has sustained at 44mph. Windy here, 1 mi. North of Gulf in Panama City Beach....
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Quoting CarolinaHurricanes87:


Not the center, but the TS force winds. NHC has a graphic showing where the TS force winds are located.... as of 5AM, they were just offshore (S) of the FLA panhandle, moving N.....

The center isnt going to come ashore, but the TS force conditions will, with no watch or warning in place. Meanwhile, LA has the warnings... and no TS conditions anywhere near them currently.



Chill. As the other poster stated, this isn't much of a storm right now and your acting as if it is with warnings needed to go up. I live in FL and I am not worried. Gonna get some rain and possibly some wind gusts but that's it.
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What time is Recon headed out this morning?
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2204. LargoFl
Quoting marsHen:
finally getting some rain in the lower suwannee river valley!! man do we need this! especially since there's salt water intrusion in the cedar key well field.. not to say that this will fix it but we need rain!! the tides have been mega-high in cedar key lately. wondering if it's flooding there at #4 bridge?
I am glad your getting your needed rains..we too are thankful for this rain here, this year the rain went everywhere BUT here..today..WE get it, yessss
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2203. Skyepony (Mod)
There is Cedar Key.. Expect 2ft what ya got now. Forecast is up a foot from yesterday..
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Pretty major shift east last night on the models... Remember, they do this ALL the time... Wait until the 12z runs today to buy into a more north or east path... IMO, Texas is still most likely for a landfall location.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7597
2201. LargoFl
today people in the panhandle and all over the gulf coast need to see what we here are now experiencing..heavy heavy downpours, some wind yes, a few tornado's yes..but rain so far is this storms weapon..and they need to prepare for it this coming week..its plain and simple..you dont prepare..you lose..so it goes to 40-50-60 mph winds later on..you prepare for it..heed your local warnings yes but you see today..whats coming towards you..this storm is so different..its giving you..PLENTY of warning, im coming towards you slowly..prepare,get your supplies,if you flood easily..leave to a safe spot...plain and simple..the NHC can only warn..its up to YOU..to plan and prepare and leave if thats needed out of the path of this..no use complaining about warnings not coming..you have seen all weekend long..whats coming
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2200. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting CarolinaHurricanes87:


Not so sure it will be a good thing for those in Pensacola, Mobile and areas nearby that were completely flooded with a foot or more of rain very recently. If they thought the flooding last week was bad, imagine if they get another foot of rain out of this... which looks very possible right now, if you look at the radar and projected path


This was the same foreshadowing I brought up a week or so ago. A meander, stall & drowning just off the east gulf coast is what I've been expecting. Still wouldn't be surprised to see what is left go south & west toward Brownsville after.

This storm would really have to stack well before I'm buying a blown forecast & that Debby & not just most the moisture from Debbie is going over FL.. It's still got a broad looking center & check that shear taking the big blow up from the night away before dawn is even here.. Ridge is setting up too.
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2199. marsHen
finally getting some rain in the lower suwannee river valley!! man do we need this! especially since there's salt water intrusion in the cedar key well field.. not to say that this will fix it but we need rain!! the tides have been mega-high in cedar key lately. wondering if it's flooding there at #4 bridge?
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Quoting TampaCat5:

Really? And how do you know this? They didn't drop the ball. You are acting like this is a well organized system that's about to plow ashore. It's not. All the models and forecasts agree it will not be moving much today.


Not the center, but the TS force winds. NHC has a graphic showing where the TS force winds are located.... as of 5AM, they were just offshore (S) of the FLA panhandle, moving N.....

The center isnt going to come ashore, but the TS force conditions will, with no watch or warning in place. Meanwhile, LA has the warnings... and no TS conditions anywhere near them currently.

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2196. emguy
The "gyres" are totally gone now and a single center is finally here. Debby has now consolidated and fully tucked under the convection. Here we go. My forecast of Apalachicola East to Tampa has likely has failed and I thoughouhly admit it, you will definately get continued weather in that area and a piece of the action is definately there. Mean time, this will continue into an area where June storms in the NE Quadrant of the Gulf do hit regularly as well...which is west of Apalachicola, yet no farther west than New Orleans. Texas is in the clear.
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Problem is with the storm moving so slow is that there will be more flood damage than wind. If its only going 3 mph then it is only going to go about 30 miles in 10hrs, long time for drenching rain. The storm is huge it could hang for a couple of days at that rate. You just want to hope it gets moving.
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2193. LargoFl
...24 hours of heavy rainfall..according to the GFS model
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Quoting CarolinaHurricanes87:


Sorry, I disagree. The NHC has TS warnings issued for areas unlikely to receive TS conditions in the timeframe from when they were announced.

Meanwhile, Florida is going to be experiencing TS conditions this morning, with no watches or warnings whatsoever.

If they weren't sure, they either should have waited, or been waaay more broad with their warnings (and narrowed them down as they figure out the path). They dropped the ball. I am amazed why people would defend such unusual actions

Really? And how do you know this? They didn't drop the ball. You are acting like this is a well organized system that's about to plow ashore. It's not. All the models and forecasts agree it will not be moving much today.
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10 named storms will be very easy to get this year! Could be more interesting than 2011 and those sheared tropical storms between african and the caribbean.
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Morning all... 6z GFS

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7597
My girlfriend is a model. She's usually lost, mostly confused, and sometimes unreliable. But I enjoy watching her run.
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Quoting traumaboyy:


Hey AtHome!! We DO need some rain...maybe that will be all Debbie can muster!!



That's what I'm hoping. :)
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I can understand the frustration with the NHC not putting up a simple watch for the entire Western Florida coast. How hard can it be to say, "Let's watch this as conditions are favorable to impact that area in the next 36 hours?"

With that said however, if people are relying solely on a single government agency to issue a watch in order to take action to preserve their life and property, perhaps there isn't anything wrong with a little population control for the stupid ones...just sayin. A lack of a "watch/warning" being issued doesn't give prudence to placing one's head in the sand.
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Quoting masonsnana:
Good morning
Good morning
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.