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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Cantore is in Pensacola.
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2035. emguy
Quoting MississippiWx:


Seems like someone had a little fun tonight...got on that good stuff.


No...it was a perfect analogy at the time...I'm looking at the models and seeing how they showed that elongation to the WSW like we see on satellite, then some of them dump it...kinda as a strengthening storm sould be expected to do. Then, the late night P90X commercial just happenned to be on in the background and there was a click. For the record, after sitting on the computer interacting on Wunderground the last few nights...I think I need some P90X to dump some baggage too. It's late/early hours. just trying to have some fun while making a tie in on Debby. :)
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Just looked at regional radar. Kinda surprised they don't have watches or warnings up for the FL panhandle, MS, AL, etc..
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2033. 7544
anyone notice the convection rto the south is moving ene and the north convection is going north maybe this is what the gfs was showing and the split may happen tomorow ?
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Debby looks like a question mark. She doesn't know where she really want to go to.




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Quoting MississippiWx:
Not so sure the center hasn't redeveloped around 28N. She might just come on ashore tomorrow in FL Panhandle..ha

Link
The center seems to be surrounded by about 5 vortexes. My conclusion is that in the last few frames, the common center among those is not only outside the convection but has wobbled south in the last few frames.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting MississippiWx:
Not so sure the center hasn't redeveloped around 28N. She might just come on ashore tomorrow in FL Panhandle..ha

Link
It's easier to see here. Put the animation as fast as possible, and watch the circulation advect ENE/NE towards the deepest convective activity.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Not so sure the center hasn't redeveloped around 28N. She might just come on ashore tomorrow in FL Panhandle..ha

Link


Sure is looking that way. If that's the case there's gonna be a lot of surprised people up there...
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Debbie starting to develop feeder bands south of her circulation (around 25˚N).

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I remember staying up last year until the 11a.m advisory. It was funnn hahaa. Don't plan on doing that again unless there's a cat 5 barreling towards my zip code. Completely screws up your sleeping schedule...not that my sleeping schedule isn't screwed up already of course.


If there is a category five threatening the united states anywhere, I'll sure stay up till land fall.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Not so sure the center hasn't redeveloped around 28N. She might just come on ashore tomorrow in FL Panhandle..ha

Link
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Well that's certainly a big jump for the EURO...
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Quoting RussianWinter:


Staying awake for recon is a bit extreme, I'm staying up till 5am instead.
I remember staying up last year until the 11a.m advisory. It was funnn hahaa. Don't plan on doing that again unless there's a cat 5 barreling towards my zip code. Completely screws up your sleeping schedule...not that my sleeping schedule isn't screwed up already of course.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Nothing other than the fact that no models point to Texas anymore...maybe one.


Ok that's new I'll have to take a look at them. It's strange how none of them can get a handle on this.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
If I do stay awake for the Recon mission, then I may, emphasis on "may", just wake up in time for supper.


Staying awake for recon is a bit extreme, I'm staying up till 5am instead.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting charlottefl:
Reading back through post, did I miss an important developement with Debby??


If anything, a few models shifted to the east, live we've been saying.

Current euro forecast is a NOLA landfall in four days.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
If I do stay awake for the Recon mission, then I may, emphasis on "may", just wake up in time for supper.
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Quoting charlottefl:
Reading back through post, did I miss an important developement with Debby??


Nothing other than the fact that no models point to Texas anymore...maybe one.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
I think the weather models are on the same stuff...they just can't seem to focus


The gfs sure focuses alright, that guy is stone-cold sober!

Crazy, but sober, like a psychopath or something.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Reading back through posts, did I miss an important developement with Debby??
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Seems like someone had a little fun tonight...got on that good stuff.
I think the weather models are on the same stuff...they just can't seem to focus
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LOL, P90X? We got Debby working out now?

...but then again, her face is on chocolate bars and brownies so what can you expect?
Quoting TomTaylor:
lol what does P90x have to do with Debby?


Seems like someone had a little fun tonight...got on that good stuff.
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Quoting CarolinaHurricanes87:


I really have no idea what they were thinking when they issued the watchings and warnings. Like I said earlier, with a storm this lopsided to the east, and the storm moving north.... how could they have left out Florida?

