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:


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


Ist... Dat a coc eddy I saw being shot out?


Yep dats an eddy located at 88 west and 27 north

Jumped out the last two frames, scared me almost.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Jerry Sandusky's bedroom.

Eh-hem, uh, Miami. The 305. Yeah. :)


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


Nah, I get ya dog. So where are you from?
Jerry Sandusky's bedroom.

Eh-hem, uh, Miami. The 305. Yeah. :)
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Lmfaoooo, I need more reminders than just the handle name nah' I'm sayin'? hahaa


Nah, I get ya dog. So where are you from?
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Quoting emguy:
No matter how ya slice it...click the "TROP FSCT PTS" radio button while watching this satellite loop and sing along..."One of these things does not belong here"


Ist... Dat a coc eddy I saw being shot out?
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Good night KoritheMAN...and MississippiWX you should rest that smart brains of yours. I think I'm also checking out for the night too. Good night everyone. I leave you all with this infrared satellite loop of Tropical Storm Debby.



LOL...Is it that obvious that I'm going out of my mind? All I've done for 48 hours is read research and blog on this looney toons site.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

lol no. Two story house. Suburbs... xD


Well well...

We got dem 2 starry trayler homes here in South Missip. They reeeeealll niiiice.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
MH09,

You're a trip. Forgot I was from MS. LOL.
Lmfaoooo, I need more reminders than just the handle name nah' I'm sayin'? hahaa
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

80 mph to 85 mph...
oh okay because I know 96 its a cat 2
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Nice pic. The haunted!
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I'd reckon that the circulation is now under convective activity. Furthermore, the -80˚C hotspot continues to expand.

Plus, the 06z SHIPS analyzed 15kts of upper-level winds. That's the most favorable it's gotten to date.

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1974. emguy
No matter how ya slice it...click the "TROP FSCT PTS" radio button while watching this satellite loop and sing along..."One of these things does not belong here"
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Good night...
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Good night KoritheMAN...and MississippiWX you should rest that smart brains of yours. I think I'm also checking out for the night too. Good night everyone. I leave you all with this infrared satellite loop of Tropical Storm Debby.

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
You live in a bakery kitchen or something?

lol no. Two story house. Suburbs... xD
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MH09,

You're a trip. Forgot I was from MS. LOL.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

It's seriously creeping me out. Because there's noone else awake.
You live in a bakery kitchen or something?
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Quoting bigwes6844:
about 90-100?

80 mph to 85 mph...
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Link

Water Vapor Loop

ULL on the move...
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Quoting cheaterwon:
Yes the EMCWF did move east a little bit, but it still has the same fundamental differences from the GFS and why it doesn't depict a Florida landfall and won't. And that is that it doesn't over amplify the troff and form a second TS off the East Coast to draw the storm out to the NE and that's why the GFS goes NE and the EMCWF still doesn't even begin to flirt with that Idea. I believe this is far East as the euro will go and will start to go back in forth between New Orleans and Corpus over the next 2 days by then the track will be pretty much set in stone I believe. Somewhere between those two spots.
The problem I have with that is that the axis of the ridge building in over Texas will pretty much block any landfall between NOLA and Houston/Galveston/Freeport due to the positioning of the ridge. Once that ridge gets established, Debby can either go W-WSW and then get turned around the ridge as it slides eastward later on in the week (the earlier Euro/NAM/NOGAPS solutions), or it will feel the weakness developing on the east side of the ridge from SE LA east to the FL Panhandle and exploit it there (new Euro/UKMET/GDFL). And, there's still the possibility that the trough does get down just enough to pull the system NE/ENE across the FL Big Bend (GFS).

Also...what about the chance that the CoC reestablishes itself in the middle of where the strongest tstrms are, and that Debby gets repositioned even further NE/E of where it is presently??  That would move it even further away from the influence of the ridge and closer to the trough, and further support a more eastward adjustment.

If that ridge does manage to establish itself a bit further south than expected, then that would pretty much rule out the left fland, and make a drift N or even NNE more likely.

Translation...Grand Isle/NOLA east to FL Big Bend, and even W FL as far south as Tampa may want to pay attention tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised to see hurricane watches tomorrow afternoon from Morgan City east to the mouth of the St. John's River.

I'm neither wishcasting nor am I an expert attempting to play a meterologist....just giving my personal opinon. Whatever Debby does, it will do...just as long as it doesn't do here in Acadiana.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Marginal Cat. 1
about 90-100?
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Quoting RussianWinter:


Yes Sir!

Category Two Sir!

Nope. With these large systems.. Pressures appear low when Intensity is higher...
985 MB = Cat.1
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Lol. I actually got into a little discussion with our NWS office in Jackson on Facebook earlier. Kind of confronted them about how they had ZERO percent chance of rain for us this week when Debby should easily be throwing squalls this way because of her size. They said rain chances might be added into the forecast later...lol. Of course, they may be right after all if Debbie ends up going east of here. Nothing but dry, hot winds if that happens.


This could easily be one of the most busted forecasts I've seen in a while. We have only 0-20% rain chances here in south AL/FL panhandle for next few days. Crazy!
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Quoting RussianWinter:


Yes Sir!

Category Two Sir!
and thats four days from now! smh! i hope thats not right.
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we've got 30 mph sustained winds here. Waves 10-12'
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I'd reckon that the circulation is now under convective activity. Furthermore, the -80˚C hotspot continues to expand.