Even if their track ends up being the correct one... N Florida is going to be seeing TS conditions this morning and afternoon.... while Louisiana (the area WITH the warnings) may not see TS conditions for a couple days. Really weird how they issued the watches and warnings.

As for the cone, I expected it to be a giant circle around the CoC, giving away the fact that they had no idea. I guess they tried to make the call a bit too early and are gonna sweat it out now!


This is no major hurricane though, so be happy with that.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting RussianWinter:



The ascat earlier should have revealed that, the strongest winds were in the outer bands, headed for florida!


I really have no idea what they were thinking when they issued the watchings and warnings. Like I said earlier, with a storm this lopsided to the east, and the storm moving north.... how could they have left out Florida?

Even if their track ends up being the correct one... N Florida is going to be seeing TS conditions this morning and afternoon.... while Louisiana (the area WITH the warnings) may not see TS conditions for a couple days. Really weird how they issued the watches and warnings.

As for the cone, I expected it to be a giant circle around the CoC, giving away the fact that they had no idea. I guess they tried to make the call a bit too early and are gonna sweat it out now!
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Quoting emguy:


This is correct. She still has an elongated circulation that moves out to the west a little bit, but she will eventually P90X and dump that baggage. Mean time, you are exactly correct.

NOTE: The GFS always saw this evolution...and basically all the other models are doing better, as they now initialize the "pre P90X Debby", where she is focused on the NE side, but has a saggy stretched out behind that lags to the wsw of the true center.

lol what does P90x have to do with Debby?
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Quoting emguy:


This is correct. She still has an elongated circulation that moves out to the west a little bit, but she will eventually P90X and dump that baggage. Mean time, you are exactly correct.

NOTE: The GFS always saw this evolution...and basically all the other models are doing better, as they now initialize the "pre P90X Debby", where she is focused on the NE side, but has a saggy stretched out behind that lags to the wsw of the true center.

LOL, P90X? We got Debby working out now?

...but then again, her face is on chocolate bars and brownies so what can you expect?
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2010. emguy
Quoting 2xRitaEvacuee:
Normally I would love for a storm like this to come my way - maybe get a day off work, have a Hurricane party, have a little excitement, but I'm (supposed) to be leaving Friday afternoon out of Houston for a European vacation! Darn the luck! Here's hoping it stays south of us and doesn't take 2-3 days to fully pass over. If there are flight delays, hopefully they won't be more than a day =/

What are your thoughts? Think I have a good chance of getting off the ground without any Debby issues?


You are looking good at the moment...All models including the EURO are now east of you...From New Orleans to just north of Tampa. The only exception in the models would be the unreliable HWRF...which goes significantly south of you toward extreme south Texas. Hope this is good news for you. It looks to be so.
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Quoting CarolinaHurricanes87:
Looks like Apalachicola, FL is going to be first in line for this storm. TS conditions right off shore moving inland in the middle of the night... with no watches or warnings whatsoever. I don't want to be accused of bashing and I know they have a tough job, but damn, they really did miss this one big time, as far as watchings/warnings... even if she does end up going west (big if)




The ascat earlier should have revealed that, the strongest winds were in the outer bands, headed for florida!
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting 7544:
hmm wonder if this will make it over to the east side of so fl

Link


Tommorow, 1PM est, you heard it here first!
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Looks like Apalachicola, FL is going to be first in line for this storm. TS conditions right off shore moving inland in the middle of the night... with no watches or warnings whatsoever. I don't want to be accused of bashing and I know they have a tough job, but damn, they really did miss this one big time, as far as watchings/warnings... even if she does end up going west (big if)

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2006. emguy
Quoting MississippiWx:


So difficult to tell. However, I think it is on the western edge of the convection. The western half of the circulation is partially exposed, while the eastern half is tucked underneath the convection.


This is correct. She still has an elongated circulation that moves out to the west a little bit, but she will eventually P90X and dump that baggage. Mean time, you are exactly correct.