Plus, the 06z SHIPS analyzed 15kts of upper-level winds. That's the most favorable it's gotten to date.

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Quoting bigwes6844:
damn right on top of us too! is that a hurricane at landfall?

Marginal Cat. 1
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Quoting Levi32:


Convective feedback doesn't necessarily mean bombing out. If anything it makes the GFS fail to strengthen and consolidate potential TCs. In 48 hours look where all the precipitation is: up by South Carolina, most of it stripped from Debby entirely. This is where the GFS has been trying to develop a secondary low, and why Debby eventually slides northeastward following the feedback. That's the flaw. None of the other models have significant precipitation east of Florida in 48 hours.

Yeah but the reason the precipitation is positioned that way is because convergence is being strung out along the trough...

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree but historically speaking the GFS is notorious for taking systems out of the tropics too fast and to the NE, as you've said yourself. Convective feedback issues on the GFS? Haven't heard that one till tonight, usually hear that with the NAM or CMC, HWRF and GFDL too.
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Just checked WVL, can see ventilation to the west of FL, moving SE. Nothing on the east side?
Quoting TampaSpin:


Its moving SE not SW....big difference.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

It's seriously creeping me out. Because there's noone else awake.


The haze is getting to our heads man. That's what we get for staying awake.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Saving this comment for later... So you know what you said...


Heyyyy...It's just a guess. Don't badger me with statements I made when half asleep after brain being fried from research work! Hmmph!

Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Oh that's right, you live in Mississippi lmao. If the Euro track were to verify you would get the worst of the weather since you'd be in the northern quadrants.

Insomnia FTW.

LOL, cooked poptarts? Thinking of making myself some Campbell's soup now that you brought up food lolol.


Lmao...Omg...WTH. And such...
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Quoting bigwes6844:
damn right on top of us too! is that a hurricane at landfall?


Yes Sir!

Category Two Sir!
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Oh that's right, you live in Mississippi lmao. If the Euro track were to verify you would get the worst of the weather since you'd be in the northern quadrants.

Insomnia FTW.

LOL, cooked poptarts? Thinking of making myself some Campbell's soup now that you brought up food lolol.

It's seriously creeping me out. Because there's noone else awake.
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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!
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting RussianWinter:



985 mb...



damn right on top of us too! is that a hurricane at landfall?
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I've had enough cyclone tracking for a night. See you guys tomorrow.
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Now watch the next GFS take it west. I wonder what would happen to the blog then?
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Quoting farupnorth:
Anybody know where the ULL that is currently keeping Debbie in check is going to go?

Looking at water vapor it seems to be pretty stationary. Almost spreading out.


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.
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ok nite yall see u in a while...we'll see where debby goes at some point lol
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ONE LOST MODEL...the NHC Forecast....LMAO


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Quoting tennisgirl08:


Face plant. Must change cone of doom. Lol!


Lol. I actually got into a little discussion with our NWS office in Jackson on Facebook earlier. Kind of confronted them about how they had ZERO percent chance of rain for us this week when Debby should easily be throwing squalls this way because of her size. They said rain chances might be added into the forecast later...lol. Of course, they may be right after all if Debbie ends up going east of here. Nothing but dry, hot winds if that happens.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Haha probably. I'm almost done with a research paper, but I keep getting distracted by this crazy situation we have. My interest was also perked when the UKMET/Euro brought Debby through my area...got a feeling they will continue shifting east tomorrow. They have been the farther west models of the bunch...trends make me think they will keep going east. Who knows though...
Oh that's right, you live in Mississippi lmao. If the Euro track were to verify you would get the worst of the weather since you'd be in the northern quadrants.

Insomnia FTW.

Quoting HurricaneDean07:

I know I'm not... I don't know if it's me being hungry or not... But I keep smelling cooked poptarts! I don't know what's wrong with me. Its happened twice now. Good night
LOL, cooked poptarts? Thinking of making myself some Campbell's soup now that you brought up food lolol.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Haha probably. I'm almost done with a research paper, but I keep getting distracted by this crazy situation we have. My interest was also perked when the UKMET/Euro brought Debby through my area...got a feeling they will continue shifting east tomorrow. They have been the farther west models of the bunch...trends make me think they will keep going east. Who knows though...

Saving this comment for later... So you know what you said...
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Quoting RussianWinter:


That's what they said 6 hours ago 0.0


That thing better follow the forecast then!

Its forecasted to Stay STATIONARY NOW. But then slowly head SW.
Just like Debby is forecasted to stay STATIONARY NOW, then head slow to the NW. lol
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Quoting bigwes6844:
aww no!! u serious? can i see it again?



985 mb...



Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Russianwinter.
The ULL is forecasted to head SW.


Its moving SE not SW....big difference.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
I must say, I will get plenty of humor out of reading NWS discussions later this morning. NHC discussions might be humorous too.


Face plant. Must change cone of doom. Lol!
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1938. Walshy
The two poorest global forecast models for track are still west according to the chart posted(1904)*. (HWRF/NOGAPS)


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Quoting RussianWinter:


Latest euro heads it your way ;)

in 96 hours...
aww no!! u serious? can i see it again?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Mhmmm, yeah yeah. K. ;)

You staying up until the 5a.m advisory?


Haha probably. I'm almost done with a research paper, but I keep getting distracted by this crazy situation we have. My interest was also perked when the UKMET/Euro brought Debby through my area...got a feeling they will continue shifting east tomorrow. They have been the farther west models of the bunch...trends make me think they will keep going east. Who knows though...
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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.