NOTE: The GFS always saw this evolution...and basically all the other models are doing better, as they now initialize the "pre P90X Debby", where she is focused on the NE side, but has a saggy stretched out behind that lags to the wsw of the true center.

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Quoting MississippiWx:


So difficult to tell. However, I think it is on the western edge of the convection. The western half of the circulation is partially exposed, while the eastern half is tucked underneath the convection.


I think the storm got sheared a bit in the last few frames based on this


Link


Oh man, oh man.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
2004. 7544
hmm wonder if this will make it over to the east side of so fl

Link
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Normally I would love for a storm like this to come my way - maybe get a day off work, have a Hurricane party, have a little excitement, but I'm (supposed) to be leaving Friday afternoon out of Houston for a European vacation! Darn the luck! Here's hoping it stays south of us and doesn't take 2-3 days to fully pass over. If there are flight delays, hopefully they won't be more than a day =/

What are your thoughts? Think I have a good chance of getting off the ground without any Debby issues?
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Quoting RussianWinter:


Thats nice. Not too long ago I was up till about 5 am myself, trying to study for an exam.

Where do you think the real McCoy is. The center of circulation or a rather large eddy seems to be abandoning the convection in the last few frames.


So difficult to tell. However, I think it is on the western edge of the convection. The western half of the circulation is partially exposed, while the eastern half is tucked underneath the convection.
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Quoting RussianWinter:
Man all of us late-nighters will be sleeping when the models with the 6-am flight data will be running. We'll miss the best part!


Aderal is your friend :)
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Quoting RussianWinter:


Look how far the coc is from the convection...
It isn't really.

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ok good nite all..... I gess we will know more tomorrow or should I say later today.....

Taco :o)
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Quoting zillaTX:


By far the most odd storm to stay alive I have seen, I am not so certain though the models will not shift back westward tomorrow. And there is no way in hell im waiting till 5am for new data =] I expect more surprises tomorrow.


Cmon it'll be worth it, very few us are going to stay up. To stay up this late is to be obsessed about the weather. Back when Wilma was around I woke up every other hour in the night to check on it once things REALLY got going.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
1997. zillaTX
Quoting RussianWinter:


Look how far the coc is from the convection...


By far the most odd storm to stay alive I have seen, I am not so certain though the models will not shift back westward tomorrow. And there is no way in hell im waiting till 5am for new data =] I expect more surprises tomorrow.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Haha no...I'm still here. I really have no choice but to stay up until I finish my work.


Thats nice. Not too long ago I was up till about 5 am myself, trying to study for an exam.

Where do you think the real McCoy is. The center of circulation or a rather large eddy seems to be abandoning the convection in the last few frames.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting Starhopper:
She's a bloomin'


Look how far the coc is from the convection...
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting canehater1:


The ULL is elongated and oriented NE-SW and

is forecast to move SW which will give a more

S shear effect on Debby, which in turn will

allow convection to wrap around more easily.

If you look at NHC Forecast Advisory it shows

expansion on the NW and SW quadrants later.



Thanks. Found this: Link

Slow moving to SW and elongated more vertically than now


Also looked at the forecast for 200 mb vorticity on CIMMS but that doesn't go that far out
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Quoting RussianWinter:


Aww, I thought you was going to stay up and ready for the 5 am update to get a laugh. I was wrong...


Haha no...I'm still here. I really have no choice but to stay up until I finish my work.
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She's a bloomin'
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hey guys before I go to bed I think when I wake up I will fine the NW side of the COC covered with convection and the GFS track is now backed with the CMC maybe the GFS track could take place if more models can hop on board then florida watch out
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I will say a Floridan landfall and if not a Louisiana landfall.I had always been with the GFS and if I am wrong all of you can give all the crow you want.nightss.
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Ok I'm out for real!
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Yeah, on that note, I think I'm gonna skee-daddle...


Aww, I thought you was going to stay up and ready for the 5 am update to get a laugh. I was wrong...
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting MississippiWx:


Yeah, on that note, I think I'm gonna skee-daddle...
LMFAOOOOO.
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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.